American Idol finale ratings suffered the most humiliating decline to date in a season that has been fraught with viewer indifference.
According to a Friday report from The Wrap, the show’s big night collapsed into a 3.6 rating (around 14.3 million viewers), which is not even half the draw that it reached during its more successful years.
To put it in a more recent context, compared to last season’s finale, the show was down 44 percent in its key demographic. (Last season it pulled in 21.5 million viewers.)
While in the past even contestants that didn’t win became household names — Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry — it wasn’t unusual Friday morning to tell your friends and neighbors that — SPOILER ALERT — Candice Glover had won, and receive a courtesy shrug and blank look in response.
Of course, the low American Idol finale ratings were hardly unexpected. The show has struggled all season. In March, the reality singing competition was averaging around 18 million viewers compared to an all-time high of close to 37 million.
Those numbers were disappointing at the time, so the fact the episode that should have had the highest amount of viewer interest came in under that, only makes matters worse.
A huge part of the problem has been Fox’s inability to put together a panel of judges to hold viewer interest. Recently, Randy Jackson, the last remaining original, stepped down ahead of a probable termination.
Nicki Minaj also got out ahead of the pink slip with a report earlier this month stating that Fox was on the verge of putting the ax to all four of its panel members:
While Keith Urban has expressed an interest in returning, it’s unlikely at this point that he or Mariah Carey will get the call. And Carey certainly didn’t help her stock with a fan-angering lip-synch performance on a recent broadcast.
What do you think? Are the American Idol finale ratings the final nail in the coffin for this panel of judges? And should they be?