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.

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  • AlwaysGay

    The drop in ratings is a result of a tired format and weak talent.

  • fredo777

    This last season had some talented kids, but too many of them were cut before the final group was picked.

    Also, despite his “dawg” + “yo, dude” vocab, Randy is not useless. He has actual music-business experience, obviously. People need to get off his nuts. That’s my professional opinion.

  • Lamar

    Obviously it’s not because she’s a lesbian. Western society loves lesbians,men find them attractive and women stick up for heir gender plus her chat show is one of the most watched on earth so that’s a lame excuse. She is my favourite judge on Idol too.


    I am not in the mood to really say much to Gary McCullough so I will keep it short:

    1- You have a very Gay face.

    2- Fuck You.

  • jimstoic

    The finale happened already?

  • Revemupman

    Reason no one watches anymore is because its getting tedious and boring. We’ve seen enough, we want something else. Destroy the show already and give us some new material. And also the best Judge is quitting I heard. Even more reason to destroy the show……

  • Cam

    Kara came out in support of gay marriage, so I guess they’ll have to blame that too.

    The fact is, the talent was weak. They seemed to be casting for CD covers and not for singers mostly. Are they really trying to tell me that out of the hundreds of thousands of people auditioning for the show, that not one heavyset girl knew how to sing? Please! With what they were looking for this year, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, etc… would never have made it to Hollywood this year.

  • Pip

    Ellen was one of the few entertaining people on this season of American Idol. She’s certainly not to blame for any ratings slide.

  • alan brickman

    Major gayface on the closet case!!!!

  • Lenny

    Actually there was NO particular ratings slide this year. This idea put out that the ratings are crumbling is FALSE

    The ratings dropped 10% over the season compared to last year
    Ratings for ALL network TV is down about 10% so idol is the same as all other shows.

    Actually Idols ratings dropped less this year than they did last year, so idol has done comparatively better this year than it did last year.

  • Ian

    @AlwaysGay: ABSOLUTELY! I have NEVER understood the facination with this tired show. It’s just “Star Search” replacing Ed McMahon with a bitchy British guy. American Idol was, is, and will always be LAME in my book.

  • jeffree

    Classic case of over-exposure. Idol needs to focus on vocal talent. The prelims where they just make fun of deluded folks who can’t sing? Those have gotten stale. The multiple-shows-per-week format needs to get switched to 2 or 1 time per week.

    Bring on some contestants who write & sing their own music. That would be interesting.

    Ellen has been OK. She obviously cares about the contestants, but her comments don’t add much. Her strength is in interviewing: so let her replace Miss Sechrist (sp) and get some insights about who the contestants are and why they picked a song.

    Lose the guest stars. They’re not relevant to the show.

    What most of us –I believe– want to see is a good performance of a great song.

    If we wanted karaoke we could just go to the local bar…..

  • christopher di spirito

    Simon often said over the years, “This is a singing competition.”

    He’s correct. The four judge panel takes precious time away from the singing and focuses on the judges.

    Ellen was just awful as a judge. She couldn’t resist the urge to do her act — in live theater it’s called “stealing focus.” As a stand-up comedian and professional lesbian, she never understood how it came across at home to the viewer.

  • Tackle

    @Jeffree: I agree with you about having Ellen replace Ryan Seachreast as hoast. She would be much stronger in that position. And since the network has signed her to a five year contract, they would not loose money in having to replace her.

    I think Ryan would be perfect to replace Simon. He’s been involved with music for over 15yrs. And at times he can be a little bitch and a bit feisty. And I think he would have no problem speaking his mind.

  • hephaestion

    @AlwaysGay: Yes! I tried to watch Idol this year but the contestants were 100% boring as hell. It was unwatchably mind-numbing… because of the crappy contestants. Not for any other reason.

    However, there ARE a number of parents across America who refuse to permit their children from watching Ellen. And while those kids may not all be homophobic, their parents can and DO block shows that have anyone gay in them. Go to Georgia and ask any random 3 sets of parents about this. I guarantee you one or two of those parents will tell you they block Ellen, Will & Grace, and any other “gay TV.”

  • Ogre Magi

    Gee Wizz, are Christians ever not assholes?

  • scott ny'er

    @Ogre Magi: well, if they are willing to go and picket a lgbt person’s funeral then I guess I’d have to answer, nope, they are always a-holes.

    I’ve watched AI from the beginning. Some of the seasons, I got bored and watched it sporadically, like this season. Why? Personally, I dig seeing great, undiscovered talent sing great songs.

    I don’t want to see meh singers. I don’t want the show dragged out to 2 hrs just to get ratings and increase ad sales. I don’t care about the judging if it’s not helpful tips. And while I don’t mind a little back story, I don’t need to see it all the time.

    BUT, the people who run AI, want back-stories and thus cast for “personalities” vs. real talent (because there are tons of multi-talented people out there not being cast). And I guess they still show the awful singers, because for some reason people like to watch and laugh at train wrecks.

    Ellen. It’s not her sexuality that is doing AI in. It’s more than that.

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