Okay so Wednesday I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of reality programs that aired. In particular I found it difficult to choose between Fame and the results show for American Juniors. I had gotten sucked rather quickly into both shows and until this Wednesday with the results show for American Juniors airing in the middle of Fame it hadn’t been a problem. Yes I could have taped the show but call me old-fashioned. I switched between the two. And okay so my switching was mainly prompted by a lack of interest in Wednesday night’s Fame show. I’ll spare you by not going into that issue here.

I watched the initial episodes of American Juniors with trepidation. Were they going to embarrass children on national television? Were they going to rake children over the coals Simon style? Was Simon going to be an active part of the show? I had been pleased that embarrassment of children was kept at a minimum while the showing of stage parents was brought to the forefront. Children were spared Simon-styled put-downs. And the talent many children, even many of those passed over, was amazing.

Then we got to the actual performance episodes. Where children would be on stage in front of a television audience. How would the judges act toward the children? Would there be Simon-styled put-downs? I was pleased at the judges’ comments. No one was harangued. No one was openly criticized. The judges focused on the positive while giving the kids ways to improve.

So there I sat Wednesday night, remote in hand. And there was the expected, after the break routine I had come to expect from watching American Idol. I’ll be honest. That routine had long grated on my nerves. Yes, I understand they have a whole half hour to fill. But must they tease us for the entire half hour?

As Ryan Seacrest Announced the names of the children who would go on, I cheered, seeing some of those that I had voted for going on. I knew five was going on and when only four names were read I groaned. Yup – there it was, the American Idols teaser. They’d do it after the break. I screamed in frustration then toggled over to check Fame.

When I returned to American Juniors I was shocked. Shocked to see the face of at least one child, Kristinia, looking as if she’d been crying during the commercial. I found myself outraged. How could they have not thought that it would upset six children that they hadn’t been part of the 4 chosen already? That through the minds of all six the thought that ‘I lost’ was racing? And I also thought, okay they’ll tell us. Did they? Of course not. It was more important to pump Justin Guarini’s album by having the “judge” sing than it was to put six children out of misery. If it was necessary to have Justin Guarini sing, why couldn’t he have performed at the beginning of the show? Justin could have pumped his album. The kids could have done their group number. Then Ryan could have read the usual judges comments for each child and revealed the winner.

I sincerely hope that next week the producers of American Juniors rethink their process. Yes it is upsetting for anyone in that circumstance. But they need to remember that they are dealing with children and that for America to watch children visibly upset for the sake of ratings and suspense is uncalled for. I’ll be watching next week, mainly to see if they change their handling of the results show. If not, both American Juniors and American Idol may have lost this viewer permanently.