Originally posted Monday, March 18, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Last year, “American Idol” experimented with three “live” coast-to-coast voting so results could be announced in one show instead of delayed until the following week or in a separate results show.
“Idol” has decided this year to do this on all five live shows.
I am not a fan. While the show will air “live” on the West Coast and even Hawaii), folks who are used to watching shows during prime-time will not get the opportunity to vote as they would if they had until the next morning. And it’s not necessarily a convenient time to watch for folks on the West Coast.
It also means voting starts when the show starts instead of when the show ends. This makes that day’s performance particularly meaningless. Performing earlier, in fact, is probably advantageous. The “pimp spot” at the end is now utterly useless.
In other words, it becomes a popularity contest based on the subset of active voters who like a particular singer, even if the memory of their last performance a week earlier had faded.
In my opinion, it’s basically a gimmick that doesn’t seem to help the show in any tangible way. As M.J. noted on her blog, this deprives people the chance to think about their vote. They have to decide immediately.
In the past 16 seasons, the final two performed one night and the winner was named the next. This did mean a lot of padding e.g. celebrity duets, recaps, group sings, wacky skits. Now for the first time, the two finalists will sing and find out if they won or lost on the same night. I anticipate it will all feel rushed.
Already, ABC has cut the live voting shows in half to just five from 10 or more in past years when it was on Fox.
This does give ABC the opportunity to debut “The Bachelorette” early on May 13 while “Idol” will conclude on Sunday night, May 19.
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