Ideas and resources for covering the big finale show this evening.
Tonight, another "American Idol" will be chosen.
Even as "American Idol's" ratings teeter a bit, the finale show is expected to deliver big numbers for Fox.
This year there are a few unique twists to the season and finale:
• Hated — but sometimes cheered — judge Simon Cowell is hanging up his "Idol" jersey.
• Ellen is wrapping up her first season and the show is in its first full year without Paula Abdul as a judge.
• "Idol" has changes planned for its platform next year, most likely due to rating declines this year, that will offer a two-hour show for performances and only 30 minutes for the results show.
There's no doubt that Thursday's watercolor talk will surround tonight's show. There are lots of things you could do today with this story:
• Put a poll on your site today asking readers to vote on who they think will win. Offer a poll tomorrow asking readers if they thought the winner should have won?
• Facebook will be nuts tonight with reaction. Post something on your Facebook page as soon as the results come out asking for reaction and repurpose those responses in your paper with your poll results and the poll question that will be offered the next day.
• Consider a Simon Cowell poll question or get a Facebook discussiong going on him, as well.
• If you plan on creating a Facebook discussion, post something on your Web site and your Facebook page today letting readers know that they're invited to the conversation tonight.
• Today, see if you can track down a high school choir or music teach or college professor in the music department, who could talk about each singer's talents and if either will make it big. If you knock this out earlier in the day, you can use it without having to track that educator down tonight.
• Because most of the world will know who has won by the time the paper comes out tomorrow morning or afternoon, consider a man-on--the-street feature about the future of the show to offer readers something they may not be expecting. Do residents like Ellen, who should replace Simon and what's reaction to the new format for next year?
• Offer a breakout box on past winners. You can get that information here.
• If your newspaper isn't an AP member, you can get photos to use in your paper of the winners here.
• Consider building a page with "Idol" videos from this year, possibly broken down by contestant. You can find contestant videos from this year at this link. Click on grab to get the embed code.
(Every day David Arkin offers his Wake Up Call!, with ideas and resources on localizing content for your local newspaper).