American Idol
Credit: Michael Becker / FOX

Since “everything is on the table” regarding the future of American Idol anyway, one of the first things Fox should do is follow Dancing With the Stars‘ (and the network’s own So You Think You Can Dance) lead in eliminating its results show for next season. Agree/disagree/or so totally over it already? Vote below.

It’s obvious, though, right? The Idol results show is nothing but trouble, from the either achingly lip-synced or barely audible group numbers, to the tragic Ford product-placement segments, to the plodding clip-show recaps of each contestant, to Ryan Seacrest’s endless commercial-break fakeouts. It’s not the series’ biggest problem by a long shot, but it is certainly a mess.

As an episode recapper, I can somehow still manage to find a twisted delight in trying to wrangle enough meaning and humor from an hour’s worth of non-content — but that’s just me being a consummate professional. I wouldn’t expect any sane non-masochist viewer to say the same. After all, I only recap the Idol results show because it’s there — screechingly, festeringly there. The bottom line is that the results show is painful and detracts from the show’s dwindling credibility.

If Idol doesn’t want to downsize to one show per week, it could at least shorten the results to 30 minutes — or even consolidate the results to a commercial-length spot within Fox’s next-night primetime lineup. Most people only really pay attention to the last two minutes anyway. The results could even just pop up online at a certain hour the next day. I’d miss all the on-air (and on-sofa, closer to home) crying, but I’d live. They could probably find a way to incorporate tears into the one big show anyway.

If Idol did do just one show per week, it could cut down on filler and play around with the format — maybe pit the last week’s bottom two in a sudden-death sing-off or something. And when it was all over, the sun would come out again (except for the contestant who’d died) and we’d all get our Thursdays back.

What do you think? Should reality TV results shows just be deleted altogether?

Episode Recaps

Dancing With the Stars
  • TV Show
  • 30
  • ABC