blame game

Ellen DeGeneres’ Sexuality Didn’t Contribute to Idol‘s Ratings Slide. But Ellen Did

Defending Ellen DeGeneres against claims from Christian Newswire‘s Gary McCullough that her lesbian-y ways are what tanked American Idol‘s ratings puts us in the awkward position of insulting teenagers.

That DeGeneres is a “lesbian activist” is what caused viewers to run from Idol, McCullough opines. That’s a ridiculous argument, because if it were true, DeGeneres wouldn’t be able to make a living as a daytime talk show host, where she single-handedly draws in millions of viewers every day.

This doesn’t excuse DeGeneres entirely, but none of her immutable characteristics, including her sexuality, are to blame. It’s that she’s not a great fit for the Idol panel, doesn’t really know what she’s talking about, and never added much to the chemistry of the four-judge algorithm. Generally she was a tame foil for Kara DioGuardi, and provided for some awkward screen grabs with Simon Cowell.

But even Ellen’s mismatched personality isn’t all that’s to blame for Idol‘s drop in viewership. The talent was boring. I already forgot the names of the winner and runner-up of the show, and I watched the finale!

McCullough predicts there “will be no left wing social activist as a judge for the tenth season of American Idol. Not only will DeGeneres be gone, she will not be replaced by anyone close to a Rosie O’Donnell wanna-be.” That’s unlikely to be true, since DeGeneres signed a reported five-year contract with producers, and it would be very expensive to get rid of her just to make some bigot’s prediction come true.

It’s not DeGeneres’ “lesbian one-liners” that will hurt the show moving forward. It’s that Simon will be gone, Randy will remain useless, Kara will continue morphing into a screaming creature, and America’s talent pool may very well have been exhausted.