Why Every TV Show Should Adopt 'Idol''s Sudden Death Night

What if we could "vote off" our least favorite characters on our favorite television series?

Well, Idol fans, it's time to separate the wheat from the chaff. "There were some people who had great voices, but certain things didn't really mesh for everybody," said Mariah Carey near the end of Wednesday night's episode of American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m. ET, Wednesday and Thursday). "And they will have a chance outside of the competition." In other words, keep singing, folks -- just not here!  

This week and next, Idol is axing contestants right and left, as a sudden death sing-off in Las Vegas is winnowing the 20 women down to 10, and then halving the pool of 20 guys next Wednesday and Thursday.  

Is it rude to admit that watching the instant, blink-and-you-missed-it eliminations was strangely satisfying? It kind of makes you wish that other shows could follow Idol's lead and instantly drop the characters and cast members that hinder an otherwise great viewing experience. Seriously -- what if you could vote off characters you hate in other shows? Imagine the possibilities. ... 

Modern Family: The hilarious Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) may be the soul of this show, but their bratty daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson Emmons) seems to lack one entirely. She delivers her lines so dryly, we wonder why no one's thought to give her some of Honey Boo Boo's go-go juice. Barring that solution, we'd just nix her character completely.

Homeland: Granted, Brody's (Damian Lewis) daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) inspired a great Saturday Night Live impression. But if Abu Nazir doesn't kill her dad, this gloomy hand-wringer's endless sulking probably will. Given the chance, we'd vote her off the show in a heartbeat. 

The Good Wife: Sure, the producers have responded to viewer hatred of Kalinda's (Archie Panjabe) abusive ex husband, Nick (Marc Warren), by shortening his storyline. But if we had our hand on the "sudden death" button? Bang! He'd be gone already.

Smash: If we had our say, that scheming assistant Ellis Boyd (Jaime Cepero) would have been dropped from Smash much faster than he was.  Just sayin'.

Every reality show on Earth: Is there an unscripted series in existence that doesn't feature an intolerable jerk who deserves to get the boot? We don't think so. Take your pick of instigating provocateurs on any of the Real Housewives series! We could all agree to kick out, say, New Jersey's Teresa Guidice at least, right? 

Sure, producers have to deal with that nasty little nuisance called contracts. But in a perfect world, they'd add an escape clause!

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