Why did Wednesday's American Idol cut off the last minute for digital video recorders?
Longtime American Idol fans are used to the show's disregard for our time.
For years, the show has struggled with time overruns in its live performance shows, with results or final moments sometimes occurring after the designated end time for the program, meaning digital video recorders would not capture the footage for fans playing catchup.
But last night may be the first time American Idol ran over in a previously filmed and edited show.
Fans who recorded Wednesday's episode on their DVRs discovered that the climatic moment, when 16-year-old Symone Black fell off the stage, was cut off by their DVRs. Fox, apparently, moved up the start time of their show, Mobbed, making the recorders shut off early.
As it turns out, losing those last moments may not matter, because the show never revealed how hurt Black might have been by the fall, presumably saving that little detail for tonight's show.
Given Idol's ratings problems, it felt like a desperation move -- an effort to inject some controversy and buzz into a program which has run so smoothly this year, viewers have gotten bored.
Idol is never so attractive as when it is dysfunctional, from problems replacing judges to overruns during live shows or rude comments made by host Ryan Seacrest. But Idol never looks so desperate as when it's manipulating viewers; don't be surprised if there's more o these sorts of shenanigans in the future.
At least viewers got to see quality performances by the two Tampa Bay area people rumored to survive into the Top 24, Tampa's Shannon Magrane and Valrico's Jeremy Rosado (at left).
And you can see the clip you might have missed recording the show below: