Turn off the Olympics, watch Idol

Amanda Stanley

The Olympics are in full swing in Turin, Italy. Have you watched any of the great moments yet? Did you cry when you heard Michelle Kwan withdrew due to a groin injury? Were you disappointed when Apolo Anton Ohno stumbled in the 1500m speed-skating race and failed to advance to the next heat?

If you’re like the majority of Americans, then you’re probably saying, “Who? What? I didn’t even know Michelle Kwan was still ice skating.”

It seems the 2006 Winter Olympics are going unnoticed. You would think the Olympics would be a spectacle to behold considering all of the hoopla and advertising NBC has put into covering them. Heck, you can even see the Olympics not just on NBC, but all the affiliates as well: MSNBC, CNBC, USA and even Telemundo.

Sure, maybe you caught the opening ceremonies and a couple of minutes of the ski jumping but those were only during the commercials of “CSI,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives.”

According to Nielsen ratings from the week of Feb. 6-12, the first week of the Olympics, NBC’s Olympic ratings barely cracked the top 10 in ratings numbers. The Olympics came in at seven and nine, just barely beating out ABC’s celebrity showcase of, “Dancing with the Stars.” Coming in at No. 1 was of course, Fox’s “American Idol.”

But why are the Olympics going unnoticed? I remember when I was a kid I always looked forward to this grandiose event with much admiration for my country and for the competing athletes. Maybe now, Americans are much more interested in watching reality television and clich‚d crime dramas to really care.

Therefore, I have come up with several suggestions for the Olympic committee in charge of the 2010 games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

One: Forget world-class athletes. Sure, they have been training most of their lives for just one opportunity to compete. But really, who cares about these athletes anyways. We’ll forget their names in about seven seconds. Celebrities should be the competitors for the Olympics. Who wouldn’t love to see a bobsled full of D-list celebrities?

Two: Get Simon Cowell from “American Idol” to judge the figure-skating competition. Hearing him say, “That triple-toe-loop was bloody dreadful” is sure to jack up the ratings. Rather, bring in all the judges from “American Idol.” Randy Jackson would tell competitors, “Dawg, I really felt that sit-spin tonight. It was really edgy.” And Paula Abdul, always kind and optimistic, would say, “Really not your best triple axle combination tonight, but don’t give up on your dream.”

Finally, forget times and scores to determine the bronze, silver and gold medals. Simply have the competitors vote one another out of the Olympic Village. Can you imagine entire countries forming alliances? It would probably start another world war.

I seriously hope the International Olympic Committee takes these suggestions into account. Oh, and please don’t forget to watch “American Idol” tonight on Fox.

Amanda Stanley is a junior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].