Main | Wednesday, May 27, 2009

American Idol Voting Scandal?

The New York Times is reporting that AT&T may have "swayed" the voting during the finals of American Idol by hosting two hometown parties for fans of eventual winner Kris Allen, during which they were showed how to send ten times the allowed number of text votes at a time.
Representatives of AT&T helped fans of Mr. Allen at the two Arkansas events by providing instructions on how to send 10 or more text messages at the press of a single button, known as power texts. Power texts have an exponentially greater effect on voting than do single text messages or calls to the show’s toll-free phone lines. The efforts appear to run afoul of “American Idol” voting rules in two ways. The show broadcasts an on-screen statement at the end of each episode warning that blocks of votes cast using “technical enhancements” that unfairly influence the outcome of voting can be thrown out. And the show regularly states that text voting is open only to AT&T subscribers and is subject to normal rates.
Adam Lambert's fan forums are going apeshit, of course, but with almost 100 million votes cast in total, it seems doubtful to me that what AT&T did could have had that much of an effect on the result. For their part, Fox is refusing to comment on the situation.

(Tipped by JMG reader Will)

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