'American Idol' is taking away your voting power -- and it's infuriating

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
'American Idol' Judges Gush Over Contestant La'Porsha Renae's Tina Turner Cover


By TVLine

Jennifer Lopez already has a big-money Las Vegas concert residency, a recent Season 2 renewal for her NBC drama Shades of Blue, an A+ Dubsmash game and a badonkadonk worthy of being sculpted in marble and displayed at the Louvre.

Now, however, she's sneaking into your living room with a masked Keith Urban and a maniacally cackling Harry Connick, Jr. and stealing your right to vote in the American Idol Season 15 semifinals (beginning tonight at 8/7c on Fox). And I, for one, am mad as hell.

RELATED: Where are former "Idol" contestants now?

35 PHOTOS
American Idol contestants - Where are they now?
See Gallery
'American Idol' is taking away your voting power -- and it's infuriating
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 22: Recording artist Taylor Hicks arrives at Tony La Russa's 3rd annual Leaders & Legends Gala benefitting the Animal Rescue Foundation at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on November 22, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Animal Rescue Foundation)
Finalist Clay Aiken, of Raleigh, N.C., performs during the final competition of American Idol Tuesday, May 20, 2003, in Universal City, Calif. Television viewers have already decided which of the 24-year-old Southern singers will claim the title of "American Idol."
Clay Aiken attends the Broadway opening of "After Midnight" on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 in New York.
American Idol's Constantine Maroulis poses for photographers as he arrives for the New York City benefit premiere of "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith" at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York, Thursday, May 12, 2005. Proceeds from the premiere will benefit The Children's Heath Fund, a not-for-profit organization committed to providing medical care to the nation's homeless and disadvantaged children. (AP Photo)
Justin Guarini, 23, of Doylestown, Pa., sings during the final episode of Fox's television competition "American Idol," in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2002. The winner earns a recording contract, and will release a CD single later this month and a full album in November. (AP Photo)
Justin Guarini attends the Broadway opening of "After Midnight" on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo)
American Idol finalist Fantasia Barrino is emotional after finishing her last performance during the finale of the music competition show Tuesday, May 25, 2004, at the Kodak Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Fantasia Barrino attends the after party for the opening night performance of Broadway's "After Midnight" on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo)
Constantine Maroulis attends the Songwriters Hall of Fame 44th annual induction and awards gala on Thursday, June 13, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo)
American Idol finalist Diana DeGarmo performs during the finale of the music competition show, Tuesday, May 25, 2004, at the Kodak Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Diana DeGarmo arrives at the 2013 AFI FEST premiere of "Lone Survivor" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Frenchie Davis attends the 45th Annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden on February 23, 2003 in New York City. (Getty Images)
Frenchie Davis attends For the Love of R&B - A Tribute to Whitney Houston at Tru Hollywood on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Finalist Ruben Studdard, from Birmingham, Ala., performs his first song Burt Bacharach's "A House is Not a Home" during the final competition of American Idol Tuesday, May 20, 2003, in Universal City, Calif.
Ruben Studdard, left, and Candice Glover perform onstage at the 2013 Soul Train Awards at the Orleans Arena on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 in Las Vegas.
Contestant Sanjaya Malakar attends an American Idol celebration of this seasons' top 12 contestants held at Astra West Thursday March 8, 2007 in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo)
Singer Sanjaya Malakar attends The 2nd Annual ASPCA Rock n' Roll LA Benefit at The Olympic Collection on October 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)
Bo Bice performs "Long, Long Road" during the "American Idol" live finale in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 25, 2005. (AP Photo)
Bo Bice arrives at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Jordin Sparks perform "I Saw Her Standing There" during the opening act of the season finale of American Idol on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Jordin Sparks arrives at the American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Contestant Blake Lewis attends an American Idol celebration of this seasons' top 12 finalists held at Astra West Thursday March 8, 2007 in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo)
Blake Lewis arrives at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
American Idol Season 7's Top 24 contestant David Archuleta poses at a party in their honor, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
David Archuleta performs during the 2011 "Make A Difference" benefit concert at the Ronald McDonald House on November 8, 2011 in New York City.
Crystal Bowersox poses backstage after the "American Idol" finale on Wednesday, May 26, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Musician Crystal Bowersox at the Mastercard Priceless Premieres Presents Justin Timberlake event, on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, New York.
Kimberley Locke, Rickey Smith and Vanessa Olivarez. (Getty Images)
Kimberley Locke arrives at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Contestant Melinda Doolittle attends an American Idol celebration of this seasons' top 12 finalists held at Astra West Thursday March 8, 2007 in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo)
Singer Melinda Doolittle attends the Red Tie Gala Hosted by Blood:Water Mission and sponsored by Noodle & Boo at Hutton Hotel on November 21, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Getty Images)
Danny Gokey of Milwaukee, Wis., a finalist on "American Idol," mugs for photographers at the American Idol Top 13 Party in Los Angeles, Thursday, March 5, 2009. (AP Photo)
Danny Gokey arrives at the "American Idol" finale at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live on Thursday, May 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Indeed, it's traditionally been the Idoloonie Nation's job to start voting right after the "Green Mile" Top 24 (or Top 36) announcement and choose a Top 10 — with the judges adding a few Wild Card picks to the mix once the results are tallied.

In Idol's abbreviated farewell season, however, it'll be the judges narrowing the Top 24 down to the Top 14 — a process that flies directly in the face of what has made Idol so successful for so many years: The belief that average citizens — not soulless record execs or manipulative TV producers — get one chance per year to pluck a talented kid from relative obscurity and give him or her a major-label record deal.

Oh, sure, the Scott Borchettas and Simon Cowells and Nigel Lythgoes of the world have always had a million and one ways to influence our votes — through crafty editing, not-so-random performance order, song-choice restrictions and deeply biased feedback — but at the end of the day, Idol fans had the final say... with no one to blame but ourselves for choosing (flashback alert!) Karen Rodriguez over Kendra Chantelle or Ben Briley over Malcolm Allen.

How does it benefit the show to essentially fire its loyal fans from a job they love and cherish, and outsource it to a trio of industry vets who often gravitate toward wide-eyed youth over emotional maturity, and telegenic personality over vocal prowess? (Remember J.Lo's declaration of just loving "fifteen-ness" or her comment that female contestants past their teenage years have a defeated look in their eyes? Oy!)

To clarify, here's how the semifinals — one round of 12 has already been taped — will play out:

On Feb. 10 and 17, we'll see pre-taped performances from 12 contestants apiece, with the judges eliminating five singers on the Feb. 11 and 18 results-shows (that will also include contestant duets with Idol All-Stars), resulting in a Top 14. That group will be whittled down — again, mainly by the judges — during the Feb. 24 and 25 episodes, with viewers saving some Wild Cards to complete a Top 10.

After that, the competition airs only one night a week starting March 3 until the April 5-7 series finale week, with the Idoloonie Nation finally regaining control of the voting process.

In other words, your Farewell Season voting window is going to last about six weeks. Cast your ballots promptly, passionately, and most of all, responsibly!

What do you think of Idol's voting changes for Season 15? Do they leave you dismayed, enraged, disinterested or not all that worked up? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Read Full Story

People are Reading