American Idol’s ratings are down 18% compared to last year, and less ad money means fewer frills. This is clearly illustrated by the backstage craft service table at CBS where the live show is produced. A show insider told Rambling Reporter columnist Merle Ginsberg at The Hollywood Reporter that in early March crewmembers were surprised when they started being charged 25 cents to nibble on the previously free carrots and potato chips at the craft table. By April, the price to graze had gone up to a dollar! Why the crew people are being “punished” for low ratings remains a mystery.