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"American Idol" Slips on Local Ratings Charts

Not even an enhanced Bikini Girl could help this season's two-hour finale of "American Idol" register a local rating close to the 2008 finale.

Wednesday's finale had a 16.3 rating on WUTV, representing 16.3 percent of area households. The number of people who time-shifted the program rather than see Kris Allen be declared the winner over Adam Lambert live could add a few ratings points.

However, even the added time-shift viewers are unlikely to mean the rating Wednesday will approach the 21.2 rating that the battle of the Davids had a year ago.

Despite the decline, you have to be impressed by a 16.3 rating for a show that only has two minutes of suspense when the winner is declared at the end.

Nick Magnini, Channel 29's general manager, acknowledged the ratings slippage, but added:"It still is a dominant show. I'll take a 16.3 any day."

The question now is whether Allen's surprising victory over a clearly more talented Lambert will impact the credibility and popularity of the show next season.

I didn't tune in that often, but saw enough during the season to realize that Allen wasn't in Lambert's class as a singer or performer. But I have to agree with those who believe Allen's cuteness factor was more likely to get the votes of adoring young females who are experts at speedy text messaging.

I wouldn't go see him at a free concert in Delaware Park.

Though the "Idol" judges constantly say the show is a "singing competition," it really becomes a popularity contest at the end and Allen got more votes for being Mr. Congeniality. 

-- Alan Pergament

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About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

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