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I have to agree that the days of ANY SHOW getting 20 million regularly per week are over. That is why I don't get all the panic over ratings. It seems like ratings across the board went down. I think so many viewers have flocked to watching their shows online or watching their shows well after their DVR viewership counts in the ratings. I can't tell you how many people I know that sometimes are two weeks or more behind on their watching and have to catch up or they catch up via on demand and that doesn't count either. Any nielson viewers that do that don't count in the ratings so I think that is hurting alot of shows. Also, again, so many have turned to online viewing. I know many that simply watch the performances on youtube so they avoid the filler. That has hurt too. Idol lost ALOT of younger viewers and I think alot of those younger viewers fell into some of the trends I mentioned above.

I don't think the oversaturation of the singing competition market hurt Idol at all. Idol is the one most know and most watch. It's the only one left that has churned out stars and still can. The Voice hasn't. The US X-Factor really hasn't. It still has credibility. I think what helped Idol ratings-wise last year was they had the country music fans tuning in because they had two contestants that the country fans stood behind, one of which developed a HUGE fanbase. He got alot of younger girls to tune in. Philip had a fanbase and alot of young girls on his side but he never seems to have the rabid fanbase Scotty had. This season lacked a Scotty McCreery or David Arculeta or even a Adam Lambert, someone who can bring in a wide audience.

I'm well aware of how awful they've treated some in the past, including Haley. I don't think it's ever intentional though. They seem so set on their agenda that I think they just do things and don't even realize what they are doing and that people are on to them about it. You would think, by now, they would realize people are wise to their manipulation and rebel against it. I don't think that manipulation will ever go away. It's been there since day 1. The difference was that in early seasons it wasn't so obvious. They need to at least make the manipulation more subtle.

I'm not even sure what they can do to change the voting process that will avoid the end results we've gotten. I mean, limiting the voting even has flaws because the voters always seem to find a way around hurdles on this show. I think they have to give the judge's some sort of power in addition to changing the voting if they really want to make much difference.

Also, color me shocked at all the Siobhan fans in this thread. I liked her too but I recall her completely falling off after a few weeks. She really was inconsistent. She had a string of great performances and then had a poor one and seemed to lack confidence after. Personally, I think her personality hurt her. She seems to show it more now than on the show. That whole season was a disaster though. That was by far the worst season the show ever had.

I keep wondering why girls even bother to show up to audition. Hell, I wonder why anyone bothers to show up without a guitar. Your going to keep seeing guys with guitars show up because they know they have a great chance on this show. That is why I like Stephen and agree he should stay on as judge. He always seems to go more for the superior vocalists. Plus, he's entertaining and unpredictable in his commentary. I would just tell him to be a little more critical. I also think Jennifer should stay too as a judge. She's one of the only female judges on any of these shows to offer up good critiques. Yes, she has biases but what judge doesn't? Plus, she's still a relevant artist who can help with the ratings. She manages to be polite but also be critical. Again, I would just encourage her and any judge to be more critical. It seems the last two seasons they've been overly nice so they can hype up the talent and make the show out to be much better than the competition. Let the talent do the talking. Judge the way you should judge! Randy is the one who NEEDS to go. He offers nothing. Season 10 he was a little more critical but this season he was a joke. I would replace him with Jimmy. Jimmy and Jennifer already have a great rapport. He's a record exec and is needed on the panel. I would then let Jimmy's producers and a celebrity mentor handle the contestants each week. Sadly, Jimmy wants no part of judging it seems and the show seems to think Randy NEEDS to be on the panel so I doubt much will change there.

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