It's been well documented that the current 12th season of American Idol has come up Joba Chamberlain-trampoline lame. The one-time juggernaut is repeatedly getting slammed by its time-slot competitor - CBS' Big Bang Theory, and even ABC's Grey's Anatomy, a show so melodramatic I just received a call from the word melodramatic because it was offended I described the show that way. Yes, the reality-singing competition is losing its luster, and has been over the past few years. But this year the fit has hit the shan and there are a bunch of reasons for it. The show is pretty stale. It's essentially stuck with the same format for its entire run - give or take a tweak here or there - and viewers are probably sick of Randy Jackson's schtick. Furthermore, the newbies on the judging panel this year (Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban) have failed to ignite any fire. Throw in Ryan Seacrest being Ryan Seacrest, and Jimmy Iovine being Jimmy Iovine, and it's no wonder this show is fading. Look everybody used to love Christian Slater, too. These things happen. You can expect a lot of changes come next season. "The Dawg" Randy Jackson has already announced his retirement (one can assume his decision occurred at gunpoint), and rumors have been swirling on the Internet that all the judges and possibly producer Nigel Lythgoe may get the boot. Figuring this and more, here are my list of 100 ways to fix Idol..err I mean 18. It used to be must-watch TV, and I strongly believe it can be... "in it to win it" again. Any of these options could work...
1. Bring Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul back. Sofia Vergara has some kind of a bust. The X-Factoris a bust.
2. Fire Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul once you bring them back and hire loose cannon Courtney Love or one or both of the Gallagher brothers from Oasis. Must. See. TV.
3. Cut Ryan Seacrest and see if Justin Timberlake would host. The show needs humor and more personality. If Justin can't do it, maybe Andy Samberg can find time for Fox since he's got a sitcom debuting there next year. Actually wouldn't a hosting duo be awesome? Ask T-Lake and S-berg to pair up. They won't do it so just hire Diddy.
4. Have a pool of mentors versus Jimmy Iovine and start embracing some rock for a change. Start by calling outspoken gems like Billy Corgan, Andre 3000, or even Liz Phair.
5. Lower and increase the age limit for contestants. The Voice succeeds because it has some oldies but goodies in the ranks. The X-Factor was kind of appealing because it kids in the pool.
6. Allow duos. See #5 reasoning
7. Hire Pink and Nate Ruess as judges but do not exceed THREE judges.
8. Track down MC Skat Cat and have him appear in all Ford commercials.
9. Pry Usher away from The Voice since CeeLo is coming back.
10. Seriously - no one wants to see the trainwreck auditions anymore. Audition weeks should be one week of TV viewing.
11. Cut the fat on the results shows. Nobody milks an hour more than American Idol. I suggest cutting the results show down to a half hour. Something innovative needs to be done here.
12. Replace Jimmy Iovine with a used Teddy Ruxpin doll or a talking squirrel. It will offer more constructive criticism.
13. Part of what made VH1's I Love the '80s specials so damn funny were they blended nostalgia with comedy. Idol could do that by offering panelists from the industry who are as funny as they are talented. Harry Connick, Jr. could work here but I'd rather see any of the following: John Mayer, Ke$ha, Weird Al Yankovic, Rob Thomas, or Ben Folds on the panel. Folds killed it on The Singing Bee or whatever that show was called.
14. Canuck love birds Chad Krueger and Avril Lavigne could be a great trainwreck to watch on TV - just sayin'.
15. Bring Jessica Simpson to serve as a social correspondent - the same pointless role Christina Millian serves on The Voice.
16. Have former Idols serve as mentors. Adam Lambert could work. So could Taylor Hicks. Or not.
17. Get a professional band to play with the contestants. The Roots are a killer houseband. Idol should have a famous one, too...and I don't mean Morris Day and The Time. At least hire Tom Morello as band leader.
18. Michael Bolton is a walking punchline in a very good way. He's embraced it so should Idol in some capacity.
Follow Jon Chattman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thisisasides