“Idol’s Monday night was always a bit of a naff for the audience because it was really just 15 minutes of content rolled out over an hour, but we’ve recognised that and strengthened it,” Dicko said two weeks ago.
To borrow a Big Brother phrase: I don’t think so.
Instead, Monday night’s Verdict edition consisted of 15 minutes of content rolled out over 70 minutes.
This year Idol decided to flag the bottom three at the top of the show and re-open the voting lines (ker-ching) to close at 8pm AEST. Viewers in WA had previously been encouraged to check the Idol website to learn the name of the bottom three for voting that closed at 6pm WST. In South Australia and Northern Territory, the voting closed at 7pm CST -which is actually 30 minutes earlier than the equivalent time elsewhere, of 7:30pm CST. Sorry, Adelaide & Darwin.
That process has only dragged out the results even more.
The show resorted to interviewing its ‘bottom three’ no less than three times: when they were announced, after they had sung a second time by Ricki-Lee backstage, and then on the couch a third time. How many times can you say you weren’t happy with your performance
Meanwhile the show played ‘journey’ video packages, interviewed some of the other finalists, saw the Idols share their week in video packages (including a plug for a car), a song from American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and finally – finally – at 8:30pm, returned to the point of the night: revealing the results.
Meanwhile viewers of 90210, Burn Notice and Torchwood were forced to wait an additional ten minutes for their shows – a risk indeed when some of them are barely registering decent numbers.
Clearly the Verdict show is dependent on two immovable things: its 8pm voting cut-off and tallying the votes. But after six years there was far too much excess.
On the basis of this it would seem TEN is indeed more interested in dragging its viewers across to 8:45pm (when it finally ended) and avoid losing viewers to City Homicide or alternate programming.
For the record, Idol‘s first contestant voted off was Jonny Taylor, ahead of Teale and Sophie.