The only difference between Idol and a big, goofy hound that you're keeping alive because of good memories and not any especially positive future outlook? That big, goofy hound doesn't still rake in millions every year in profits. So the golden rule still applies: Those who have the gold records make the rules. But out of sheer mercy for the fans, it's time to look at TV euthanasia as a real possibility.
7. Season Nine Sucked
Plain and simple, no one on the damn thing could sing worth a damn. Seriously, when even the pool of potential contestants feels like it's not worth it anymore? There's nothing left, especially for a show like this. This last season must have made the bittersweet goodbyes said by some of the judges feel a lot less bitter and a lot more sweet.
6.New Judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez
With all due respect to Steven Tyler's career and Jennifer Lopez's ass, neither of those things qualifies them to be judges on American Idol. Tyler knows a lot about music, sure, but not so much the making of a star; Lopez is pretty good with promotion, so long as it's of the booty variety. Bringing in big names is a gimmick that's going to fade faster than Reuben Stoddard's music career.
5. Seacrest Overload
Ryan Seacrest is the new Dick Clark in many ways, not the least of which is the hoary portrait hanging up in his attic. But Seacrest has outgrown the show that served as his launching pad to all things host-y, and he's become pretty overexposed. Is there anyone in America who's not sick of his pearly smile and metrosexual wardrobe? Personally, I started hating Seacrest when he called Frank Sinatra "the first American Idol." Which just goes to show that Ryan Seacrest knows nothing about Frank Sinatra, who had chunks of guys like Seacrest in his stool. Dunkleman, we hardly knew ye.
4. No Paula
She started out as the nice one, but soon turned into the nice one who was also a (lovable) trainwreck. And since the show was pretty much already about trainwrecks -- in the tryout weeks, at least -- her bizarre behavior just extended that particular brand of crazy. Seriously, Ellen was great, but she wasn't going to show up strung out on 'ludes and Cutty Sark and come on to some of the contestants, which is what we all wanted to see.
3. Randy's Still There
Granted, he may be the one merciful note of continuity from the glory years, but Randy Jackson can't carry the load all by himself. Randy being the last one standing (or sitting) is like having an Idol contestant reunion show to which only Sanjaya shows up. Randy, I'm sorry, dawg, but in a leadership role? I'm just not feelin' you.
2. The Lambert Factor
Season 8 will go down in Idol history as the beginning of the end, because it's widely held that Adam Lambert should have, by all rights, won. Even more important is the belief that he lost in part because he was gay. This has caused a mass defection from the fan base of both the GLBT community -- no small part of the viewing audience, that -- and a lot of young fans very sympathetic to gay and lesbian causes. Of course, it was also claimed that Lambert's loss was just winner Kris Allen's home state of Arkansas seriously stuffing the digital ballot box, and that it had nothing to do with homophobia. Too close to call, though; we're talking about Arkansas, after all.
1. Simon Leaving
Face it, fans: Simon is what made Idol not just watchable, but downright good TV. Without Simon, Idol becomes... well, Star Search. And really, nobody wants that.