Thursday, April 28, 2011

The End of The Michael Scott Paper Company

That headline, of course, is a bit misleading. The actual Michael Scott Paper Company was bought out by Dunder Mifflin several years ago. But tonight marks the end of Michael Scott's tenure, both at Dunder Mifflin Scranton/Sabre (that's Say-ber, not Sah-bray) and on The Office.

And while the show lives on while Steve Carell moves on (which, along with Charlie Sheen's exit from Two and a Half Men, makes Josh Radnor TV's longest reigning sitcom star), it will certainly become a different series without the star who led it. Much of this will be determined by Carell/Scott's eventual permanent successor (spoiler alert- Will Ferrell isn't sticking around). But tonight is about celebrating Michael Scott.

The Michael Scott that we first met 7 years ago bares little resemblence with the one leaving our tv sets tonight. The pilot featured a David Brent clone, just without the beard or the accent. While Scott and Brent marveled at some of their similarities upon meeting earlier this year. But unlike Brent, who's Office reign in England lasted only two years, Scott changed significantly. He softened around the edges and it became clear he was moderately competent at his job. His employees grew to appreciate him- Pam went from telling him she hated him after he pretended to fire her in the pilot, to being the Renee Zellweger to his Tom Cruise when he left, to holding a meeting to help him with his proposal in Garage Sale.

Many others have written their farewell pieces this week better than I could, so here are some of those:
-TVLine's Top 32 Michael Moments
-Alan Sepinwall's Farewell
-E!'s 5 Things They'll Miss About Michael
-TVSquad's Mashup of Outrageous Michael Moments

2011 NFL Mock Draft First Round

I'm no Kiper, McShay, or Mayock, but like many others I like to make a mock draft. It will probably be mostly wrong (although I have some confidence in my top 8). I don't predict trades- if I get the player on the right team or at the right pick I'll be happy. Phil Taylor, the DE from Baylor, I have dropping out of the 1st round, and teams will try to trade up with NE to get him with the 33rd pick, although if the Pats go OL/QB as I have them doing, they could easily take Taylor themselves.

C. Newton
V. Miller
Texas A&M
M. Dareus
A.J. Green
B. Gabbert
J. Jones
P. Peterson
N. Fairley
A. Castonzo
Boston Col.
J. Locker
J. Smith
R. Quinn
P. Amukamara
T. Smith
C. Jordan
A. Dalton
M. Pouncey
J.J. Watt
G. Carimi
C. Liuget
D. Bowers
N. Solder
A. Smith
M. Ingram
C. Ponder
Florida St.
A. Williams
C. Heyward
Ohio State
R. Mallett
R. Kerrigan
A. Ayers
D. Watkins
R. Williams
Virginia Tech

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

100 Predictions

In Bergeronian order, here are 100 random predictions, based on nothing:

1. One cast member of The Office other than Steve Carell will leave by the end of season 8. It may not be one of the leads, but one of the cast members will leave.
2. If that cast member isn't Mindy Kaling, she will have been promoted to a lead role, whether or not Kelly replaces Michael as the boss.
3. Ken Jeong will be the breakout star of The Hangover 2, more than he was from Knocked Up or The Hangover.
4. This will lead to a bump in Community's ratings, to the point where it is able to last at least 5 seasons and hit syndication.
5. The Arrested Development movie will be made by the end of 2013.
6. Of the sitcoms currently on network television, Parks and Recreation will outlast all the others.
7. The final season of Entourage will be better than the last season by a mile.
8. By the time the first seasons of each end, The Voice will have higher average ratings than X Factor.
9. But both The Voice and X Factor will be nowhere near American Idol's averages.
10. We will meet the mother on How I Met Your Mother before we learn she is the mother.
11. But we will learn she is the mother within 2 episodes of meeting her.
12. Cam Newton will be a better NFL QB than Blaine Gabbert.
13. At least one QB from this draft will be better than both Newton or Gabbert. It might be Locker, Dalton, Ponder, or Mallett, I don't know, but at least one of them will be the best QB in the draft.
14. The Jets will draft a defensive player with their first pick.
15. The Jets will draft more players in this draft than they have in either of the past two drafts.
16. The NFL lockout will not affect the regular season.
17. Donald Trump may or may not run for president. But either way he will fail to win a single primary.
18. The Republican nominee in 2012 will be a former/current governor.
19. Barack Obama will be reelected. It will be closer than the 2008 election, but the result will never truly be in doubt.
20. The Democrats will remain in control of the Senate after the 2012 election. There may not even be a change in the net total.
21. The Republicans will remain in control of the House after the 2012 election. The Democrats will gain a few seats, but not many.
22. The next Supreme Court justice to retire will be Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
23. Ginsburg will be replaced by an African American.
24. Hillary Clinton will not remain Secretary of State in the 2nd administration.
25. Hillary will run for president in 2016.
26. Vice President Biden will not run for president in 2016.
27. Katie Couric will have massive success as a talk show host on ABC, and will get to do the stories on 20/20 that she wanted to do when she had 60 Minutes appearances written into her CBS contract.
28. Pia Toscano will be the first American Idol alum to be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
29. She will finish better than she did on Idol.
30. She won't win.
31. The first Mets no hitter will come before they make the playoffs again.
32. Prince William and Kate Middleton will remain married, and they will eventually become King and Queen.
33. The Phantom of the Opera will close on Broadway by the end of 2014.
34. Versus will be renamed NBC Sports and will eventually feature an extra hour of pregame for Sunday night football on NBC.
35. Win or lose, Lauren Alaina will have the most hits of any of the top 6 for season 10 of American Idol.
36. No future Idol winner will ever be as successful as Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood.
37. No future Idol winner will ever be less successful than Taylor Hicks.
38. Derek Jeter will never sign another major league contract.
39. Grey's Anatomy will outlast Private Practice.
40. The restaurant chain created by the winner of America's Next Great Restaurant will close within three years.
41. ANGR won't be renewed, but a similarly themed show will show up on cable within two years and be significantly more successful.
42. An AFC team will win the Super Bowl in 2012.
43. A comedy will win the Academy Award for Best Picture this decade.
44. I haven't watched the show, but I don't think Boston Rob will win Survivor. He's currently 0-for-4-for-CBS reality shows.
45. Whoever replaced Regis on Live! will be somewhat famous, but not a household name.
46. A Broadway revival of Pippin will occur in the next 5 years. It will be a success, and feature a major, a-list star.
47. Either CBS's Mark Schlereth sitcom or it's Colin Cowherd sitcom will make it on air, but not both.
48. The NBA lockout will cut into the 2011-12 season.
49. Kobe Bryant will not win another NBA title if the Lakers don't win this year.
50. Phil Jackson will not coach again after this year.
51. Mike Piazza will go into the Hall-of-Fame as a Met, and the Mets will retire #31 in his honor. The Dodgers will retire it as well. The Marlins, Padres, and Athletics will forget he played for them.
52. Chuck will be picked up for a final 13-episode season.
53. Two and a Half Men will try something next season, but it will fail and the show will be cancelled.
54. Charlie Sheen will never have a scripted tv series again.
55. Big Bang Theory will have a bounce back season next year.
56. Modern Family will not have a bounce back season, but will stay at the level of this season.
57. There will be no more Law and Orders by 2013.
58. Despite deserving it, Jon Hamm won't win the Best Actor Emmy this year.
59. The killer on The Killing is not going to be anyone discussed as a suspect up to this point.
60. There will be a new, better statistic to replace QB Rating in the next year.
61. Neither the MLB or the NBA will have contraction, even though both leagues have taken ownership of teams in the past year.
62. The Sacramento Kings will remain in Sacramento for the at least the next 2 seasons.
63. Aaron Sorkin's HBO show will be the network's biggest hit since The Sopranos.
64. Zooey Deschanel's series will be the best new show on network television next year.
65. The NBC sitcom with Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph, and Will Arnett will last only one season.
66. Scott Pelley, from 60 Minutes, will replace Katie Couric as anchor of the nightly news.
67. Ratings won't improve with Pelley, but they won't drop, and he'll stay as anchor longterm, ending the turnover across the 3 networks over the past decade.
68. Fred Armisen will leave SNL after this season.
69. Jay Pharoah will take over as President Obama.
70. Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg will do a digital short when JT hosts next month, but it won't be related to Dick in a Box or Mother Lover.
71. Tina Fey will replace Lorne Michaels as head of SNL when he retires.
72. Jimmy Fallon will not replace Jay Leno when he leaves The Tonight Show again.
73. Joel McHale will leave The Soup in 2012.
74. Whenever Jon Stewart leaves The Daily Show, Olivia Munn will be his replacement.
75. The New York Islanders will move to Brooklyn in the same building as the Nets.
76. Glee will find a new lead teacher to replace or at least compliment Mr. Schuster by season four.
77. They'll find a way to keep Lea Michele on Glee even after Rachel Berry graduates from high school.
78. Isiah Washington will return to Grey's Anatomy before the series ends.
79. Katherine Heigl will not return to Grey's Anatomy.
80. The success of Jason Segel's Muppets movie will lead to a new Muppets tv series.
81. The Bones spinoff isn't going to air.
82. Better With You probably won't be picked up, but it's going to be a last minute, upfronts announcement.
83. The Rock of Ages movie is going to launch Julianne Hough to A-list superstardom.
84. Eliot Spitzer will run for the Democratic primary for NYC mayor in 2013.
85. He'll lose.
86. Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni will both be back with the Knicks for the start of next season.
87. Erik Spoelstra will not be the head coach of the Heat the next time they win an NBA title.
88. Cougar Town will last at least four seasons, bringing to an end any claim of a "Friends Curse."
89. NBC's Smash is either going to be phenominal or the worst show ever to air on national television.
90. It might not be Happy Endings, but Eliza Coupe will be a star of a hit, long running sitcom.
91. Tiger Woods will win 2 majors in the next 2 years.
92. A gay marriage proposition will pass a statewide election in 2012.
93. GW will replace Karl Hobbs with Vermont basketball coach Mike Lonergan.
94. Dwight Howard will be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers by the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.
95. Albert Pujols will be a St. Louis Cardinal for his entire career.
96. Kirsten Gillibrand will either eventually be the Democratic leader in the Senate of the Governor of New York.
97. Chris Bosh will never be elected to start an All Star game.
98. Washington, D.C. will get 2 voting senators and a representative by 2016.
99. Gwyneth Paltrow will eventually be an EGOT winner.
100. Neil Patrick Harris will host the Oscars, but not until after How I Met Your Mother ends.

Friday, April 15, 2011

NBA Awards and Playoff Predictions

1. Derrick Rose (Bulls)
2. Dwight Howard (Magic)
3. Kobe Bryant (Lakers)
4. LeBron James (Heat)
5. Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks)
Honorable Mentions: Manu Ginobili (Spurs), Dwyane Wade (Heat), Amar'e Stoudemire (Knicks), Kevin Durant (Thunder)

Rookie of the Year:
1. Blake Griffin (Clippers)
2. John Wall (Wizards)
3. Landy Fields (Knicks)
Honorable Mentions: DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Gary Neal (Spurs)

6th Man:
1. Lamar Odom (Lakers)
2. Glen Davis (Celtics)
3. Thaddeus Young (76ers)
Honorable Mentions: Jason Terry (Mavericks), George Hill (Spurs)

Coach of the Year:
1. Doug Collins (76ers)
2. Tom Thibodeau (Bulls)
3. George Karl (Nuggets)
Honorable Mentions: Gregg Popovich (Spurs), Nate McMillan (Trail Blazers)

Defensive Player of the Year:
1. Dwight Howard (Magic)
2. Tyson Chandler (Mavericks)
3. Kevin Garnett (Celtics)
Honorable Mentions: LeBron James (Heat), Serge Ibaka (Thunder)

Most Improved Player:
1. LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers)
2. Kevin Love (Timberwolves)
3. Kris Humphries (Nets)
Honorable Mentions: Derrick Rose (Bulls), Russell Westbrook (Thunder)

Eastern Conference:
1 Bulls over 8 Pacers in 4
2 Heat over 7 76ers in 5
3 Celtics over 6 Knicks in 7
4 Magic over 5 Hawks in 5

1 Bulls over 4 Magic in 5
3 Celtics over 2 Heat in 5

1 Bulls over 3 Celtics in 7

Western Conference:
1 Spurs over 8 Grizzlies in 6
2 Lakers over 7 Hornets in 5
6 Trail Blazers over 3 Mavericks in 7
4 Thunder over 5 Nuggets in 5

4 Thunder over 1 Spurs in 5
2 Lakers over 6 Trail Blazers in 4

2 Lakers over 4 Thunder in 7

NBA Finals:
Lakers over Bulls in 6
MVP: Lamar Odom

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some Random Thoughts About SNL 36x19 Mirren/Foo Fighters

Tonight Dame Helen Mirren hosts SNL for her first time. Mirren appeared in a digital short earlier this season in the Bryan Cranston episode. She is the 3rd British host in the past four episodes. Tonight she is promoting her new film "Arthur."

The Foo Fighters, the first band in the five-timers club, are making their 6th appearance. They first appeared in 1995 with host Anthony Edwards, then 1999 with Dylan McDermott, 2003 with Christopher Walken, 2005 with Jason Lee, and 2007 with Jon Bon Jovi. In addition, with 2 appearances with Nirvana, 1 with Them Crooked Vultures, and 1 with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dave Grohl becomes the 7th member of the 10-timers club, and the first to have never hosted.

Some predictions-
-With the return of ESPN Classic last week, I'm calling a comeback for Greg and Randy tonight.
-Helen Mirren said she will not do the Queen. So we won't get her Elizabeth meeting Armisen's.
-1 cameo, but I don't know who. Maybe Arthur costar Jennifer Garner who was in NY on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week.

Back at 11:30!

Sketch 1- We've got Armisen as Obama in the Oval Office, giving us an update on the budget. Everyone walked away unhappy. He's telling us how this made literally everyone unhappy. Repetitive and not all that funny. C.

Monologue- "Since most people know me for playing the Queen, I was afraid they'd make me play a queen in every sketch, but they did that last week with Elton John." She talks about how she's different from the Queen. She's now joined by the male cast for a rendition of South Pacific's "There is Nothing like a Dame." Pretty good. A-.

Sketch 2- Midbreak- we seem to be looking at a library. Mort Mort Feingold Celebrity Accountant is recurring? Time for a stream of impressions. Brittain's very good James Franco. Elliot, Pedrad, and Bayer as the Kardashians. Killam's pretty strong Ricky Martin. Pharoah's Will Smith. Mirren and Hader as Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton is absolutely brilliant! With Brittain as Depp. Armisen as Ghaddafi. Solid. B+.

Sketch 3- Digital short- Pedrad reveals to Mirren that she is her hero and asks her to touch her breasts. This leads to a variety of great images, including Moynihan as a tap dancing bee. Samberg then welcomes her to Helen Mirren's titties, a place greater than heaven. Dave Grohl is hanging out there. Wiig follows suit. Excellently random. A.

Sketch 4- Fox and Friends with Killam, Bayer, and Moynihan as the hosts. Boehner saved the government despite Obama's failings. They also hate Michelle Obama's anti-obesity program- if there are no fat kids, who is going to play the comic relief in Disney movies? Mexicans- just look at the kid on Modern Family! Here's Mirren as a border warrior. The Fox and Friends hosts bring in their birth certificates to show how easy it is. Then we see a quick flash of corrections by the fact checkers. Too fast to read but I saw mentions of Lionel Richie and Rebecca Black. B.

Sketch 5- Midbreak- we're looking at some sort of old-timey, revolutionary sketch. Mirren plays Mary Shelley for the release of Frankenstein. Armison is her landlord, who looks quite a bit like Frankenstein's monster. His name is Frank Stein. He accurately predicts that over time people will confuse Frankenstein and the monster and combine them to one. Brittain plays Stein's son, a hunchback named Igor. B+.

Music 1- The Foo Fighters perform "Rope." I feel the need again to point out this is lead man Dave Grohl's 10th SNL appearance, placing him behind only Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Goodman and Paul Simon, and tying him with Buck Henry and Tom Hanks. That's rather elite company.

Weekend Update- Shutdown averted. Cuts to flowers, sunshine, and hugging. Glenn Beck. Royal Wedding. Here's Hader's James Carville. He was apparently raised by eels. Also he's apparently a big Mambo #5 fan. Sing Sing Prison Condos. Baggy jeans. Flavor Flav's chicken. Wiig as a flight attendant from Southwest flight with a hole in the plane. This is not particularly funny. Credit cards for prostitutes. Mama Bieber's birthday. Incestual reverend. And here's Kenan's French Def Jam comedian Jean K. Jean. Zut Alors! Zombie fan. Walk to wedding. B.

Sketch 6- Midbreak- some sort of apartment or office. No it's a TV show, The Best of Both Worlds with Samberg's Hugh Jackman, both the most masculine and feminine man in the world. Here's Killam as Gerard Butler of 300/Phantom of the Opera fame. Now Kenan as Ice Cube. And Mirren as a rather believable Julie Andrews. Andrews is apparently a crazy biyotch if you get her coffee wrong. B-.

Sketch 7- DJ SUPERSOAK AND LIL BLASTER FOR UNDER UNDER GROUND RECORD'S CRUNK ASS EASTER!!! DJ Vlade Divac! Scrambled egg hunt! Will Shortz and a Female Gremlin! The white guys from the 1993 Michigan basketball team! A memorial for Ass Dan! 60 Minutes performed  live! The Chilean Minors! Helen Mirren running the dunk tank of Elian Gonzalez! Free sex show from the green M&M! It all takes place on the streets of Libya! As always, completely awesome! A+.

Sketch 8- Midbraek- Some sort of formal office. It's the Reelz miniseries The Roosevelts, with Hader as FDR and Mirren as Eleanor. Pretty solid parody. "Even if Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian, it's highly unlikely she had an affair with Marilyn Monroe who was 5 at the time." 10% Factual and 20% Entertaining. Kenan as a 4th-wall breaking Teddy Roosevelt! A nude Eleanor ordering the attack on Pearl Harbor. "When everyone else passes, it shows up on Reelz." A.

Sketch 9- Prerecorded sketch. Perspectives Photo Studios to make sure the picture of your penis is as impressive as possible. Seth Meyers as himself gives a tutorial! Pretty good. A.

Music 2- Foo Fighters perform "Walk."

Sketch 10- We're at Bongo's strip club, where we are celebrating MC Jason Sudeikis' last day. We've had some pole dancing from Elliot and Pedrad. This was the last sketch of the night for a reason. Now a patriotically dressed Wiig. Now, predictably Mirren as a tired old exotic dancer. This is really rather boring. The audience seems to be groaning more than laughing. Grohl is Sudeikis' replacement. D.

Overall- Odd episode that started okay, dipped around Update, and then peaked in the second half before a poor sketch in the garbage slot. Still, overall a strong showing and Mirren was well used. B+.

How I'd Fix American Idol

American Idol is the highest rated show on television, and has been pretty much since Season 2. Therefore, they have no reason to change anything. They can keep the show exactly how it is and consistently get their 20 million viewers.

But they could also improve the show. And unlike many hit shows, Idol has never been afraid to make changes. I'm looking at you, Brian Dunkleman.

In fact, this season has had perhaps the greatest overhaul of any. Gone are Kara DioGuardi, Ellen Degeneres and the show's first star, Simon Cowell, and in are Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. The show's musical director has changed as Ricky Minor has taken most of his band over to The Tonight Show. They cut down the never ending semi-finals to one week, and added the mentoring of Jimmy Iovine. Theme weeks have been broadened to prevent the "country singer gets eliminated on disco night" effect.

Yet the show is, in almost all respects, the same. The singer has some introductory video, he/she sings, the judges comment- almost exclusively positive, with any negative remarks being loudly booed- the singer nods in agreement, Seacrest gives the phone numbers, and we go to commercial. Repeat as necessary. Justin Guarini did it that way, and so did Kellie Pickler and Sanjaya Malakar and Lil Rounds. That's how it goes.

And as well as that has worked, this week's elimination of Pia Toscano, an overwhelming frontrunner and one of the most talented singers the show has ever had, also showed some of the flaws with America's #1 show. And that, in turn, has allowed me to present my suggestions on how I would change American Idol:

1. Make the Judges Count- Outside of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and maybe Chris Daughtry, the biggest star Idol has created is Simon Cowell. And yet Cowell, along with the 6 others who have regularly sat on the Nigel Lythgoe appointed bench (in early seasons, there were guest judges to go with the theme weeks), are essentially powerless. Unlike their metaphor-spouting, panel-touting, ballroom-inclined cohorts on America's 2nd highest rated show, Idol judges have no actual say when the live shows begin. Bruno Tonioli may be less comprehensible than Paula Abdul, but while Abdul's "you look beautifuls" couldn't prevent Taylor Hicks from grabbing the Idol crown, a 6 versus a 9 from Tonioli can provide an actual difference between Kristi Yamaguchi and Cloris Leachman. But the judges are there for a reason. She might still be Jenny from the block, but J-Lo knows more about what it takes to be a music star than you or I. So does Steven Tyler. And Randy Jackson, well, he's been on the show for a while, so you'd figure he'd pick it up from osmosis somehow.

The Idol producers know this too. That's why they implemented the judges' save three years ago. But while Matt Giraud, Michael Lynche, and now Casey Abrams have been kept alive after receiving fewer votes than weaker competitors, this does not eliminate the underlying problem- America is voting for weaker competitors. You might say "well if America wants their idols to be Anoop Desai and Aaron Kelly, isn't that who would sell records?" To which I'd reply "yes, that's why Fantasia has an Oscar and Taylor Hicks is selling out stadiums while Jennifer Hudson has a VH1 reality show and Chris Daughtry is popping up on late night tv for cameos in renditions of YouTube hits." To which you would say "geez, you don't need to be sarcastic, I'm reading your blog post for goodness sake." To which I'd reply "you're right, I'm sorry, and thank you for reading."

So I'd completely revamp the judging. How? I wouldn't follow the DWTS 50% model, I'd limit the judges' say to 33%. And rather than giving each contestant scores from 1-10 (would anybody get below an 8?) I would have each judge rank each contestant at the end of the show. Then each contestant get points inversely proportionate to their ranking. The scores of the three judges would be combined, they would add up the total number of possible points, take a third of that, and that would count as the judges' percentage. Take last week for example:

There were 9 contestants remaining- Jacob, Haley, Casey, Lauren, James, Scotty, Pia, Stefano, and Paul. Let's say the judges ranked like this:


So the points would be:


James received 26 out of 27 possible points, and therefore gets 31.77 percent of the possible 33 percent, etc. But let's add a twist to this- up until the top 5 (the week where currently the save is no longer allowed, this would replace the save) the contestant with the highest judges' score cannot be eliminated. If you are the best singer for a given week, congratulations, you get a free pass. Your phone number won't even be activated, you do not face voting at all. After the top 5, the judges still get their say and their 33%, but even if you are the best, the fans still need to help.

2. Half Hour Results- They've done half hour results shows every once in a while, so it's certainly possible. Group song (4min), 1 of the bottom 3 (2min), commercial. Ford video (2min), performer (5min), 2nd of the bottom 3 (2min), commercial. Last of the bottom 3 (2min), performer (4min), elimination (3min). That's a 24 minute show. No need for a TMZ segment.

3. If they play instruments, let them play instruments- For the first few seasons, Idol contestants were never allowed to play instruments. A few years ago they lifted that. This year, they put a limitation on how many weeks contestants can use their instruments. I don't know why. Paul and Scotty are both significantly better when they play their guitar. This has no real application. Imagine if you went to an Elton John concert, but before it started Elton was told he could only play piano for 1/3 of the songs; who would want to see that?

4. Limit the Voting- Ryan Seacrest loves saying they set a new record for voting each week, and there will always be techies who know how to beat the system. But like DWTS, Idol should find a way to limit the votes per person- 5 per person per method (phone, text, online). This has been an issue since season 3, when Hawaii got Jasmine Trias to the top three much like China getting Yao Ming into the NBA All Star game starting lineup every year. She wasn't any good, but they just kept voting (aided by the long period of time the phone lines were open in Hawaii- opening when the east coast show ended and closing after the Hawaiian time zone show hours later). Since then the issue has been the teen girl constituency. Teen girls are some of Idol's most loyal viewers, and they vote for the boys they find cute. This has resulted in the lengthy Sanjaya reign and the current three year span of scruffy, guitar playing winners- David Cook, Kris Allen, and Lee Dewyze. Alan Sepinwall and Daniel Fienberg have both written about this, and while it is an issue, it is not one that can be solved. At least by limiting the votes per person, it can be partially equalized.

5. Change the Style- This is the biggest overhaul, and the one I could least see Idol making. Being a music star is not solely about doing 90 second covers- actually it's not about doing 90 second covers at all. So every couple weeks, why not do something different? A music video, an original song? They did duets a year or two ago for the final four, and that was great. But changing it up even just two or three times a season would be a nice change of pace for the viewers and better preparation for the contestants.

I'm sure if I kept thinking I could come up with more ideas (Do a theme week that's just original songs by former Idol contestants! Create a list of overdone songs (Don't Let the Son Go Down on Me and Against All Odds is a start) and ban them! Stop lying about the audition dates during broadcasts!) but this is a solid basis. What other changes would you make to American Idol?