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Simon Cowell, Kara Dioguardi, Ellen Degeneres and the Death of American Idol

Posted by on September 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM EST

american idolIs the crew abandoning the sinking ship that is American Idol? At least from the outside looking in, that is what it appears is going on.
Simon Cowell, Kara Dioguardi, and Ellen Degererese jump ship from American Idol, is this death blow that will self destruct the show in one season? Let’s take a look at some issues at hand.

Simon Cowell announced during last season that he would be leaving the show at the end of the season. He is leaving to focus on bringing his hit show X-Factor from the UK to America where it will provide some strong competition for American Idol. No sooner had he announced his leaving that speculation ran wild as everyone guessed who would replace him. Names including Tommy Mattola, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Howard Stern were all mentioned as potential replacements. The rumor is that they have decided on Jennifer Lopez and are working out a contract with her, but as of this moment there still is no replacement for Simon.

A few weeks ago Ellen Degeneres announced that she was leaving the show and recently there had been rumors that Kara Dioguardi would be leaving. Those rumors were put to rest over the weekend when Kara officially announced that she too was leaving the show.

This leaves just Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest on board. As producers scramble to replace the leaving hosts is begs the question: Is American Idol a sinking ship?

Normally, you wouldn’t ask that question of a show that is currently one of (if not the most) watched shows on TV. It always wins its time slot and regularly slays all the competition. Even President Obama postponed a prime time speech by an hour so as not to compete with the singing juggernaut. But this doesn’t mean it is not in trouble. As Simon Cowell prepares to bring his show X-Factor to the United States it stands to provide some stiff competition for American Idol. If you mix that together with some new judges it could be a recipe for American Idol’s demise.

Part of what made Idol good was Simon Cowell’s blunt comments. Where the other judges try to find something positive to say, Cowell was brutally honest. America loved to hate him. There is no guarantee his replacement
will have the same relationship with the audience or be able to pull off the balancing act he walks between being mean and being real.

Is Jennifer Lopez the answer to their problem? Do they bring back Paula Abdul? Do either of these things matter? There are even rumors that Cowell will invite Paula Abdul to be part of X-Factor. In the end the main problem with American Idol is the lack of good singers. When they get down to the final 20 or so, there are only a few that are really any good. There is a reason only a few of the winners or high place finishers have gone on to have successful careers. Unless they can find more singers that captivate the audience and make people want to pick up the phone and vote, it doesn’t matter who they get as judges. Eventually America will get tired of listening to sub-par singers basically competing in a karaoke contest.

At this point it looks like American Idol’s days are numbered, the only questions are how many days does it have left and will Ryan and Randy go down with the ship?



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