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Some people resist change, others embrace it. And on January 19, 2011 when "American Idol" will premiere for its 10th season, it will be telling whether "Idol" viewers are rejecting the numerous changes or if they will embrace it. In the middle sits those who will watch, but who will do so with an amount of skepticism.
I asked several past viewers to weigh in with their thoughts about the upcoming season.
The JudgesIt was a shock at the beginning of last season when it was announced that Simon Cowell would be leaving the show come the end of Season 9. Since then, Ellen DeGeneres left, Kara DioGuardi left... and the lone ranger left standing is his mighty dawgness, Randy Jackson. This is the primary reason why viewers are skeptical and why some will not be watching this season.
"With the judges jumping off (all but Randy), I have no interest in watching the mess that is to come," says Nikol Purvis of Florida.
"I just can't imagine 'American Idol' without Simon!" says Amber Mathewson of Alabama.
Many former viewers also cited Simon leaving as the main reason they wouldn't watch the new season.
Even with all the departures, though, the four-judge format will remain as the show will bring in Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Jimmy Iovine. On the other end of the spectrum from previous viewer comments, it is because of these new additions that some viewers are hopeful.
"I'll definitely be... watching. Steven Tyler will be a highly entertaining train wreck," says Angie Mohr of Georgia.
"I am going to watch this season because of all of the changes. I'm a big fan of Jimmy Iovine and believe he might be able to turn this around," says Debbie Henthorn of Ohio.
"I want to see how Jennifer Lopez will do. I am a huge Aerosmith fan, so I am very excited aobut seeing Steven Tyler on the show, even though I would have never imagined him as an 'American Idol' judge," says Holly Gothard of Alabama.
Overall, it looks as though Steven Tyler is the new favorite judge coming in as many viewers commented that he would be the main reason they would watch. However, Tamara McRill of Illinois stated that she would probably go back to watching now after having been bored with the show before. "'AI' needed new blood," she said.
A Talent Competition or Something Superficial?
Many viewers commented that "American Idol" reached its peak a long time ago. Some said it wasn't entertaining anymore and it was too predictable, while others were upset at the apparent lack of talent vs. winning. Pam Gaulin of Massachusetts says, "The show has proven that the best (Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert) does not always win."
Kathy Foust of Indiana says, "I was completely turned off by the fact that the show is promoted as some sort of talent contest, but really it's all about the judges and has very little to do with talent."
"American Idol" rankings are actually a bit surprising. Since the season finale of Season 2 in 2004, "American Idol" has not slipped under the no. 3 spot, despite the judging changes in the past. Last May, as Lee DeWyze won the title over Crystal Bowersox, the show held steady at no. 2.
In keeping with the same audition/Hollywood/live performance/viewer voting format of season's past, without Simon Cowell, the outlook seemed very grim for the show. However, with Steven Tyler coming on board, there just might be an entirely new audience ready to watch.
"American Idol" will likely stay on top of the ratings for Season 10.
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