Crystal Bowersox - I Forgot About Her

In my last post here, I asked if you remembered who won American Idol season 9. I also asked if you could remember the runner-up. Well last time I focused on Lee DeWyze (the winner of season 9). To be honest, I didn't name the runner up because I just couldn't remember who it was.

Well today I noticed some American Idol news and saw something about one Crystal Bowersox. You guess it, she was the runner up that I could not recall. Timely news too, considering I only just commented on DeWyze's first release and it's poor results. Well it seems Bowersox just released her debut album Farmer's Daughter just a few days ago. It should be quite interesting to see how her album's success or lack thereof compares with her rival on the show, Lee DeWyze. It is not unheard of for runner-ups to outperform the actual winners. Clay Aiken is a classic case. Daughtery, although was not a runner up, but came in 4th, far outperformed Hicks who had won that year.

Just a few days more will make it a week since Bowersox released her CD, and the data should be in so some comparisons can then be made.

Lee DeWyze - A Flop

In a previous post, I had proclaimed Taylor Hicks to be the worst American Idol winner. However, that was before season 9. Do you even remember who won season 9? Can you recall who was the runner-up? Well for those of you who might be stumped, the winner was a fellow by the name of Lee DeWyze.

DeWyze's first single debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200. That is the lowest so far out of all American idol winners. Also, the first week of sales for Lee was only $39,000. Again the lowest first week figure out of all Idol winners.

To be fair to DeWyze though, it should be taken into account that the show had started falling in ratings. So naturally you would expect him to be less successful than his predecessors. Maybe it is a little harsh to suggest that he might be worse than Taylor Hicks. While Hicks certainly had better success for his debut album and first week sales, in terms of talent, it would be hard to say with any confidence that DeWyze is any worse.

One thing that should not be overlooked though: The fact that the ratings of the show were already going down coupled with the dismal performance of DeWyze's first release, suggests that the show is in serious danger of coming to an end. Season 10 is just around the corner, so we should soon see whether the downward trend will continue.

Can American Idol Survive Much Longer?

It is common knowledge by now that there have been extensive changes in the cast of American Idol. Paula Abdul was already gone by the start of the last season, and replaced by Ellen Degeneres. It was also known that Simon Cowell would be leaving at the end of season 9. Kara DioGuardi had been introduced from Season 8, but now she won't be there in Season 10. Ellen Degeneres also won't be around on the show anymore. In fact, of the judges, Randy Jackson will be the only one who is not new on the panel.

With such drastic changes, can the show survive? Or is it a case, that only by such drastic changes does the show have any chance for continuity?

Simon Cowell no doubt was a key character on the show. I wrote about this before. (see the importance of Simon Cowell. You can also read theories about the american idol judges) Is American Idol a show worth watching without Cowell? His presence no doubt will be missed, and time will tell whether the show is still viable. Perhaps with the extensive changes in the cast, there will now be enough novelty to hold some interest. Maybe this is better than if it was just a matter of replacing Cowell. This way, the burden doesn't fall on any one person to play the part of Cowell, or to compensate for his departure.

Having said that, let us not forget that the show's ratings were already falling in the last season. The change in judging panel may cause them to plumet further, or it could be the show's salvation.

American Idol Without Paul Abdul - Getting to the bottom of things

As you would by now notice, season 9 of American Idol has commenced. The usual characters are back, with the very conspicuous exception of one -Paula Abdul. Well it has been known for some months now that Paula would not be returning. What are the implications for the future of the show? Can it survive much longer? Will Paula's absence have a negative impact? These are interesting questions that must be explored, but they will have to wait for another entry. Right now I want to focus on getting to the bottom of things -what really happened with Paula? Why isn't she on anymore?

The news reports claimed it was a matter over money. Paula wanted more than what they were offering her, and on the advice of her manager, refused to come back unless they satisfy her demands. It is alleged that Abdul wanted $20 million, but was offered just $10 million. It was also reported that Ryan Seacrest got a deal of $45 Million over 3 years. One can understand that this fact probably annoyed the heck out of Paula and was probably a major factor in her refusing to return.

Ok, well this is what the official stories say. But, as you may have guessed, we at idoltheory feel there is more to it. Keen readers of this site will have realised that we did anticipate the departure of Paula long before this issue of pay came up. (See why the new judge -Kara Dioguardi theory). So what is really at work here? Well, without trying to get too specific, let us at least acknowledge that things seem fishy.

If we had to venture a "guess" we would say the producers orchestrated this result. But Paula was the one who refused to come back, you say. Ah yes, true. However, that doesn't mean the producers didn't plan it. It is not a hard thing really to make Paula feel underpaid, and knowing her so well, they could easily have predicted that by doing this, they would in effect get rid of her. This way, it comes across as if it was Paula's own doing. The very introduction of the extra judge in season 8 suggested they were preparing to phase Paula out. Now it is done.

No doubt there is more to this matter. Perhaps you're wondering why? Why the need to get rid of Paula? Well there might be more to it, but it could simply be an attempt to keep the show fresh. By changing things up a bit, it makes things less predictable, and is likely to keep the interest in the show going. In other words, this is to prolong the longevity of the show. People were probably getting bored of the same 'ole thing every year. Another possibility which is not mutually exclusive to the aforementioned reason, is that it could be in preparation for Simon's own leaving. Perhaps the thinking is that removing Paula opens up America to accepting that judges are not permanent fixtures to the show, and so when Simon leaves, it might not be as catastrophic as one would expect. (See the theory on Simon Cowell's importance).

Ok, there is certainly more to say on this matter. We invite your comments. Perhaps before closing, it should be mentioned that the plan is to have Ellen DeGeneres (the lesbian) as the replacement judge for poor Paula. So much could be said about this, but that belongs to another post for another time. Until then, stay tuned!