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I think season 9 was MUCH worse than this past season. This season had talent and a few good moments but it lacked contestants with personalities (aside from a few). They also didn't help us connect with the contestants. Aside from the basic information provided when they were all introduced, the show hardly spent any time informing us of who any of them were. It took until top 7 or so to get a firm grasp on who the contestants were. I mean, we hardly got any videos of the contestants interacting like in past years. They also didn't need 2 hour performance shows all season either. They need to go back to 90 minute ones like last season. The biggest thing is the voting process though. That obviously needs to change and should've changed a few seasons ago.

Not sure I would change the judges. Randy is the one who should go but they won't get rid of him as he's become the anchor. I would just tell the judges to ease up on the standing ovation crap and to be more critical. I would also go back to broader, more contemporary themes and make sure each week has a mentor in addition to Jimmy. Season 10 had someone along with Jimmy every week. One week even had Lady Gaga. That mixed things up so they need to go back to that.

I really don't think the ratings drop is that concerning. It seems like many shows went down in the ratings this past TV season. I think Idol would've dropped regardless but, to me, the drop it had was further inflated by the same issues other shows seem to be having because many shows experienced significant drops along with Idol.
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American Idol: Revamp in the works · Primetime News & Spoilers