I'm not a terribly big fan of American Idol (although Milady is), but I did find this little snippet of information to be interesting:
More than half of adult voters for the Fox Broadcasting Company’s American Idol program value judge Simon Cowell’s opinion over that of the other judges in the 2006 season, according to a study released today by Pursuant, Inc. of Washington, D.C. The study found that 58 percent of voters respect Simon Cowell’s opinion the most. This is more than twice that of the 26 percent who value Randy Jackson’s opinion and nine times more than the 6 percent who value Paula Abdul’s. (Source)
This doesn't surprise me in the least. Cowell's comments, IMO, are spot on about 95% of the time. Jackson's comments can be decent, but he lapses all too often into "stroke the contestant's ego" mode (that and his frequent inanities like, "Yo, dog!" and "It's a hot one tonight!"). As for Abdul, she needs to be replaced immediately (actually, she should have been replaced after last year). It's amazing how often she's incoherent. She appears to listen to the music mostly on an emotional level, rarely listening to the music or the singer critically, and then gives little thought as to what she's actually going to say. To borrow Donald Trump's phrase, I'd say, "Paula, you're fired!"
One other comment I've told Milady in recent weeks is that if I were a music producer in, say, Nashville or Detroit, I'd be praying for Kelly Pickler and Paris Bennett to both lose (as they have). Those two in particular - along with Chris Daughtry - could have very successful careers, insha'allah. The remaining three finalists could also be successful, but I'd place my bets (if I were a betting man) over the long-term on Pickler, Bennett, and Daughtry because all three are very good in their niche (country, r&b, and rock) and all three of those niches are huge.