No Jax. No Glory. R.I.P. Idol

So here’s how these musings will go. I’m going to be angry. I may or may not edit said angry musings. If I don’t edit them, I may offend some of you, which is not my intent. Which really means (as we all know) here’s my opinion and if you decide to be offended, I’m fine with that.

Which also means I’m not likely to edit my musings.

That Jax is not in the Finale is why Idol is being canceled. Not literally, of course. But logically, definitely.

Don’t read this as I’m upset My Girl lost. I’m upset because My Show lost.

Fact: The Fox suits canceled Idol due to its demographic skewing older. An older demo means:

  • less ad revenue for the show because older people buy fewer products;
  • less revenue from the music business because older people buy less music.

My concern is the latter, as it is for Idol’s creator, 19 Entertainment, which is primarily in the music business.

Idol’s big idea was that the public could discover a new star in the music business. For the first six years, that idea worked when tens of millions of people of all ages watched the show and produced a set of winners that was DIVERSE in musical style, age, race and gender.

As the ratings began to decline, the demographics of the viewers became older and narrower and, in effect, became a special interest group that had the power to control the outcome over all the other interests. As David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee Dewyze, Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips won Idol in consecutive years, the term “White Guy With Guitar” (WGWG) was invented on the internet to describe the typical Idol winner. I have no particular malice against any of these people[1][2] but I would ask you to look at the Top 40 over the last seven years and see how few “White Guys With Guitars” have been on the charts.

What has happened is a huge disconnect between the older Idol viewer and the younger music buyers. As a result, the show simply became less relevant to the real music business. Many of the changes that have been made to Idol over the past few years were attempts to make the show younger, hipper, edgier and more current.

This year, which was clearly the make or break year in terms of restoring its ratings and relevance in the music business, the show went all-in on trying to break the hold the WGWG voters had on the show. With quirky, non-traditional artists like Quassim, Joey, Quentin and Jax making deep runs on the show, the Evil Genius Producers and Big Machine Records’ Scott Borchetta had some success in influencing the viewers to consider artists more representative of what’s happening on hit radio and the music sales charts.

But in spite of those efforts, Idol’s penultimate finale will feature not one but two WGWGs! Rather than make a clear break from its recent past, it doubled-down on its recent history, instead.

Whether Jax had the talent to win is something that can be debated. That someone like Jax needed to win can’t be debated. That someone like Jax can’t win is exactly why the show was canceled. The disconnect between the show’s demographic and the reality of the music business simply could not be connected and Fox decided to stop trying.

As one tweeter cleverly wrote:

As my mom said when we had to put Kitty down in’ 97, “He’s not himself anymore. He’s sick, not cleaning himself. It’s for the best”


[1] OK, Off-Key Lee was awful. And Kris Allen hasn’t done as well by a long shot as that Lambert guy he “won” over. And the fact is that that only Phillip Phillips is still around in a meaningful way.

[2] I went to see David Cook in concert a few years ago. That I wound up sitting next to a stranger who is now a dear friend was totally awesome, I was stunned at how, uh, old, the audience was. When I’m NOT the oldest person at a show I go to, it’s pretty weird.

Explore posts in the same categories: Mindless Rant or Intelligent Commentary, Results


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

3 Comments on “No Jax. No Glory. R.I.P. Idol”

  1. Cheryl Says:

    Ray, I wrote a book— and then deleted it. SMH. I miss my old friend, American Idol. I fear she is already gone and the next and final season will only be a long train ride home. Sometimes, as much fun as it was, I wish I had never gotten to know her so personally. Intimacy is a delicate thing. Idol and I were better as friends…. Then again, she gave me you, and for that I am grateful 🙂

  2. Sherri B. Says:

    I changed the channel at 8:08 because I just couldn’t find any desire to watch two hours of Clark and that other guy (I genuinely can’t remember his name – how telling is that)? This has been the worst year yet and the show needs to be put out of its misery. I miss the good old days of Idol – the excitement and anticipation, and meeting new friends at music venues!! 😊

  3. Nanette Says:

    So disappointed that Jax went home. Best performer of the three! SHE can fill a concert venue. I don’t see Clarke or Nick going far. But with the choice, I would pick Nick. Hahaha! Picnic! I really hope the final season is good. Sad to see the end but knew it had to happen. Thanks for your wonderful bloggings!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: