1. More Real People
Enough with utilizing the greatest of all platforms to showcase people who, A) have already been on television (David Archuleta), or B) have already had record deals (Carly Smithson). We want to see real people getting their one shot at fame, not professional contestants adding another notch to their belts.
2. Shorter Elimination Shows
We’re not naive. We know how television works: The longer the television episode is, the more money Fox makes. But can we make a deal? Feel free to drag on the elimination shows as long as you want once we reach the top 12. For those 12 shows, we’ll watch every dorky group number, every corny Ford commercial, even the crazy Kenny Rogers performances. But until then, keep it short, OK? We deserve to have our own lives, and “Idol” requires a bigger time commitment than the neediest girlfriend or boyfriend.
3. More From Behind the Scenes
We’re tired of having to scour blogs to find out who is kissing whom, who’s gay and who hates each other. Just show it already! Plus, a Ryan Seacrest-narrated package stating, “After the girls got home from the elimination round, a pillow fight ensued,” will surely raise those ratings right back to 2006 levels.
4. Change It Up, Judges
Adding a fourth judge will obviously transform the dynamic, but what about asking the other judges to step up? Yes, we know Simon doesn’t like it when you forget your lyrics, Randy often isn’t feeling it, and Paula is … Paula. But maybe it’s time for these guys to step up the criticism a bit. Both the contestants — and the audience — are ready to hear some new ideas.
5. Enough With the Oldies
Apparently producers are promising some younger mentors for season eight, and we’re all the better for it. No offense to Neil Diamond, but there are only so many awkward moments we can take with contestants acting excited to meet someone they’ve never heard of. You’re the most-watched show on TV — get some stars the contestants care about!