Maybe we should start a boyband

Are "white guys with guitars" (WGWG) killing American Idol?

Of late, the reality singing show has crowned, in succession, five nice-guy types with a penchant for strumming, and has seen its ratings dip.

Who better to ask about this trend than a WGWG himself?

Kris Allen, 26, was the nice, safe guy who beat out guyliner-ed Adam Lambert to take home the Idol crown in 2009.

He was the second of the so-called WGWGs to win, preceded by David Cook, 29, and followed by Lee DeWyze, 26, country boy Scotty McCreery, 18, and this year's winner, Phillip Phillips.

On the phone from his home in Arkansas, Allen joked to The New Paper that WGWG did seem like an "epidemic".

"Maybe we should start a boy band together," he said, laughing.

Allen released his second album, Thank You Camellia, last month, 21/2years after his self-titled post-Idol debut.

And he was rooting for this year's eventual runner-up, Jessica Sanchez, the 16-year-old powerhouse vocalist who blew away guest mentors like Mary J. Blige and will.i.am.

"I thought she was incredible. She's unbelievable, this tiny person with a huge voice," he said.

But he admitted that this year's WGWG winner, 21-year-old Phillips, was very "relatable".

"He was more genuine and relatable than some of the other folks on the show, I think," said Allen. "I think people like that genuine thing."

Fans certainly liked it enough to send a record-breaking 130 million votes for the finale.

But the American public - at least the ones not voting for the WGWGs - seem to be tiring of the formula.

Idol suffered its lowest-rated finale this season, with 21.5 million viewers tuning in to watch Phillips romp away with the title, a drop of 32 per cent from the previous year, according to Fox, the show's network.

This is almost half the number that tuned in to the second season finale between Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, which drew over 38 million viewers, according to The Nielsen Company.

When asked about the WGWG phenomenon before this season's finale, American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe admitted to TVLine.com: "The last few years, without question, it has been that way.

"I always get the comments - and we get it on (So You Think You Can) Dance, too - 'Oh, the boys are always going to win, and the girls are going to be cut off one by one'.

"There's nothing you can do about it."

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