When do 21.6 million viewers equate to a disappointing episode of television? When you've been the country's top-rated series for years.
Indeed, American Idol earned the highest ratings on TV last night and will undoubtedly do so every evening it airs through the May finale - but its numbers were down 27% from the season 10 opener.
There are many reasons for this decline - all programs suffer viewer fatigue at some point, and the competition (The Voice, The Sing-Off, The X Factor) from similar shows has never been higher - but talent is not be among them.
There were actually a few strong acts last night, three of which we've posted again here: