AMERICAN IDOL: I Miss Paula. And Yes, I Miss Simon

The numbers don’t lie: The AMERICAN IDOL phenomenon has jumped the shark.

Or as Randy Jackson would say: “Yo, dawg, it just didn’t do it for me.”

I guess a lot of couch potatoes felt that way this season. According to Nielsen Company statistics, its viewership dropped 14.7 percent this year, to 19.6 million viewers. Granted compared to

I was one of them.

In fact, I used to be an AMERICAN IDOL addict. Well, I sobered up this year.

I don’t blame the talent. Those kids sing their hearts out. It’s their time to shine, their shot at the brass ring.

Nope, what made me go cold turkey was the thought that two of the four constant integers of the marvelous equation that made up IDOL — judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul — would no longer be a part of it.

It was bad enough when Paula left. If IDOL were a Hostess Ding Dong, Paula was the kooky gooey center that held together the dry crumbs so blithely tossed out to us,the plebian masses, by Simon.

Think Abbot (Simon) without Costello (Paula).  Or Kirk (Simon) without Spock (Paula).

Or (more gender-appropriately) Ricky without Lucy.

Yeah, okay, Paula is a flake. But to paraphrase Roosevelt, she’s our flake.

Or was.

Simon was back this season, but proclaimed it was his last, and acted as if he had one foot out the door.

I’ve seen it with boyfriends. It ain’t a pretty sight.

I actually like Kara. Randy knows his stuff, but needs a new schtick.

And who doesn’t love Ellen? But seeing her on IDOL is like the first time you saw William Shatner do comedy after STAR TREK. He has the chops, but it’s blowin’ your couch-potatoe’d mind.

But that doesn’t mean they can carry the show on their own.

Which brings us back to Simon. What are the five things we’ll miss most? Here’s my list:

1. The wit. Say what you want about the man, he’s sharp (ouch! that hurt!) as a tack.

2. The cutting remarks. No one slices and dices like Simon. Frankly he should move to the Food Network

3. That raised eyebrow at one of his jester’s (fellow Atlanta native Ryan Seacrest’s) many foibles.

4. The non-posh Brit accent.

5. The advice. He is a master class in the commercial music industry. And in TV land.

In other words, without him, IDOL is . . . . just a singing contest.

Elvis has left the building.

Goodbye, Simon. We knew ye well enough to love to hate you.

Well, the king is dead. Long live the king.

Back to reality TV,


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