As we get ready for tonight’s (Wednesday’s) opening of Season 13 of American Idol, it’s a wonder that this moment has come to pass. After all, the show has been sinking fast in viewer ratings the past several seasons and Season 12 took on plenty of water.

The show’s execs went into damage control to fix the three most glaring potholes:

1) The feud between Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj was ridiculous, didn’t sit well with any demographic group, so both were jettisoned and we now have the judging troika of Urban/Lopez/Connick, Jr.

2) The bad/ugly/ridiculous acts on opening audition shows have been sliced to near nothing (Mr. Connick reportedly told one such contestant, “This is a waste of time. You just need to stop.”).

3) The bad talent, especially when compared to The Voice or the X Factor, and there isn’t a whole lot Idol’s execs can do about it other than hope the judges take their job a lot more seriously and there is a Carrie Underwood or Jessica Sanchez hiding backstage in Hollywood.

It’s still just a reality show and by May it’ll be over. No one’s really asking for a superstar to emerge (although that would be a delight) but just a sustainable performer. I mean, past winners such as Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze and even David Cook … where are

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they, where did they go, what have they done lately?

We will get a new stage (yawn!), a new list of executives (you’ll see their names run past you at the beginning and probably the end of each episode) and the same old Ryan Seacrest. He is the glue that holds all of this together. Without him there are those who think the show might have vanished long ago.

So, it will be nice to once again hear: “Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis is American Idol!” And to hope that is actually works this time.