Is Howard Stern ruining American Idol?

I think it stinks that Howard Stern is trying to mess with AI–you’d think the “King of All Media” would have bigger fish to fry these days–but he certainly wasn’t the first one to get the ball rolling. has been doing this for years, with only moderate success. Why? Because in every season prior to this one, there were at least a few standout favorites that had HUGE fan bases to protect them and set things right eventually. Even the entire state of Hawaii couldn’t save Jasmine Trias and her annoying little flower tucked behind her ear once it got down to the really talented contestants. Kevin “Chicken Little” Covais, John “Howdy Doody” Stephens, Paris “Gladys Knight wannabe” Bennett, Trenyce and her olive oil chasers before performing…every single one of them was cast aside eventually, and rightfully so.

The reason the whole Vote for Sanjaya thing is working this year is because, in my opinion, this is the weakest group of contestants they’ve ever had. Chris Sligh tried in vain to rally his “Fro Patrol” (a blatant ripoff of Taylor Hicks’ Soul Patrol fan juggernaut) but the fact is, he wasn’t very good the last few weeks, and America isn’t tone deaf.

LaKisha has a great big voice, but she’s not exceptional–she’s just the best of this very limited bunch. Neither is Melinda Dolittle, whose “oh, you mean, gulp, you like me? reallllly?” modesty act is wearing really thin.

The scandals hit a little too soon this year (Antonella Barba and her sex pics, Sundance and his lousy performances earning him a top spot in the semifinals over other people who clearly were better than him) and there’s just not enough style OR substance to any of the contestants.

So…you have crazy-ass Sanjaya, with his wacky hairdos and scary Michael Jackson whispery personality, and it’s about the only interesting thing left to latch onto.

Sad fact of life: nobody likes to back the losing horse. Everybody wants to vote for the guy who wins because then they can crow the next day and say, “Ha ha! I voted for him, too!! I called it….I’m awesome!!” If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. People know Sanjaya can’t sing well, but they’re voting for him anyway because when it comes right down to it, it DOESN’T MATTER…90% of the contestants you see on this show will be back working at Wal-mart within 2 years.

I wouldn’t be surprised if The Powers That Be at American Idol were secretly thrilled at Howard Stern’s actions, because it keeps people talking about what is actually a horribly lackluster season of AI.

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