Six ways to fix American Idol

The Season 12 "Idol" judges' panel's lack of chemistry has been a problem this season.   (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America and FOX)

The Season 12 “Idol” judges’ panel’s lack of chemistry has been a problem this season. (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America and FOX)

By: Jacob Elyachar

American Idol has hit the iceberg.

The long running FOX singing competition who introduced the world to singers including Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry and reigned supreme in the Nielsen ratings for years has been beaten by a guy named Sheldon Cooper and Duck Dynasty’s Robertson clan.

So how do you keep the Idol boat from sinking, save the season and possibly have one final season?   Here are my six ways of fixing the show….

 

"Idol" executive producers Nigel Lythgoe & Ken Warwick's behind-the-scene manipulations have turned off millions of "Idol" viewers. (Photo property of FOX)

“Idol” executive producers Nigel Lythgoe & Ken Warwick’s behind-the-scene manipulations have turned off millions of “Idol” viewers. (Photo property of FOX)

Viewers to Nigel and Ken: Stop Manipulating!

As American Idol’s executive producers, Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick are solely to blame for this situation.   Their orders of having the judges pimp contestants like Kris Allen, Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips and Amber Holcomb have cost Adam Lambert, Haley Reinhart, Jessica Sanchez (and possibly Candice Glover) the Idol title.   By having the judges overhype average contestants over true superstars have turned off longtime loyal viewers away from the show.  If Nigel and Ken gave up some control and let the judges speak for themselves, things could be different in the final weeks of Season 12 and even Season 13.

 

When "Idol" reboots their panel, Sharon Osbourne should be considered as a candidate for the Judging Panel. (Photo property of NBC)

When “Idol” reboots their panel, Sharon Osbourne should be considered as a candidate for the Judging Panel. (Photo property of NBC)

Reboot the panel! (Bye-bye Nicki and Randy!)

This year’s panel cohesion does not hold a candle to the combinations Randy-Paula-Simon and Randy-Jennifer-Steven.  Nicki has polarized the audience while Mariah sometimes becomes tongue-tied and both Randy and Keith’s criticisms are starting to sound like broken records! At the end of the season, wipe the slate clean and get three new judges and bring back a true fan-favorite.  Some of my  recommendations include former AGT judge Sharon Osbourne, former Voice coach Cee Lo Green, Jon Bon Jovi and original judge Paula Abdul! (I will dive further into this topic later on this week!)

Refresh the themes!

There are a lot of Idol fans that are tired of hearing the same themes year-after-year.  Nigel and Ken should try to open up the Idol vault to get the songbooks of Fleetwood Mac, Prince, Britney Spears and David Guetta.   Imagine watching worthy contestants try an acoustic version of “Baby One More Time” or “Titanium.”  In addition, it would be interesting to hear an up-tempo dance version of “Gold Dust Woman”.

Stevie Nicks helped underdogs Phillip, Heejun and Elise out when she was a guest mentor last season on the show.  (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX)

Stevie Nicks helped rockers-in-training Phillip, Colton and Elise out when she was a guest mentor last season on the show. (Photo property of 19 Entertainment, FremantleMedia North America & FOX)

 

Bring back the guest mentors!

The guest mentors were a welcomed addition to the show but this year, the contestants were only allowed to work with Smokey Robinson. While it was very generous of the music legend to spend time with the hopefuls, but could other musicians stepped up to the plate to help Jimmy Iovine mentor?   Past mentors Stevie Nicks, Lady Gaga, David Foster, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder and even former judge Jennifer Lopez were very beneficial in bringing out the best in several contestants.  If Idol does survive for a final season, Nigel and Ken should bring back the best guest mentors to advise the 2014 hopefuls.

Incorporate the alums on performance night…

This season’s group performances have been mixed.  For every “Stay,” there is a “I Can’t Help Myself.”  In order for another “I Can’t Help Myself” from happening in the future, each contestant should be paired with an Idol “All-Star” (a term coined by TV Line’s Michael Slezak).   Just imagine having a future rock god on stage with either Bo Bice or Chris Daughtry? How about a powerhouse female or male singer performing “The Prayer” with either Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert, Jessica Sanchez or Jennifer Hudson?  Or a bluesy-jazz singer performing a trio with Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart?   These performances will bring back the ratings and create amazing Idol memories.

Expand the Age Requirement

What has made America’s Got Talent, the Voice and X Factor so successful is that it welcomes everyone over 30-years-old to compete.  Idol shot itself in the foot because it limited the program with talent.   If Idol is renewed for one more season, they should expand the age gap from 28-years-old to 45-years-old.

Do you think Idol should implement these changes? Should FOX cancel it? Please feel free to share your thoughts!

 

 

 

 

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar