TEN’s tears for Idol

By David Knox on September 30, 2008 / Filed Under News 33

Cheer up Tom Williams, Channel TEN is crying a lot more than you today after Australian Idol’s lousy Monday performance in the ratings.

TEN finished fourth again (it seems to be pretty regular for Mondays) with just 15.5% share for the evening. Only 893,000 viewers tuned in for the verdict show. Not only was it beaten by The Force, Border Security, Top Gear Australia and Australian Story -it was even beaten by Top Gear Australia in the all important 16 – 39 demographic.

Worse was to follow with 90210 attracting only 616,000, but a better grip on 16-39yos finishing #4 overall for the night in that demographic.

Meanwhile, Top Gear Australia managed 933,000 which was down on an old UK version the week before (939,000). Given all the hype, the network would have been hoping to crack the 1m mark.

Nine should be pleased with 709,000 viewers average for a four hour miniseries. But despite a significant drop for Border Security it was Seven’s night again.

For the second week running, Idol sent TV Tonight photos of a tearful 16yo eliminated from its show (3 of Tom being consoled by Marcia). While it may be the moment of drama captured, it seems a merciless way to publicise the show. Where was the photo celebrating his achievement for making it so far? What does this say about the show’s editorial position?

Meanwhile, calls to lift the age of reality contestants from 16 to 18 go begging….

Week 40


  1. Chris October 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm -

    The verdict show is too long and painful to watch. I usually just watch the last 2 minutes – if that – to see who goes. Funnily enough, my quality of life has not suffered from having missed the first five years (or however long the show is now). I think once I watched a bit more, and I distinctly remember a 5 minute block of ads followed by an announcement of who is safe and then another 5 minutes of ads!

    Don’t get me started on “Ok…..the person……who has received….the least….amount of votes…..and is going home tonight…..never to sing again……buy Ricki Lee’s new album she needs the money….is…..one of you….more specifically…it is…the person standing on…..the right hand side….whose name is…..” and so forth.

  2. Anita October 5, 2008 at 11:28 pm -

    I agree, I miss the group performances big time. The verdict night has been made way too involved, the bottom 3 don’t need to be drilled so much on what they thought they could have done better or we don’t need to be told again what the judges said – we heard it all the night before. Just drags on too much so lose interest and come back at the end. Why change what was already great – I’m a big fan!

  3. Sephiroth_FF October 2, 2008 at 12:20 pm -

    It seems like 10 will do anything to get viewers. And it’s this try-hard attitude that turn people away. I doubt seeing the bottom three perform again will change the votes too much. They see them perform and get what, ten, fifteen minutes to vote again? We don’t know the number of votes each bottom three contestant get but I have a feeling they’re all quite far apart and even when the votes would be close, that extra time to vote isn’t enough for them to change so there’s no point in having it.

  4. Ted October 1, 2008 at 11:37 pm -

    The results show is the most boring ever! It is all filler! The hosts ask stupid obvious questions “how do you feel?” !!! Derrrr!!!!

  5. Todd October 1, 2008 at 9:13 pm -

    ^ I agree. The bottom 3 on the monday night shows should be able to sing whatever they want – not the songs that put them there in the first place – it’s just stupid.

  6. Lauren October 1, 2008 at 3:00 pm -

    Consider the fact that anyone in a different timezone to New South Wales finds out the verdict before the show goes to air simply by checking the Idol website. More people do this than ever now because they want to save their favourites.

    Personally I think if they’re singing for a second chance they should sing exactly what they want to sing. Originals, something they’ve never done before, with instruments, whatever. If that song couldn’t make us vote for them before, what makes the producers think it will second time around?

  7. David Knox October 1, 2008 at 11:14 am -

    Think we’ve had enough discussion on whether Tom should or shouldn’t have gotten the boot thanks. Try the official Aus Idol or behindidol.com sites for debates about that.

    This post is about the performance of the show, not the performer, and the way shows are publicised.

  8. Benno October 1, 2008 at 9:55 am -

    Even though i don’t particularly care for idol, and i don’t even watch it anymore, i think they should keep it, but…….

    1. Cut the results show to half an hour
    2. Make the performance show run for the same time each week, or for finals, it can be 1.5 hours for about 6 weeks, 1 hour for remaining weeks – so people always know when it finishes, next program starts
    3. 2 hour finale, not 3-3.5
    4. Stick to these times, not 5 or more minutes late – it can be done, you have ad breaks to work out if you are behind, ahead or on schedule

    I’m sure there are more to work within the show, but if they do these, people won’t get bored easily, and i assume people will watch the whole results show and performance show, and not switch on at the beginning and end, pushing the average up. It would also stop the lagging audience for the next show because it ran 5-15+ minutes late and gave up waiting.

  9. Rachael October 1, 2008 at 2:02 am -

    Is it wrong to be laughing at the pic?

    I’m guessing that the tweenies ran out of credit trying to save their poor Tom.

  10. adsgtgd October 1, 2008 at 1:49 am -

    OMG for god sakes, tom is the biggest sook i swear.
    Go cry yourself to sleep

  11. Bustling September 30, 2008 at 10:45 pm -

    Ten needs to bring in Jackie O for her magic touch.

  12. ali September 30, 2008 at 9:54 pm -

    Idol sucks. Ten should axe it and be done with the whole reality obsession. FYI, 25-39 age group generally have better things to do than watch this drivel. The most likely to watch/vote are the 10-16’s who are bored, but don’t have the cash to ultimately support the ‘Idol’ when they release an album.

    Ten, Australia has spoken, and we are over the show. Its time to say goodbye.

  13. Sephiroth_FF September 30, 2008 at 7:15 pm -

    I was really suprised to see Tom go. I never liked him and thought he absolutely butchered “You Raise Me Up” and “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” (but the judges thought otherwise and I must be wrong because I’m a mindless viewer) but he seemed popular with all these air-headed girls. I won’t be shedding any tears of his departure but I still think Madam should’ve gone instead.

  14. Earthquake September 30, 2008 at 7:02 pm -

    Tom deserved to go, but with all due respect Darren Hayes and Vanessa Amorossi, Cyndi Lauper is a much bigger drawcard.

    No wonder the ratings went down. The ratings should go up with the Abba show – is Benny or Bjorn taking part??

  15. Zambora September 30, 2008 at 6:39 pm -

    How can I put this nicely ?

    I can’t..

    Suffer in your jocks Ten.
    Even the clueless teenagers realise your new revamped results show is just another grab for cash.

    ntertainment- my foot !!

  16. John September 30, 2008 at 6:24 pm -

    I majorly miss the group performances on Monday nights. The show just isn’t as great with it gone.

  17. Amanda September 30, 2008 at 6:24 pm -

    omg, stop posting mean comments about him ,
    and to the person that put ‘he’s too zac efron for my liking’ well im sorry ! farr out. he’s awesome ! and not because his looks he can really sing!
    yes he can improve, but that’ll just make him even more amazing than he already is! so shut up and go get a fn life!
    you go tom, we love you ~ ignore those that posts lam comments. you came 10th out of 38 thousand! congratts ! keep going (:

  18. Andrew September 30, 2008 at 6:01 pm -

    a better grip on 16-39yos finishing #4 overall for the night in that demographic

    Well I guess coming 4th in overall is better than Idol coming 5th, but really if 16-39 is Ten’s main (or at least desired) demographic, surely even coming fourth is not what you’d consider “a better grip”? They should be coming first or second. Third would be ordinary. Fourth is nothing – especially with their so-called big ticket shows like Idol and 90210 on the night.

  19. Todd September 30, 2008 at 6:00 pm -

    Neil, I don’t know what version of American Idol you watch – but their results shows this year were NOT half an hour long – they were an hour as well. But, they will be snipped to half an hour for next year’s season.

  20. ka-ching September 30, 2008 at 5:24 pm -

    Tom should not have been put through to the final 24 – he was just undercooked – not his fault. Age isn’t the issue – Chrislyn is amazing at 17yo, Brooke had one Teen Idol last year and was obviously quite a seasoned performer. Last year Ben & Matt were also talented performers, musicians and composers. Tom has had an uphill battle against juvenile arthritis and cam across as a lovely young man but also reasonably young in 16yo terms. He is talented and will only get better with further tuition and experience, They did him no favours putting him through this year but they make money from the tweeny boppers and their prepaid phone credits – so he was partly there to bring in the votes and the revenue.

    As for verdict show – I think it should follow SYTYCD format – public decides final 3, EXPERT judges decide who goes based on their performances to date. I like the idea of the guest mentor/judge aka Cyndi & Darren – their presence seems to curb the inane comments often made by Dicko & Kyle – and they have mroe credibility than the contestants when they challenge the judges for their inconsistent advice or dumb suggestions about making songs upbeat when they shouldn’t be etc.

    And yes – half an hour would be enough. And yes – where are the fun group performances with the boy band choreography.

  21. Andrew September 30, 2008 at 4:56 pm -

    the ratings probably went down coz the verdict show is so boring and drags on so much

  22. Nathan September 30, 2008 at 3:23 pm -

    He had a good voice to sing… but just couldn’t sing well… he needed more training…

  23. Mr Butters September 30, 2008 at 2:30 pm -

    The announcement of the final 3 went from being extremely draaaaawn out to being extremely quick. Now there’s no suspense. Where do they get these producers from ?????????? Bizarre indeed !!

  24. jaxmachine September 30, 2008 at 2:29 pm -

    i think someone made this suggestion before

    -Just tune in at the start of the show to see who the top 3 are – then change channels until final 5-10 mins , to see who gets kicked out

    I hope the ratings dipped further, then TEN will change the format

  25. Jack! September 30, 2008 at 2:15 pm -

    Thank god he is gone … did not belong in this year’s show, should have given him a couple of years to mature first!
    The results show is a complete bore (apart from Cyndi Lauper’s performance) and is only worth recording and fast forwarding through … wake up 10!!! Sorry Kyle, they have not strengthened it anywhere near enough!
    Overall, they are not the best group of finalists and there is none that i really want to support … poor choice of finalist!

  26. Roberto September 30, 2008 at 2:08 pm -

    The results shows are barely watchable nowadays…have they even cut out the group performances now?

    I hope this is the last year of Idol as they obviously can’t refresh the format.

  27. Craig September 30, 2008 at 1:51 pm -

    TEN had promised to revamp this Monday night elimination show! its more painful than ever, even Kyle was bewildered that the new format sees the three worst performers perform again..bizarre stuff….Australians have been wise to these 1 hour long, painful results shows and have been for years, its a shame 10 dont realise that!

  28. David Knox September 30, 2008 at 1:36 pm -

    Again for those who’ve forgotten it:

    Dicko: “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.”

  29. George September 30, 2008 at 1:36 pm -

    We’re all thinking the same thing Benno.

    The verdict doesn’t need to be extremely long. I reckon they should announce the bottom three at the start of the show, tell people to keep voting WITHOUT the three performing again, have the weekly guest performer and then say who got eliminated. Easy as pie.

  30. Rachael September 30, 2008 at 1:32 pm -

    I think he deserved to go, he did have a lot of talent, but it just wasn’t up to the standards the other contestants have.

  31. Neil September 30, 2008 at 1:26 pm -

    The results show should be just as American Idol is – half an hour
    It’s far too long and confusing for anybody’s liking

  32. Benno September 30, 2008 at 1:21 pm -

    Here’s a thought, trim down the results show to half an hour.

  33. Leith September 30, 2008 at 1:14 pm -

    He had a LOT of growing up, and a LOT of vocal training to go before he should be put in any show like this. He was a little too Zac Efron for my liking.

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