American Idol's Ratings Woes: 8 Common-Sense Ways to Salvage Season 12

American Idol‘s Season 12 ratings continue to slip like a baby giraffe on an ice rink: Wednesday night’s Top 7 performance show drew 11.5 million viewers and a 3.0 rating (ticking down to an all-time Wednesday low).

Sure, you can blame reality-singing overload: With NBC’s The Voice now offering two cycles per year and The X Factor holding down the fort at Fox during Idol‘s off season, you’d expect audience attrition for The House That Kelly Clarkson Built, especially in its twelfth season.

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But increased competition is only one part of the equation — and there are plenty of other factors for the ratings drop. It’s time for Idol‘s producers to take responsibility. As a massive Idoloonie who’d love to see the reality juggernaut stay strong and produce another generation of J.Huds and Carries and Lamberts, I’ve concocted an eight-step plan to reinvigorate Season 12 — and keep the Idol train moving forward in the coming decade.

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Click through the gallery below for my suggestions, then hit the comments with your own! And for all my Idol-related news, interviews, videos and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!