It’s been no big secret that American Idol 2013 has been steadily losing viewership over the past couple of seasons and, it’s also been no surprise that Idol fans have been commenting that the show has had a boredom factor to it this year, in spite of Fox’s alleged shake-up with the format and judge’s table.
Sponsors can’t be very pleased with the fact that The Big Bang Theory, Two And A Half Men and Grey’s Anatomy topped Idol’s ratings and that comedies in general seemed to overtake Idol on a seesaw basis within the 2013 Idol season, taking with them, a lot of the 18 to 49-year-old target age group that sponsors aim towards grabbing and holding.
As the show comes down to the finale this week and the showdown between Candice Glover and Kree Harrison, it also came as no real shock to a lot of viewers that Randy Jackson, the sole remaining original Idol judge, announced that he was calling it “quits”, abdicating his seat at the judge’s table after 12 seasons.
Jackson has stated that he was leaving to get back to putting his time and energy into his recording label and work on other projects. However, one has to wonder whether it was Jackson, himself who decided to leave or, whether FOX has decided that Jackson is part of the ratings problems and offered him a polite and face-saving way to exit? We’ll likely never know.
Jackson was attempting to put rumors to rest and put out fires of speculation towards the idea that the entire panel was being dumped by FOX.
“Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season. I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It’s been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures.”
However, speculation has been that FOX has been toying with the idea of dumping all of its current judges and starting back at the drawing board to re-invent Idol so it’s possible that Jackson was either offered a respectful exit strategy or, that Jackson saw a sinking ship and wanted out before it sank.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, was a guest on The Talk which aired the week of May 6 to 10, 2013 which is CBS’s version of ABC’s The View. During the interview, Cannon was asked about his wife’s stint on Idol this season and how she felt about the in-fighting and tension between her and fellow judge, Nicki Minaj. Cannon responded by saying that she was a professional and Idol would “become a footnote for her.”
“I wish that experience could be what the show is really supposed to be about. Because she really loves these contestants [and] has a connection with her fellow singers… It’s a time when she has so many amazing things going on in her life, if there’s something unstable — I think if they get it stable she might re-look at it, but no one wants to be a part of something unstable,” Cannon also said during the interview.
With Carey’s mentor and manager, Randy Jackson, leaving Idol at the end of this season, it’s likely a good and strong bet that Carey won’t be back especially, after the antics that went on between her and Minaj.
So, it’s not looking too stable for Carey returning as an Idol judge either for the 2014 season but, who knows right now since FOX, itself now has to re-think and possibly re-invent the entire show to keep sponsors on board and ratings from sinking to the depths and extinction of the once hit show.
FOX has already stated that it won’t be paying out “Diva Wages” anymore. Carey was reportedly earning a whopping $18 million and Minaj, a cool $12 million while Jennifer Lopez had commanded a $15 million price tag for her head during her stints on Idol.
While rumor has it that all of the judges will be leaving this season (by choice or otherwise), nothing is certain at this moment but, if you’ve got a chance to bet on this one…you might want to think about betting that all will be gone come Season 13 in 2014.
You might also want to wager a smaller bet that Idol exec, Nigel Lythgoe (who blames FOX for hiring this panel of judges without any ability to have input on that choice) might also be in danger of feeling FOX’s doorknob hitting him on the rear on his way out.