“American Idol” wants to stay relevant, but they’re facing a pop culture behemoth Thursday night for the second part of their two-night finale even as the show’s ratings decline: the series finale of “The Office.”
The top two Idols from this season, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison, will be facing off at the Nokia Theatre. They’re performing their potential winning singles and other songs on tonight’s one-hour show before a two-hour results show Thursday — which is going straight up against an “Office” special looking back at the series, followed by the giant-sized last episode which also features a jump forward in the show’s timeline.
"American Idol" has some other turmoil to deal with as well, with the only remaining judge who’s been there throughout the series, Randy Jackson, announcing his departure from the show last week.
In a statement, Jackson said, “Yo! Yo! Yo! To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on ‘American Idol’ I have decided it is time to leave after this season.”
Ryan Seacrest tells MTV News that he’s coming back for next season, but he could be the only one left — it’s been widely reported that the rest of the judges may be out after this season as well, first by the Wrap, though Fox and “Idol” production company Fremantle Media have declined comment. Fox chairman of entertainment Kevin Reilly said earlier this month that a decision about the judges’ future had yet to be made, though he did say to expect changes in the show’s format.
Fans and critics have been quick to offer their suggestions for improving the show, from Vulture’s 10 ways to improv “Idol” next season to Entertainment Weekly suggesting they drop the results show.
This season’s Idol do have at least one advantage amidst the declining ratings. They’re getting a jump on previous seasons’ winners — their album will be available to preorder as soon as Thursday’s show is over, which is a first for the series. The album’s also going on sale much earlier than previous Idols’ winning records, as it is set for a summer release as opposed to a fall release like last year’s winner, Phillip Phillips.