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.