"Idol": A great year to be a teen

On Wednesday, "American Idol" producer Ken Warwick told reporters that the voting procedures may be tweaked next season. "It's something that w're going to have a long discussion about," he said.

And tonight, we again saw that a change is needed.

The shock wasn't that Stefano Langone was sent home. He's been in the bottom two or three most weeks; two weeks ago (when Pia Toscano was ousted) he seemed stunned that it wasn't him.

(Two side notes: First, I'll catch Langone in a group interview Friday and have the story here by mid-afternoon. Second, please read my preceding blog, with the immensely gifted John Noble talking about a key "Fringe" episode Friday.)

Instead, the big thing was another reminder of the advantage teens have this year. Even after a so-so night Wednesday, Scotty McCreery, 17, avoided the bottom three. Those spots went to Langone (as usual), Haley Reinhart (as usual) ... and Jacob Lusk, despite his truly sensational performance Wednesday.

"We are aware, very much, of the fact that the voting could quite possibly be skewed toward the boys," Warwick said Wednesday. It also, he could have added, is skewed to the young and cute.

"Idol" has always leaned that way. This year, however, it added computer voting and Twitter communicating. Both tend to be strongpoints of teen girls.

Girls like guys and that's been clear in the results: Five females were ousted before any males went. (Admittedly, Casey Abrams was voted out and then rescued in the judges' one-per-year save.) Even now, the remaining teens -- McCreery and Lauren Alaina, 16 -- have been untouchable. Great singers have been ousted (Toscano) or in the bottom two (Lusk), while the kids stay safe.

Now, I like McCreery and country music; I just can't see such easy survival on a week when he goes bland ("Swingin'") and the others go big. 

By next year, Warwick said, there might or might not be some limit to the computer votes. For now, it's a cozy year to be a teen.