The blogosphere is heating up today over the producers’ latest boneheaded adjustment.

Over at, Jim Cantiello writes:

The biggest disaster on last night’s “American Idol” wasn’t Lil Rounds’ wilted “Rose” or Matt Giraud’s over-singing. It was the decision to put a muzzle on Simon with a bizarre format change that limited each performance to only two judges’ critiques.

Since bringing the “American Idol” running time down to 60 minutes, the show has consistently spilled over into the 9 o’clock hour on Tuesdays, confounding DVR users and angering “Fringe” fan(s). “Idol” producers are obviously struggling to come up with a solution to keep the show on schedule, but last night’s “Randy and Kara/ Paula and Simon” pairings felt like the show’s limbs had been amputated, and all that was left was a bloody stump. It made for boring television, but even worse, it might affect who goes home tonight.

Think about it: Love him or hate him, America hangs on what Simon says. While Randy jibber-jabbers, Kara rambles about “package artists” and Paula reads from fortune cookies, Simon’s opinion, to many, is the only opinion worth listening to. A rave from Simon can propel a singer to the front of the pack, while a casual dig at a singer’s outfit can turn a knockout performance into one that ends up in the bottom three come results night. (Just ask Allison Iraheta!)

LOL! “Paula reads from fortune cookies…”

But Cantiello is right. Simon is the man everyone loves to watch do his thing – kind of like the crowd cheering as the Romans threw Christians to the lions.

To be honest, I quit watching “Idol” regularly a couple of years ago and only tune in when one of the contestants starts generating a lot of buzz around the building. This year I’ve been besieged by co-workers convinced that Adam Lambert is going to walk away the winner.

Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna at E! Online is out for blood (but kinder to “Fringe” fans):

The four judges situation on American Idol is clearly not working out.

The time it takes for all four to chime in on the contestants’ performances has made the show run over twice in the past two weeks alone. Cutting off fan favorite Adam Lambert’s performance on TiVo is one thing, but pissing off the fans of Fringe, the show following Idol, is just plain dangerous.

Borzillo-Vrenna is taking a poll to find out if one judge should go and which one it should be.

I’m wondering if that’s even necessary. Considering the fact that both Simon and Paula have hinted at the fact they might leave the show of their own volition, shouldn’t we just let them duke it out among themselves? And televise it?

Read’s coverage here and E! Online’s coverage here.

Wednesday, April 15
Zac Efron, Demi Lovato – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Whitney Cummings, Brody Stevens – “Chelsea Lately”
Gene Simmons – “The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos” – rerun
Neko Case – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Don Rickles, Chris Botti with John Mayer – “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
Ice-T, Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Dana Gould – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Matt Baetz – “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”
The Duke Spirit – “Last Call with Carson Daly”

Thursday, April 16
Kristin Chenoweth – “The View”
Ludacris and Jesse McCartney – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Smashing Pumpkins – “The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos” – rerun
Billy Ray Cyrus – “The Bonnie Hunt Show”
Rascal Flatts – “Late Show with David Letterman”
Bob Saget, Jonny Lang – “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”
– “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Zac Efron, Pete Yorn – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Lykke Li – “Last Call with Carson Daly”

Friday, April 17
The Pussycat Dolls – “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”
Donnell Rawlings, John Caparulo, Jen Kirkman – “Chelsea Lately” – rerun
John Legend – “The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos” – rerun
Plain White T’s – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
Franz Ferdinand – “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Martina McBride – “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”
Ben Harper & Relentless 7 – “Last Call with Carson Daly”

Saturday, April 18
Van Morrison – “Austin City Limits” – rerun