If winners keep up that track record, the show will continue to lose credibility within the industry. To keep that from happening, the show is shoring up its original premise, which is the search for a superstar. "Idol" has broken its partnership with Sony and is now working with Universal Music Group and Jimmy Iovine, chairman of UMG's Interscope Geffen A&M Records.
Iovine is a veteran producer who has worked with everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Lady Gaga. For "Idol," he has assembled a "dream team" of producer-songwriters including Rodney Jerkins, who made hits for Janet Jackson, and Timbaland, who did the same for Justin Timberlake.
Though it's still being discussed how these hit-makers' original songs will be used, it's a sure bet that there will be a lot more hand-holding with contestants when it comes to choosing the best songs to suit their talents.
"You're you going to see career shaping as the show is happening," Halperin said.