Many of us thought American Idol would survive without Simon Cowell. But who knew it would prosper?

I agree wholeheartedly! Read more of the story at USA Today.

Yet it has, not just in the ratings — which show some natural erosion but not the precipitous drop many expected — but also in critical and viewer reaction. Much of the credit goes to returning producer Nigel Lythgoe, whose tweaks lend the show a renewed energy, and to the contestants, a more varied and entertaining group than last year's crew. But main credit goes to the judges who chose those singers.

I know I've said this a million times, but I feel this is one of the best years yet for American Idol and the judges have tremendous chemistry. It's a great show that you watch with your kids and entire family! Of course, I'm voting for our country crooner Scott McCreery.