American Idol Ratings Plunging

American Idol which drew over 20 million viewers in all but two shows in Season 10 in 39 shows, has only drawn over 20 million viewers once in  Season 11 and that was when the season opener drew 21 million. The first three shows in Season 10 drew roughly 74 million while the first three shows in Season 11 drew about 59 million, a loss of 15 million viewers and around 5 million less viewers per show.

It is apparent that X-Factor started the trend of losing viewers since X-Factor ran from September through December, then a month later American Idol starts their new season. Throw in The Voice debuting on Super Bowl night to an astounding 37 million viewers after their Super Bowl lead-in.

However, The Voice has drawn less viewers each week since their debut and have seen their viewership dwindle down to 14 million in this week’s show.  The main attraction to me for The Voice are the blind auditions. Now they are over I look for ratings to drop even more,

American Idol Season 11 ratings bottomed out during Week 13, when they drew 15.6 million viewers. 16.1 million viewers watched the Final 13 boys perform on Tuesday night, but the Wednesday night ratings for the Final 13 girls have not been posted as of this minute.

The Voice Season 1 drew only 34 million in their first three shows, but The Voice Season 2 drew 70 million, so the show is definitely drawing more viewers than in Season 1. The Voice needs a winner that will stand out and not someone like last year’s winner Javier Colon, who more or less disappeared for the most part since Season 1 ended.

American Idol producers have to be worried about the precipitous drop in the ratings. They will probably try some innovative ways of spiking  the ratings,  back to the 20 million mark. I look for American Idol to draw more viewers than The Voice, but I feel the American Idol phenomenon is showing signs of erosion in their viewer base.

It is still my favorite of the singing competition shows, but the genre has over saturated the television landscape and the glory days of American Idol may be over. We used to have American Idol alone being shown from January to May. Now we have singing competition shows starting in September and running through May, with only a gap of about three weeks, from X-Factor ending and American Idol beginning.

When Big Bang Theory and NCIS beat American Idol, it is time to rethink and seriously ponder, whether we need any more singing competitions.

It will be interesting to see if American Idol can go over the 20 million mark again this season. The Voice may be on a different night from American Idol, but their success has to weaken American Idol.

Meanwhile, Simon Cowell is fine-tuning X-Factor and thinking of hiring Britney Spears to be on the new judges, replacing Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. He is also considering having two hosts to replace Steve Jones, who was the most tense host I have seen of any TV show. Just his presence made me nervous and the producers need to hurry up the judges, if they are running over but by talking in their ear, not having the host remind them to speed them up like last season. Ryan Seacrest is a much smoother host who can handle any situation, unlike Jones who asked judges and contestants questions, they weren’t ready to answer at that moment, showcasing the lack of hosting skills by Jones.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see X-Factor, like the The Voice have better ratings in their second season. As of today in order of popularity it is American Idol, The Voice and X-Factor.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

2 thoughts on “American Idol Ratings Plunging”

  1. I’ve Honestly NEVER Made It Totally Through ONE-Whole-Episode Of Idol. EVER.
    PERIOD. hehehe
    …I Think “Star Search” When ED McM. Was Hosting Was The LAST Talent Program I Made It ALLLLL The Way Through.
    Did I Just Date Myself???

  2. I am 67 and don’t remember Star Search…so you are really dating yourself…Just kidding I watched Star Search almost as much as American Idol. I think of Star Search and think of Sam Harris. Whatever happened to him?

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