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"Idol" finale crowd hits 23 million

Gallery: Lee DeWyze wins "American Idol" | Article: Lee DeWyze beats Crystal Bowersox on 'American Idol' in Simon Cowell's farewell

About 23.2 million people watched Simon Cowell's swan song on "American Idol" Wednesday night, according to early stats. Oh, and viewers voted to crown yet another scruffy Super-Safe Rocker Boy with soulful eyes winner of this alleged singing competition......zzzzzzzzzzz

"Idol's" Tuesday and Wednesday broadcasts were already secure of their status as the No. 1 and No. 2 shows of the TV season, respectively, going into this week's final performance and results episodes.

But Wednesday's two-plus-hour finale attracted the show's smallest audience since the franchise's very first season, when Kelly Clarkson was crowned "American Idol's" very first winner in the summer of 2002. An even 23 million tuned in to that episode. But who knows how many people tuned in to this past Wednesday's show just to see how Simon would bow out, and what unpredictable former judge Paula Abdul might say and/or do in making her triumphant one-night return to the show.

Early numbers for this past Wednesday do not include the several-minute overrun so final ratings could go up. But there's no way the numbers will wind up anywhere near the 28.8 million who watched last May's 8th season finale when Kris Allen was named Ford Motor Company's new "Idol" ad spokesman, er, the 2009 American Idol.

About 30 million bright-eyed fans tuned in to the very first episode of "Idol" this season.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 27, 2010; 11:53 AM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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The Crystals and Siobhans will never get a fair shake until Idol repairs it's voting system and eliminates power-texting tweens as dictating who remains in elimination rounds and who wins. Right now, 2% of the audience power-votes - generally people entirely outside the advertiser's sought after 14-49 years old demographic.
To combat this, producers offer preferred candidates they deem likely to sell huge pimp packages and early PR. And judges agree to go easy on the selected ones (this year Garcia, Crystal, Big Mike, Lee, and Katie singing for her senile grandmother). Which further undermines crediblity of AI as viewers see double-standards and early elimination of highly talented and entertaining contestants (Alex Lambert, Siobhan - who producers badly erred in not understanding just how talented, charismatic and entertaining she was - she was just "the odd girl out of nowhere" to them.

"and viewers voted to crown yet another scruffy Super-Safe Rocker Boy with soulful eyes winner of this alleged singing competition......zzzzzzzzzzz"

That's how the system is set up. For 9 year olds with a cell phone and 2 hours to power vote for their dreamiest guy -as parents scream at them to go to bed.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | May 27, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Twenty-three million idiots. I read a book. What some people consider entertainment is beyond my comprehension.

Posted by: mortified469 | May 27, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I read a book while watching Idol. I guess that makes me a smug, morally superior idiot.

Posted by: blove121 | May 27, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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