By Michael Slezak
Updated May 05, 2008 at 10:40 PM EDT
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I know, I know, I write a googillion words a week about American Idol — and I’ve already referenced an unfunny Ben Stiller “Idol Gives Back” joke in the first sentence of this blog item! — but all the recent press about the show slipping in the advertiser-craved 18-34 demographic, and now having a median viewer age of (le gasp!) 42, got me thinking.

As Idolatry viewer Lee Chesnut from Barnard, Vt., griped in a recent e-mail titled “Oldies Idol,” the show has been bizarrely reluctant to allow season 7 contestants to sing contemporary songs. “Neil Diamond Week, Andrew Lloyd Weber Week, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Week, Dolly Parton Week, Beatles Week (twice!), ’60s Week, ’70s Week, ’80s Week…. I mean it’s almost cruel to imagine this season’s winner being turned loose to compete in the ‘real world’,” Lee writes, before hitting the all-caps button. “WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY FAVORITE SHOW??”

Exactly.To remedy the heinoustries, I say we brainstorm some new and exciting theme weeks that will keep the MTV set happy without alienating Oldie Olsens (like me). I’ll get the party started!

  • Timbaland Night: Why not turn to the dude (pictured) who seemingly produces half the hits on today’s Billboard chart? Lest we forget, he’s even worked with Ashlee Simpson, so it’s not like he can say Idol‘s beneath him!
  • Dream Duets Night: The contestants get to choose any artist in the world for a duet partner, then collaborate with said star to select the perfect song/arrangement.
  • Undiscovered Songwriters Night: Idol producers offer up a pool of, say, 100 undiscovered songwriters, and after listening to their demos, each contestant gets to choose one with whom they’d like to collaborate.

Okay, PopWatchers, there’s three from me. Your turn!

addCredit(“Timbaland: Chad Buchanan/Getty Images”)

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