Scotty in with a chance? "Dancing" audience beats "Idol"

Wed May 25, 2011 1:55pm EDT
 
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lauren Alaina may have won the hearts of "American Idol" judges with her final performances, but TV viewers were more interested in "Dancing With the Stars," according to early ratings figures for the two big rival shows.

And according to some predictions, Scotty McCreery may emerge the ultimate winner on Wednesday after public votes are counted, despite an emotional performance by Alaina that she dedicated to her mother, and a last minute vocal scare.

Preliminary Nielsen figures on Wednesday showed ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" becoming the first TV show ever to beat an "American Idol" part one finale.

Some 21 million viewers watched football player Hines Ward win the "Dancing" mirrorball trophy on Tuesday night, compared to 20 million who tuned in to watch country teen singers Alaina and Scotty McCreery perform on the Fox network for the 2011 "American Idol" title.

Now in its 10th year, "American Idol" has been a ratings juggernaut for Fox and the nation's most-watched TV show for the last seven years.

But despite reversing a ratings slide this year after a

major revamp, the audience for Tuesday's part one "American Idol" finale was one of the lowest since the show's inaugural season in 2002.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday in a two-hour broadcast which is expected to feature performances by Lady Gaga, U2, Judas Priest, Tony Bennett and country superstar Tim McGraw, among others.   Continued...

 
<p>"American Idol" television show contestant Scotty McCreery poses at the Royal Wedding themed champagne launch of BritWeek at the British Consul General's official Residence in Los Angeles, April 26, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>