I am a bit of an American Idol fanatic. Season 11 just finished and the winner was Phillip Phillips. Not my choice at all. I wanted Jessica or Skylar to win it. The boy has some talent, but I have had it with WGWG (white guys with guitars) winning. Richard Rushfield, author of the book American Idol: The Untold Story, said, “You have this alliance between young girls and grandmas and they see it, not necessarily as a contest to create a pop star competing on the contemporary radio, but as…who’s the nicest guy in a popularity contest.” So here are my suggestions for how to fix the show for Season 12:
- An all-woman season
After having a male winner for the past 5 seasons, it is time to do something to guarantee a female winner. How about a season of all females? This has not been done before. Considering the wide variety of styles that could be showcased (country, pop, R&B, jazz, rock, singer-songwriter), I would definitely tune in to see this.
- An all-star season
Heard from Ruben Studdard lately? He was great on the season he won… and his career never lived up to his promise. I heard a song from David Cook recently in a store, and he is good too. What about Melinda Doolittle, a favorite from season six? Past winners, or finalists whose career never reached the heights they should have could return, and have a second chance at stardom.
- Have them write/perform their own songs
I know this has been mentioned before, and I think it is a good idea. On the show “Gone Country” they had the stars meet with songwriters and collaborate with them to have a song to perform by the finale. So often the coronation songs especially are so generic, it would be nice to have something more personal for each of the contestants. Not every week, but for the save me song, or certain weeks if they have it, I say bring it!
- Get a judge with some backbone
Things haven’t quite been the same without Simon Cowell. Simon tells it like it is. The only one who seems to do that is Jimmy Iovine, the record company guy. Now, 2 of the 3 judges have quit (J. Lo and Steven Tyler). So who will replace them? Names being mentioned for possible judges include Adam Lambert, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Katy Perry, Fergie, Aretha Franklin and more. Not sure about any of them really…. What about Babyface? His former partner, LA Ried is on “X Factor” and doing well.
- Have the contestants themselves vote for who should go
A little bit of “Survivor” here — once they have the bottom three, have all of the Idols vote amongst themselves who should go home. So often, it seems that they want to portray that they all get along and such like one big happy family. The truth is they are competitors, and this would be a reminder of that.
- The voting needs to change.
Limit the number of votes by method. The only ones who vote for 2-4 hours straight are teenagers, probably female. I say 10 calls, texts, or web votes per person. Plus have the judges rank them and factor that in with the eliminations. A little bit taken from “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Voice” even, the judges would score each performance, and that would be combined with the audience votes to determine who moves on, and who goes home.
- Have them pick songs out of a hat/and sing them without rehearsing
They say if you are good, you can sing anything. I say let’s prove it! Have a hat filled with say 10 songs that they know are in there, the contestant will reach in, pull out a song and sing it right then and there. It would definitely separate the good from the bad very quickly with this one.
- Raise the age limit to 40.
There are enough young stars. I say they should raise the age limit to 40. This would bring in more seasoned professionals who for whatever reason never made it. I am sure they would find some great singers in the 30-40 range — who know what type of artists they are, and are comfortable on stage too. The young people often are still finding themselves as artists, and most have limited performance experience.
- Elimination show should be 30 minutes at most.
Does anyone really like the drawn out results show? I, for one, enjoy the group numbers, plus seeing the past Idols perform. What I don’t need is a recap of the previous night’s performances analyzed again and performances by who ever is promoting a CD that night (Lana Del Rey and Lisa Marie Presley, really?).
- Have the viewers be more involved.
Upload videos of Hollywood week, let us see more of what goes on there. Let the audience, not the judges (or even casting people) whittle the contestants down to Top 24. So often, we seem to see so little of what goes on. And this is the stage that we lose a lot of the early favorites.
I look forward to seeing the show in season 12. And please, let’s find a female superstar this time. The guys have had enough time in the spotlight.
Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and Real Kilt Men Go Commando. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.