american idol judges 320 2 'American Idol' survey: Is it asking the right questions?The official “American Idol” website has launched a survey where viewers can voice their opinions regarding the current state of the show. One has to assume it’s because Simon Cowell is leaving and the current season is getting less-then-stellar reviews, so the show is probably trying to regroup going forward.  But is the survey asking the right questions?

The survey makes very little mention of Simon Cowell or his possible replacement. We realize he is leaving the show and there is nothing “Idol” can do about that, but perhaps the show would like to gauge the level of feelings the viewers have about his impending departure. Would that help them gauge just how important his replacement is? Also, the survey never asks questions about the interest level that is vested in who replaces Simon or asks for any replacement suggestions. We think that might have been an avenue to explore, especially since the talent pool will most likely get even thinner if there isn’t a dynamic replacement for Simon.

Secondly, the survey asks about the lack of Paula Abdul quite a bit. Isn’t this kind of a moot point? Is there really a chance she’ll come back. We happen to think it’s much more likely Simon snags her to judge “The X Factor” in the fall of 2011. Is it even worth it to ask about Paula? And do people really miss her that much anyway?

Finally, as one of our alert commenters pointed out, the survey doesn’t address one of the biggest issues — the voting. The judges were everywhere prior to the current season saying that this was the Year of the Woman on “Idol,” but we still ended up with a 4 men-1 woman Top 5. The show hasn’t had a female winner since Season 6 and the “Idol” machine desperately needs to produce another Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson and this year the highly-lauded Crystal might not even win because Lee Dewyze has been hot on her heels for weeks. The problem is that millions of people watch the show but they don’t vote! They couldn’t possibly, or the number of votes (around 30 million) would be significantly higher, since many people vote several times.

We are surprised the survey didn’t have questions to compare the amount of “Idol” watched versus the amount of votes cast each week. We also think they should have asked how the viewers would feel about a one-vote-per-phone-number idea.

Either way, we don’t think the survey will necessarily provide the magic fix for “American Idol.” They still need to find a dynamite replacement for Simon Cowell and they need to find a way to keep the cute-but-not-as-talented men from dominating the competition. Short of stacking the Top 24 with ugly and untalented men, we don’t know what the answers are. But we don’t think this survey even knows what the problems are.

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Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."