Season 13 Overhaul

American Idol suffered a 20 percent nosedive in viewers last season for the second year in a row. It took a couple of years for producers to figure out why they were getting their a**es kicked by The Voice, but they've made changes that should bring those numbers around.

American Idol

All divas please exit stage left

If we can be completely frank for a couple of minutes, two reasons American Idol took a two-year hit are named Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. Individually, audiences tired of Carey acting as if she sat on a one-person panel on a throne and that her opinion was the only one that mattered. By equal measure, (believe it or not) viewers over the age of 40 wondered who the hell Nicki Minaj was and what she was doing judging new talent. On some level, Minaj knew she was in over her head, which bred insecurity and resulted in Carey and Minaj stealing the spotlight from the contestants to bicker among themselves. Producers likely thought the drama would lead to ratings, but the reality is that viewers got sick of it and turned the channel.

American Idol: The judges are a dream >>

Photo credit: Fox

American Idol

Harry Connick Jr. added

Cue the eye candy. Keith Urban can take credit for putting females in the seats at home. American Idol producers took notice and brought on another handsome crooner, Harry Connick Jr. So wait a minute. Idol producers switched out Carey and Minaj with Harry Connick Jr. and added Jennifer Lopez? That's like a shmorgishborg of hotness. That alone should make Idol suck a lot less this year.

J. Lo isn't ashamed to admit she doesn't want to be alone >>

Randy Jackson

Randy Jackson moved to a mentor position

We loved Randy Jackson as a judge on American Idol in the past and have missed his "Yo, yo, dawg" critiques. Producers have moved Jackson into a new mentor role with contestants. We'll look forward to watching him teach and train Idol talent behind the scenes.

Mariah Carey: Being on American Idol was like being in hell >>

Middle round fast-tracked

American Idol executive producer Trish Kinane told TV critics, "We listened to the viewers and they told us they're fed up with the middle rounds after Hollywood Week and before the live shows, so we've shortened all of that down, condensed the middle round into one week — we're calling it Rush Week." Hallelujah. If there is one thing all of these shows could afford to scale back on, it's the filler. We can smell it from a mile away and over time it feels like a waste of our valuable TV viewing time.

The Chamber

This is where things get a little weird. In Season 13 (which has a two-night premiere of Jan. 15-16) Idol is introducing "The Chamber." It's a bit like an isolation booth that contestants chill out in before they go onstage to perform. Producers are hoping contestants will forget they are on camera and do things like check their noses and teeth, pray and preen. Conceptually, The Chamber feels a little creepy, but we're willing to try it on for size and see if it helps Idol suck a bit less.

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Comments

Comments on "5 Reasons American Idol won't suck this year"

mick albright March 14, 2014 | 2:02 PM

Are you nuts? The entire thing is now a debacle. The judges say things that are obviously not true. The contestants are simply terrible. And that NO-TALENT-WORTHLESS-IMBICILE RANDY JACKSON as a mentor - give me a break. This week the spent more time airing the moronic take-offs of the contestants by other contestants than they did airing the singing. Everyone associated with the show should be ashamed.

steph February 26, 2014 | 6:02 PM

Watching it right now....the people are horrible this year...and the judges tell them all they are great...they need a brutally homest judge, SIMON, who will tell it like it is. All the females sound off tune. Does harry connick jr know anything about singing?

JOHN January 16, 2014 | 9:51 PM

WORST AMERICAN IDOL EVER THE JUDGES ARE PASSING ANY BODY WITH LOOKS CAUSE THEY SURE CAN'T SING, they need to bring back Simon.

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