Nine Ways American Idol Can Improve the Audition Phase

Wednesday night American Idol closed the 7th season auditions with one more look at the good, the bad and the ugly.  At first, I was dreading yet one more night of auditions, but in truth I actually liked this episode better than the city by city auditions. 

AI JudgesThis year was my first experience with the audition phase of American Idol and after eight nights of watching auditions I was ready to throw in the towel on auditions in the future.  But after this last show, I started thinking about what kind of changes would entice me to tune back in next season. 

So without further ado, here’s my Top 9 Ways to Improve American Idol auditions.

1.  Shorten the Phase

For the last four weeks, we’ve been tuning into American Idol two nights a week.  Counting this last installment, I’ve seen 10 hours of auditions for seven cities and I’m sure Fox loves the ratings boost it’s given them.  But I think it was dragged out way too long.  Auditions should be one week at the most.  I could go for two nights of two-hours combining all seven cities.

2.  Show More Auditions

I really liked the pace for this last hour of auditions, especially the first half.  We saw as many auditions (not counting those in the montages) in the first half hour as we saw on Tuesday night.  I think it’s possible with the right editing to show close to 20 auditions in an hour.

3.  Keep the Montages about the Contestants

The last two nights the montages have been about the judges – first Paula trying to make a decision and then Simon butchering names.  At least in the audition phase, the montages need to feature the competitors.

4.  Prevent Certain Artists

Since the contestants haven’t learned that there are certain artists whose songs they should not use for auditions, I think American Idol should ban certain artists’ songs from the audition phase all together.  Seriously, how many people have ever made it through singing Janis Joplin?  At minimum, I suggest banning Joplin, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.  I couldn’t think of any male artists off the top of my head.  Any suggestions?

5.  Keep Back Stories Brief

Why oh why do they spend valuable time on back stories for people who don’t make it past the first round?  At the very least, let’s keep the stories brief.  I’d rather learn an interesting tidbit about five contestants than a five-minute back story about one contestant.  Sure I was grossed out by the guy who collected finger nails, but it made me wonder about how he was going to sound?

6.  Stop Giving So Much Air Time to Ill-Mannered

Go ahead and show the bad auditions, but do we really need to watch five minutes of them cussing at Simon afterwards?  We shouldn’t encourage rude, nasty behavior by giving them so much airtime

7.  Stop Showing All the Dancing

It’s one thing to show someone dancing as part of their audition or back story, but why are we watching someone dance badly for five minutes in front of the blue background just to watch them dance?  American Idol is a show about singing, not dancing, right?

8.  Limit the Stupid Icons

If I see one more giant logo for Moment of Truth taking up my screen so that I can’t see all of the audition I’m going to scream!  We all know that Moment of Truth is on next, we’ve already seen four commercials for it.  Give us the room to watch the auditions.

9.  Stop the Spoilers in the Teasers

I understand why Ryan does the teasers before each commercial break to promo the rest of the show.  But seriously why do we need to come back if you keep giving away the best part of the audition or the outcomes in the teaser?  Let these promos tease us instead of spoiling it for us.

So tell me what would it take for you to keep tuning into the audition phase of American Idol?

Next week we head to Hollywood, where the 164 with golden tickets are whittled down to the Top 24.  Here’s a recap of the 164 (I only count 163.  Sorry I don’t know who I’m missing):

20 from Atlanta

17 from Miami

19 from Omaha

23 from Charleston

31 from San Diego

24 from Dallas

29 from Philadelphia

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