AMERICAN IDOL - Music industry legends and all-star judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, along with Emmy(r) winning producer and host Ryan Seacrest were on hand when ABC's "American Idol" continued its search for the next singing sensation as auditions continued this week in Coeur d'Alene, ID. "American Idol" is returning to The ABC Television Network for the 2018-2019 season, after first making its return to airwaves as the No. 1 reality show launch for its inaugural season on the network during the 2017-2018 season. (ABC/Josh Vertucci) LIONEL RICHIE, RYAN SEACREST, KATY PERRY, LUKE BRYAN
Photo: Josh Vertucci/ABC
Photo: Josh Vertucci/ABC

‘American Idol’ goes to all “live” voting shows, dumps the finale results show

Originally posted Monday, March 18, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ 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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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.