American Idol Revamped

This year American Idol is getting a revamp. From the home page:

A TWIST! American Idol is changing things up! This year, instead of 36 finalists, at the end of the Hollywood round, the judges will select 12 male and 12 female singers. Then in the semi-finals, one group performs on Monday and the other on Tuesday, with voting on both nights. On Wednesday, two singers from each group will be eliminated until we have our finalists, 6 males and 6 females! So now, your favorite singers will be seen every week until we've crowned our fourth American Idol!

This is a good idea for two reasons:

1. It should mean a better balance of males to females. Last year the guys were badly outnumbered and were almost always out performed by the girls which ultimately led to an all female top 4. Of course this could create issues if the competition is stronger for one gender or the other.

I can see the complaints already:

"I would have been in the top 12 if I could have competed against the guys instead of other girls..."

Nevertheless it should still be far superior to the previous top 32 setup.

2. It will get rid of the most probabalistic part of previous years competition.

We have had more than a few singers in years past make it to the top 12 over far superior competitors because they got lucky in the top 32. For those of you that are not familiar with the show, in years past the semi-final round consisted of a top 32 that was broken up into 4 groups of 8. Two contestants from each of these groups got voted through to the final round. After that there was a final wild card show where 2-3 (depending on the year) final contestants were selected by the judges and one final contestant got voted through to the final round making up your top 12.

There were several problems with this in the past. For example the year before last the judges seemed to have a particular bias against the singers in group 3, and even though there were many very good performances in that round they did not select any of them to put in the wild card show. Instead they selected people that they themselves had previously cut or whose previous performances they themselves had said were not good enough. So this should cut out judge bias, but it will also cut out the probablistic nature that the semi-finals previously had.

If you are up against someone that is already popular with the audience you are far less likely to make it through than if you end up competing against people who are not as polished or well known to the audience. This is how some of the weakest singers from the top 32 made it to the top 12 last year. The competition in their group of 8 just wasn't very strong. Meanwhile stronger contestants failed in other rounds when they picked a bad song or simply had a bad night. The new system will hopefully give those stronger contestants second chances while weeding out the weaker contestants.

Of course the flaws of the new system remain to be seen but I think it is a step in the right direction.

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For the life of me, I can't

For the life of me, I can't see the attraction of this show. I've never been able to force myself to watch more than five minutes at a time. But from what I've seen, and the descriptions I've read, I understand that it's just people singing along to mainstream pop tracks: in other words, glorified karaoke.

If I want to listen to somebody who doesn't write their own songs or play an instrument, I'll buy a Britney Spears or Backstreet Boys album.


Hey I like listening to

Hey I like listening to karaoke and besides most of these singers sing better than britney spears and the backstreet boys. Thats one of the things that makes it interesting seeing old tunes sung in a very different but still very good style.

I enjoy American Idol. It's

I enjoy American Idol. It's highly unlikely I'll ever purchase a CD by any of its winners (or losers). But I'm still entertained by seeing relatively "unknowns" compete while being thrust into the national spotlight, with the spotlight growing a bit more intense each week as the contestant pool continues to shrink. How the performance stage evolves from a little, stuffy room with three judges to a large theater televised to millions of people. I'm curious how the different personalities absorb and react to the scrutiny. I get amused when someone like William Hung becomes a household name. And of course I enjoy the centerpiece of the show, Simon Cowell and his usually blunt remarks. Yep, I'll be tuning in.

Hey guys i'm from Australia

Hey guys i'm from Australia and i think idol is kinda in Australia and NZ it promotes local music...there are more local artists on the charts now because of idol...i hate the globalized world that American music has takes away our identity. "I don't want to be an Amercian idiot....." great tv...but even greater impact on our cultural identity and more hope for todays teenagers. Check out aussie talent using a google search: Guy Sebastian, Joel Turner, Paulini, Shannon Noll, Ricki-Lee.