Gail Berman’s American Idol Delusion

According to Gail Berman, head of Fox’s entertainment division, ratings for American Idol are expected to be lower this season (Reuters via Yahoo! News [no longer available]).

Berman says this is a natural consequence of the show’s age—it being in the fourth season and all. I say, bull.

American Idol will have lower ratings this year (if, in fact, it does) for one simple reason: The voting system is flawed, and mediocre/annoying singers excel while the great ones are kicked off early. People like me are tired of watching something so antithetical to reality.


  • Ruben, who was good, beat Clay, who was much better. Ruben’s win was the first major sign that something was amiss in the American Idol universe.
  • That Fantasia even made it into the top 10 last season is proof enough; that she ultimately won is nothing short of reprehensible. We’ve already had one Macy Gray, enough already.
  • George Huff and La Toya London were kicked off early in the last season, despite being—hands-down—the two best singers in the competition.
  • The other men in last season’s top 10—John Stevens and John Peter Lewis—didn’t deserve to be there at all, but inexplicably lasted longer than notably better contestants.

I might watch American Idol now-and-then this season, but I’m not going to invest any emotion or effort or time into it if the producers cannot develop a voting system that is fair and keeps the good contestants in the game. Fantasia? Come on now, be serious.

Scott Bradford has been putting his opinions on his website since 1995—before most people knew what a website was. He has been a professional web developer in the public- and private-sector for over twenty years. He is an independent constitutional conservative who believes in human rights and limited government, and a Catholic Christian whose beliefs are summarized in the Nicene Creed. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. He loves Pink Floyd and can play the bass guitar . . . sort-of. He’s a husband, pet lover, amateur radio operator, and classic AMC/Jeep enthusiast.