Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Please Don't Make Me Watch a Glorified Talent Show

There was a rumor going around that Howard Stern might replace Simon Cowell as a judge on American Idol. I don't know if there is any truth to the rumor, I actually suspect that it was just a publicity stunt from both camps, but I might actually choose to watch American Idol if Stern is a judge. It seems like a good fit to me: he's wickedly judgemental, he's refreshingly honest, he loves American Idol, he likes music, and he was a disc jockey before basically becoming a radio talk show host.

I kind of like the idea, but I'm in the minority. Apparently American Idol fans are frothing at the prospect and it sounds like the sky will rain frogs if Howard Stern is a judge. I don't quite get the vitriol, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I would guess that the American Idol demographic (probably chicks or young kids) is definitely not Howard Stern's demographic (probably guys).

I am aware of American Idol, but I have never watched it. No, really. I haven't even watched a few minutes of it while waiting for another program to start. I'm not even sure I can say what network it's on, but I'll guess CBS, NBC, or ABC because they're the Big 3. Why haven't I watched it? Well, I don't care for talent shows and, though I like to sing karaoke, I sure as heck don't like listening to other people. Based on the commercial clips, I have never felt that I'm missing anything.

I don't live under a rock and I have heard plenty about the show. I have also had to endure clips that Howard Stern has played over the years. Frankly, it sounds pretty terrible. Crappy music and wimpy judges doesn't equal fun entertainment for me. Well, Simon doesn't sound wimpy and at least he actually has an opinion. You know, like a judge should sound. Frankly, he would have been the only reason that I may have watched. But people believe that he's "mean" because he's being honest about his opinion. An opinion that contestants are asking to hear.

And now I hear that they have Ellen DeGeneres as a judge. What?! Call me crazy, but how is she qualified to be the judge of a singing competition? Isn't she supposed to be a comedian, actress, or talk show host or something? I have to believe that the main demographic for American Idol is women because I don't see guys tuning in to hear what Ellen has to say about the contestants.

I have been a Howard Stern fan since 1994. I'm not a super-fan or anything, but I do enjoy listening to his show. We also try to catch the Killers of Comedy (filled with show regulars, staffers, and the occasional whack-packer) when they are in town. Heck, we kept the cable provider we have because they offer Howard TV on-demand. Hm, maybe we are super-fans? His show is 10 x better on Sirius. He actually gets A-list guests promoting their latest projects; Hugh Jackman's interview had me chuckling for days over his embarrassing Freudian slip. They have better bits now. And, most importantly, no freaking censorship. It's not a cuss-fest or a boob-fest, but there is always the possibility that it can happen because there is no dreaded kill button. Men of a certain age seem to be most interested in the Sybian, but it is truly a small part of the show. I'm a middle-aged suburban housewife & mother and it doesn't often prompt me to change the channel.

It seems that he would be something like a breath of fresh air for the show. It's been on for ages. They sound like they might be slipping in the ratings. The most compelling judge is leaving. This seems like a perfect time to bring a controversial judge on board.

But I'm not a network exec, so what the heck do I know. I mean, I never would have moved the number one late night host (Leno) to a show during prime time. I just don't have that mind for innovation I guess. (snark intended)

Honestly though, I do hope it is just a baseless rumor because I don't really want to start a relationship with another television show and I would want to check it out if Howard is judging. Please, network execs and Howard Stern, don't make me watch a glorified talent show.

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