With tepid sales and a decided lack of buzz, it looks like the 51-city tour may be in for an overhaul. This is not surprising. Ratings for the show were down this year and reviewers have questioned the dynamism and star power of the contestants. There was something fundamentally wrong with the premise of American Idol -- the judges rip the contestants to shreds week after week, then the producers ask you to fork up money to go see them live.
But after just two nights of shows, it is clear that there is talent on the stage. The real problem is that the titular headliners are not exciting enough to draw in the crowds. Crystal is very talented but her style is best suited for more intimate venues. Other, more established singers in her genre are also not packing them in.
Lee is fairly indistinguishable from other Nickleback/Creed gravely voiced singers and has zero presence on stage. His performances thus far have been entertaining karaoke, but not electric. He may impress his existing fans, but there's nothing there to bring in new ones.
That brings me to what AI should do fix the show. Three words -- more Casey James. He has what it takes to get a crowd going. To excite people to come to a show, to put on such a sizzling performance that word of mouth quickly spreads.
They should ignore their own mandate that the number of songs be tied to how you place and instead tweak the show to spotlight the strongest performer. Let Casey do what he does -- get people excited about music.
Let him take his rightful place as the star of the show. He's already been stealing it, let's make it official.