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'American Idol' notes: solid ABC debut ratings, Bremen's Andrew Weaver on 2nd episode

Posted Monday, March 12, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

"American Idol" on ABC opened to promising ratings Sunday despite competition from Fox's "O.J. Simpson" special.

It drew 10.3 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among 18 to 49 year olds. In comparison, the debut of the final season on Fox in 2016 drew 11 million viewers and a 3 rating among 18 to 49 year olds. That drop-off among 18 to 49 year olds may seem alarming but viewership in that demo across the board has been falling the past two years as more people in that demographic opts for streaming and on-demand options instead.

The show tends to lose viewers in its second episode, based on past seasons. And it will face off against "The Voice" tonight.  "The Voice" debuted a couple of weeks ago with 12.3 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among 18 to 49 year olds.

According to Hollywood Reporter, ABC guaranteed advertisers a 1.8 rating among 18 to 49 year olds, including three days of DVR usage. Even if "Idol" inevitably loses some numbers from its debut, it should easily achieve ABC's reasonable goals.


WSB-TV recently revealed five contestants from the metro Atlanta area who may be featured on the show. Based on spoilers, one makes it into the top 24. I won't say who here.

One is certain to be featured on tonight's episode: Andrew Weaver of Bremen. He was part of the WSB-TV "Atlanta Idol" competition and finished in the top 6. He didn't make it past the initial round at Piedmont Park but was encouraged enough to try out quietly in Asheville, N.C. From there, he was able to make it to Hollywood.

This is no secret. "American Idol" actually released that info in advance on social media.

The other four metro Atlantans that may be seen on future episodes include Gabbii Jones of Marietta, Isaac Streetman of Rockmart, Caleb Lee Hutchinson of Dallas and Victoria McQueen of East Point.

In an interview, Weaver said he stuck with his Beatles cover of "In My Life." He did a piece of it for "Atlanta Idol," which I posted on YouTube last year:

The Beatles song came from his dad Mike Weaver, who loved the group. "I grew up listening to it," he said. "I felt like it was my good-luck charm. 'Idol' was a long process. There were callbacks. I sang that at every callback, sang it for the judges."

His mom said Mike's fandom cannot be overstated. They've been on the Magical Mystery Bus Tour in Liverpool and honeymooned at Abbey Road in London.

Weaver said he wasn't in the best frame of mind the morning of his Atlanta audition last year. He had no idea how the process worked and was flustered. He said the producer did set him aside and said he's special but just 15, to try again.

In Asheville, he said he was calmer, more ready. His mom Kelli said he wasn't 100 percent in Atlanta but was far more present and confident the second time around. "He walked up there with purpose," she said. And it worked.

He performed in front of Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan in Savannah, an audition set to air tonight.

'They didn't say much about my voice," he said. "I can remember Lionel liked my resonance and sound. Mostly the conversation was about my appearance."

Weaver is still young. He said his sound is evolving. But he does like acoustic pop along the lines of Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth, plus indie pop like 1975 and Hozier. "I'm still trying to find my sound," he said. "I do write my own songs. I'm coming out with an EP soon."

His mom Kelli, by the way, is the marketing director for Mill Town Music Hall in Bremen. It's the first place Andrew performed three years ago. (She knew the late great Rhubarb Jones well.)



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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.