In light of the recent “shocking” elimination of Pia Toscano, Nigel spoke out Tuesday at the HRTS Newsmakers Luncheon Series about Idol‘s voting system and why the exact number of votes each contestant receives is kept from viewers…

Nigel…went on to explain why viewers will never know the exact number of votes each contestant receives. “Let’s take the Carrie Underwood season. Carrie Underwood won every single week,” he said. “You show the vote and the show is over. There’s no jeopardy if you’re watching somebody win every single week.”

So, instead of transparency, Nigel leaks info about which of the Idols are leading the pack to TMZ, while also minimizing Pia’s importance to the competition. As if that didn’t affect the competition.

“There are always conspiracy theories, but you know we are so careful,” Nigel said. “[Voting is] done through AT&T and we get the results. It’s done so openly. We’ve got all the terrible things happening around the world with Libya, with Japan and what’s everyone talking about? ‘How did Pia get voted off?’”

Oh c’mon all this handwringing is good for the show. Thou Dost Protest Too Much Nigel.

Probably bored with dissing Simon Cowell’s X Factor, Nigel moves on to taking digs  at  NBC’s competitive reality show, The Voice:

“After the initial stage of that, the gag’s over,” he said.  “I mean that’s it. Once you’ve chosen your people, you know what they look like and then it’s straight mentoring. I don’t know the program, but the concept is you choose the voice by not seeing them. So you can pick a Susan Boyle—Shrek’s older sister, you can pick the voice and then you mentor that person. So once that first initial week is over, then it becomes a normal mentoring show.”

Actually…I think Nigel’s got a point. The Voice is pimping itself on gimmick and star power (with Xtina, Cee Lo and Adam Levine on the judges’ panel). We’ll see if it can really deliver.

Speaking of transparency? Baby steps.   Idol is allowing iTunes to chart the sales of their weekly Idol iTunes compilations.  The Top 9 collection came in at #9 this week.

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  • hypertwink

    Oh shut up, Nigel. One of these days, you’re going to put both feet in your big mouth and it’ll all be your fault.

  • LadyBeBop

    No reason why the compilations shouldn’t be charting on iTunes. It’s not showing an advantage toward any contestant.

    Number 9 on iTunes. Not bad. I would think that would be enough to chart on the Billboard Top 200. Why isn’t it charting there?

  • blmetsfan

    I understand why voting can’t be revealed each week, but why not at the end of the season? I guess the majority probably won’t care at that point (but a couple of us fanatics). lol

  • SybilTrelawney

    SuBo = Shrek’s older sister? Sheesh, Nigel. I mean, yeah, SuBo isn’t a glamour girl, but comparing her to an ogre? I guess not every British man is a British gentleman.

  • jammasta

    It’s mostly just hype. I gotta say, it is working pretty well, I think. Still tons of comments going on about this, Nigel’s still getting people talking about this show, and I find it pretty interesting for some reason.

  • gangreen29

    I understand why voting can’t be revealed each week, but why not at the end of the season? I guess the majority probably won’t care at that point (but a couple of us fanatics). lol

    Why reveal it though? What purpose would that be? I get the X Factor does it, but I don’t really see the need. It would just be ammunition for stupid fan wars, and it takes some of the fun out of speculating what had gone on in previous seasons.

  • Elliegrll

    Number 9 on iTunes. Not bad. I would think that would be enough to chart on the Billboard Top 200. Why isn’t it charting there?

    I don’t think it is enough. When Jason Castro released his EP via Itunes only, it was number one on that chart for pretty much the whole week, but he only sold 5000 copies. People just don’t buy digital cds at the same rate that they buy digital singles or physical cds.

  • sherimoonzombie

    Yeah, #9 seems great until you realize that puts it just ahead of the Grey’s Anatomy musical episode.

  • Listening

    WOW Carrie led every week impressive. Wait even after she sang MacArthur park that was one crazy song makes me chuckle every time I hear it luckily she sang it great.

    Oh yeah I like the idea of revealing the vote totals at the end of the show I believe the X factor Britain does it.

  • Tony

    I understand why voting can’t be revealed each week, but why not at the end of the season? I guess the majority probably won’t care at that point (but a couple of us fanatics). lol

    I would pay MONEY to get the weekly results from each season, lol

    (only after the season has ended, of course)

  • jpfan

    Nigel is a creep to call SuBo Shrek’s older sister. He’s a real womanizer who probably has no use for any woman who doesn’t look like a super model. Meanwhile 19 would probably sacrifice Nigel’s kidneys to produce a contestant who could sell 1/4 of the albums she’s sold.

    He’s right about the votes though. It would kill all interest in the results show because people could easily see who the frontrunners are. I’d love to know how many people actually vote not the total numbers of votes. I bet it’s a much smaller pool than people imagine.

  • Trina

    I wouldn’t mind hearing at the least the difference in votes in the finale. I don’t know why seasons 2 and 7 are the only ones where they decided to give that out.

    As for the CD, I dunno. I haven’t bought one compilation album yet because there are some performances I don’t want or need. I usually just buy 2 or 3 individual tracks.

  • NOLA

    I love Nigel.

  • briguyx

    Hey MJ, let’s not forget about Blake Shelton being on the judges’ panel for “The Voice.” With three number one country singles in a row and a successful stint co-hosting the ACMA’s recently, I bet he brings a lot more fans to the table than Cee-Lo and Adam at this point.

  • tibitibis

    He still and evil manipulator. :)

  • gabriel oak

    Why should I believe anything Nigel says? The man is a creep. And I don’t believe Carrie was ahead every week. She was a dead weight some weeks. I got to believe Bo was ahead the week he sang a capella.

  • HR

    I wasn’t aware the discussion of the last week centered on the vote being rigged. I thought the discussion was over how power voters favor male contestants and how Pia’s talent should have kept her in longer then a 9th place finish behind 6 other males.

    Nigel’s trying to direct the conversation onto more favorable ground and away from questions over whether a woman can win or if the current voting system is representative of it’s audience’s opinion.

  • springboard
    Number 9 on iTunes. Not bad. I would think that would be enough to chart on the Billboard Top 200. Why isn’t it charting there?

    I don’t think it is enough. When Jason Castro released his EP via Itunes only, it was number one on that chart for pretty much the whole week, but he only sold 5000 copies. People just don’t buy digital cds at the same rate that they buy digital singles or physical cds.

    Yes, it’s not much.
    In addition, if the iTunes ratings are an indication of sales, and it is a big if, they would indicate that the top track sells two to four times as much as the album, so about 20K which is not much compared to past seasons.
    For example season 7, when the popularity bas were showing with imixes, had many iTunes #1 and top 5 from Cook, Castro and others with songs staying at the top of iTunes for weeks.

  • Willis

    Keep in mind, Nigel is a television producer FIRST. He’s really being ‘open’ this year. It’s all just to try an increase the ratings. They brought him back and he’s had an ongoing pissing contest with Cowell ever since. He knows any press is good press. better than no press (season 9).

    I do think this year isn’t as decided yet. One great performance could skyrocket a ‘victim’ right past ‘a lock’ and right into the finals.

  • gangreen29

    In addition, if the iTunes ratings are an indication of sales,

    They aren’t

  • larc

    Nigel didn’t come up with any valid reason why vote totals shouldn’t be revealed after the season ends. X-Factor does it that way. He probably wants to protect Idol games with the B3 from being tipped off.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    I wasn’t aware the discussion of the last week centered on the vote being rigged. I thought the discussion was over how power voters favor male contestants and how Pia’s talent should have kept her in longer then a 9th place finish behind 6 other males.

    Nigel’s trying to direct the conversation onto more favorable ground and away from questions over whether a woman can win or if the current voting system is representative of it’s audience’s opinion.

    ITA-That’s what I recall as well. I don’t need to know the votes each week. In fact, I think it is better if they don’t reveal the votes. The issue is the power voting and the gender bias.

  • springboard

    ITA-That’s what I recall as well. I don’t need to know the votes each week. In fact, I think it is better if they don’t reveal the votes. The issue is the power voting and the gender bias.

    There is gender bias with voting but the worst one is the poor choice of female contestants. Too many female are just a voice and a pretty face with no personality.

  • girlygirl

    The compilation albums have been charting on iTunes since the first one came out, Top 13 week. It’s the individual singles that they aren’t allowing to chart. Which, I don’t quite understand, since I think they have to pay the contestants a percentage of the sales anyway. Are they that afraid of what having the sales totals made public will do in terms of voting and/or public opinion?

  • CryBoFanO

    Nigel Lythgoe: We’ve got all the terrible things happening around the world with Libya, with Japan and what’s everyone talking about? ‘How did Pia get voted off?’”

    He’s so arrogant and posed a rethorical question condescendingly until he contradicted himself. Instead promoting AI, he minimized AI to nothing compared with all world’s current events.
    He said so like we’re dumb. Surely majority of our time devoted to nation’s issues & world’s news. Our spare time once a week we spend for an entertaintment such ‘Idol’. That’s exactly our point, the limited spare time that we have is not to be ‘wasted’ by his ‘manipulative’ show. There are many other shows more worthwhile to be watched and enjoyed without having the feeling to be manipulated. It’s his show. He can do what he wants. As long as the voting system is not changed to ‘one vote for one voter’, American Idol is losing its credibility. And he never touches that subject. Because with ‘unlimited voting’ any manipulation can be obscured behind it. If a talented contestant is voted off, the explanation is always he/she did not have ‘enough’ votes: his/her fans were not voting vigorously. If ‘one vote for one voter’ applied, we’ll know which contestant has more supporters than others. ‘Manipulation’ could be minimized.
    I won’t ever again spend even one minute to watch that arrogant-person’s show anymore.

  • GreenHippo

    Nigel you are really getting on my nerves….ok when does The Voice start? Now I really want to see it more then ever.

  • Grammie Kari

    Nigel give it a rest! Why did you wait until Season 5 to tell America that Clay had the most votes each week going into the Finals? At the end of the season, maybe actual votes can be revealed?

    I’d be happy with 50 votes per phone number, plus 50 Internet votes, and 50 for Text Messaging.

    Seems you don’t want to acknowledge how stupid the Judges’ Save is. Let things happen as they should with real votes and no save!

  • desiree_chick

    Why I can’t help but feel that a contestant who has been in the bottom three before has been a three top vote getter for a week or two? Don’t know, just a feeling. Could be Haley…

    Hmmmm….

  • Jewlmc

    LOL. Nigel really knows how to play the Idol fandom like a fiddle. I bet he’s reading these comments and laughing is butt off.

    And incidentally, he’s right about the Pia thing. Get over it. Seriously. She was voted off. The end. Period.

    He’s also right the revealing the vote totals would be a big mistake. The only reason he mentioned Pia’s was to shut people up with the annoying “OMG! How could Pia be voted off!!!!!! She was the BESTEST! Even though I never voted for her….”
    AND he’s right about The Voice. “Shrek’s sister” is a little harsh, but the whole concept of the The Voice is “Hey! We might find soneone FUGLY!” And after that’s done…then what? It’s just your average singing show.

  • Lov3ly

    Why should I believe anything Nigel says? The man is a creep. And I don’t believe Carrie was ahead every week. She was a dead weight some weeks. I got to believe Bo was ahead the week he sang a capella.

    I think what Nigel said about Carrie won every single week is true. I recall have read someone inside the AI said that the final result Bo and Carrie not even close. I don’t know whether the vote result were shown to the contestants after the show, but from what I seen and read the interview most of the AI4 contestants admitted (even it was still in the early stage of the competition) that they were competed for the 2nd place as they were already predicted and knew that Carrie was the front runner and she had never in the bottom 3.

    I agree to limit the number of votes and as well as agree for not to show the vote result.

  • halo9125

    And incidentally, he’s right about the Pia thing. Get over it. Seriously. She was voted off. The end. Period.

    You’re right of course- if Nigel would just shut up about it, rather than adding fuel to the fire, everybody probably WOULD have stopped talking about it by now.

  • MayMirabella

    I’d be happy with 50 votes per phone number, plus 50 Internet votes, and 50 for Text Messaging.

    I think that would be a great idea. Most of these shows where viewers vote have a limited number of votes. I am guessing with ATT being a sponsor and as long as they are, Idol will never limit the number of votes as ATT makes money on text messages. Of course, I doubt people buy unlimited text or a text message package from them just for Idol voting.
    But I guess ATT figures the more votes, the more of a chance that someone with a limited text plan will go over their monthly allotment and make them some money.l

  • MayMirabella

    Being a high rated show, sponsors are probably lining up for that chance. I say drop ATT as a sponsor and limit the votes and the controversy would begin to go away and slowly evaporate. As I never hear about a vote controversy for some of these other shows where viewers vote. I am sure another sponsor would be willing to pay even more to advertise on Idol or change the voting and tell ATT tough, there will be a lmit on voting…you do not like it, we can get other sponsors with the highest rated show on TV

  • hcpoirot

    As usual Nigel love to dissing his competition. But despite Idol high rating, the Idols records (since season 6) kept declining each and each year.

    You cannot say you produce top singers from this show if all you can show to people are the contestants from season 1,3,4 and 5. (Kelly, Fantasia, J Hud, Carrie and Chris Daughtry)

    Maybe better if Nigel try to make this show better and not better at dissing his competition .

  • koshka

    And incidentally, he’s right about the Pia thing. Get over it. Seriously. She was voted off. The end. Period.

    irritating as it is.. I read zero comments about demanding a recount. That audience segment hasn’t post here.

    I think what Nigel said about Carrie won every single week is true. I recall have read someone inside the AI said that the final result Bo and Carrie not even close.

    LOL I have yet to hear of a year where the runner up and winner where the final result was close. As for the totals of S5, IDK lost interest in that season.

  • Elliegrll

    I’d be happy with 50 votes per phone number, plus 50 Internet votes, and 50 for Text Messaging.

    People would still complain. They’d say it’s not fair that some people vote 50 times, while others don’t. That their votes don’t count. That some people vote both online and on the phone, while some just do one or the other. Or, they’ll say, why vote, since their vote won’t count. Basically, the same baseless complaints that we have now.

    If a talented contestant is voted off, the explanation is always he/she did not have ‘enough’ votes: his/her fans were not voting vigorously.

    This isn’t an excuse, it’s fact. People seem to find the show credible enough to keep watching. And others seem to realize that if they want their favorite to win that they have to actually vote.

  • springboard

    And he never touches that subject. Because with ‘unlimited voting’ any manipulation can be obscured behind it. If a talented contestant is voted off, the explanation is always he/she did not have ‘enough’ votes: his/her fans were not voting vigorously. If ‘one vote for one voter’ applied, we’ll know which contestant has more supporters than others. ‘Manipulation’ could be minimized.

    Are you assuming that Pia’s elimination was the result of manipulation?

  • Nina1

    Nigel Lythgoe: We’ve got all the terrible things happening around the world with Libya, with Japan and what’s everyone talking about? ‘How did Pia get voted off?’”

    Actually, everyone isn’t talking about it and , for those who are, it is a welcome trivial escape from an unpleasand reality.

    On the “no publicity is bad publicity” front, the girl who purportedly was moved from the front row b/c of weight is being interviewed on GMA this morning. Get a grip, news shows!

  • koshka

    People would still complain. They’d say it’s not fair that some people vote 50 times, while others don’t. That their votes don’t count. That some people vote both online and on the phone, while some just do one or the other. Or, they’ll say, why vote, since their vote won’t count. Basically, the same baseless complaints that we have now.

    Sure people would complain. They complain about just about everything. Heck they complain about the complaining. LOL :) In my mind it would reduce the gap between the power voters and the casual voters. *shrug*

  • movin2thabeet

    Even though I am often exasperated by Nigel’s arrogance and pomposity, I happen to agree with him on all points here. I’ve got no problems with anything he said.

  • NOLA

    Nor do I.

  • Valentin432

    I would pay MONEY to get the weekly results from each season, lol

    (only after the season has ended, of course)

    Ditto, when and if American Idol ends I hope Nigel does the right thing and publishes the voting results for every season, I might spend the next week or so trying to make sense of it all.

    The rest is nothing new.

  • Tess

    Nigel is brilliant…Simon Fuller is brilliant…AI as a TV reality TV show is brilliant. All of these “fully” understand how to keep a silly TV show relevant and on top in the competitive world of “pop” culture. I mean, really, how many TV programs over the last 10 years can say they have consistently “appealed” to some 20 million (give or take a million here and there) viewers week after week. With all the conspiracy theories, and the idiotic issues of gender, race, and ethnicity bias this show should have fallen on its own sword years and years ago.

    The show really hasn’t offered anything new since it’s conception. The format, though tweeked a bit, is still the same as it was 10 years ago. The “issues” (gasp) that have been plaguing the blogging world for years are still the topics of conversation this season.

    And as “unfair” as EVERYTHING about the voting, and contestant selection, and song choice, and “whatever” is perceived to be the show is still the number 1 show week in and out and probably gets as much “press” as any show on TV.

    Brilliant I say…just brilliant.

  • fuzzywuzzy
    Nigel’s trying to direct the conversation onto more favorable ground and away from questions over whether a woman can win or if the current voting system is representative of it’s audience’s opinion.

    ITA-That’s what I recall as well. I don’t need to know the votes each week. In fact, I think it is better if they don’t reveal the votes. The issue is the power voting and the gender bias.

    Yeah, Nigel is diverting attention from the real issue of the unlimited voting system. It’s interesting how HE is keeping the discussion going about Pia’s leaving the show “prematurely”.

    I also agree with those who found Nigel’s comment about “Shrek’s older sister” overly harsh and tasteless.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    People would still complain. They’d say it’s not fair that some people vote 50 times, while others don’t. That their votes don’t count. That some people vote both online and on the phone, while some just do one or the other. Or, they’ll say, why vote, since their vote won’t count. Basically, the same baseless complaints that we have now.

    Sure, people may still complain, but there’s a big difference between limiting some people to 150 votes, when they would (under the current system) be allowed to cast thousands of votes. “baseless complaints”? I don’t consider the fact that Idol’s unlimited voting system leads to a misrepresentation of the contestants’ popularity irrelevant to a show that claims to be trying to find the “best singer” based on votes from viewers.

    If a talented contestant is voted off, the explanation is always he/she did not have ‘enough’ votes: his/her fans were not voting vigorously.

    This isn’t an excuse, it’s fact. People seem to find the show credible enough to keep watching. And others seem to realize that if they want their favorite to win that they have to actually vote.

    Sure, it’s a “fact”, but I don’t know how many people who watch the show do so because they believe that it’s “credible enough”.

    ETA:

    Sure people would complain. They complain about just about everything. Heck they complain about the complaining. LOL :) In my mind it would reduce the gap between the power voters and the casual voters. *shrug*

    I agree.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    With all the conspiracy theories, and the idiotic issues of gender, race, and ethnicity bias this show should have fallen on its own sword years and years ago.

    Wow. “idiotic issues”? I really don’t think so.

  • springboard

    I don’t consider the fact that Idol’s unlimited voting system leads to a misrepresentation of the contestants’ popularity irrelevant to a show that claims to be trying to find the “best singer” based on votes from viewers.

    We don’t know whether this is the case or not.
    Sure at times the winner is outsold by a runner-up, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that as a contestant they were less popular.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    We don’t know whether this is the case or not.
    Sure at times the winner is outsold by a runner-up, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that as a contestant they were less popular.

    I realize this, but because the current voting system allows for unlimited votes, there is more of a possibility of a disconnect between votes and popularity. Also, sales after the show aren’t necessarily linked directly to votes on the show (because not all people who vote continue to support their favorites after the show).

  • dy77

    LOL. Nigel really knows how to play the Idol fandom like a fiddle. I bet he’s reading these comments and laughing is butt off.

    And incidentally, he’s right about the Pia thing. Get over it. Seriously. She was voted off. The end. Period.

    He’s also right the revealing the vote totals would be a big mistake. The only reason he mentioned Pia’s was to shut people up with the annoying “OMG! How could Pia be voted off!!!!!! She was the BESTEST! Even though I never voted for her….”

    I agree with all of this. Nigel amuses me bigtime. I always get a big kick out of his twitter interactions with the Idol stans.

  • Kirsten

    I’d be happy with 50 votes per phone number, plus 50 Internet votes, and 50 for Text Messaging.

    Seriously, I think this will make the situation worse. Ma-and-Pa will still vote their 1 to 3 times while crazy-MY-IDOL-MUST-WIN fan will still find a way to circumvent the rules and vote between 150 and a thousand times. They will create facebook pages for their husband, fake children and dogs. They will go out and buy GoPhones (and collect/donate money for underprivileged BSC fans can have GoPhones too). They will both text and phone from those phones.

    Right now, we have people shouting that people who vote a lot are “cheating” and committing “fraud”. This is when unlimited voting is not only allowed, but when Ryan also actively encourages fans to vote many times.

    If they start restricting the voting, imagine the boiling anger and breathless exposes from the press when such shenanigans are “discovered”. People will find a nest of these voters trading tips on how to mega-vote and will be outraged at the cheating (and this will at least be closer to true cheating than what is claimed as cheating today). When a shock boot occurs, the press will whip out evidence that this cheating is occurring (maybe Nigel will even point the way to a specific nest of fans who favour a troublesome contestant he wants out while conveniently ignoring the 17 nests of fans for the contestant he wants to win).

    Of course, there is nothing that Idol can do to prevent the BSC fans from owning 5 phones and voting. If the police with actual power can’t stop criminals from getting anonymous phones, what hope does an entertainment company have? Will they require all fans to go down to their local FOX venue and dip their thumbs in ink (commonly used method in many emerging democracies to prevent power voting during political elections) to cast their vote? Then, only the true obsessed crazies will vote.

    Look at the results of shows where they restrict or charge for voting. Do they still get power voting? Yes. Look at DWTS and Palin. And I thinkthat some people vote because they like the cute male professional dancer.

    Look at AGT. It limits people to 10 votes. The winner last year was a WGWG who hasn’t even released an album yet, but one of the female contestants has already had one of the biggest selling albums of 2010. The year before, they also had a WGWG winner whose album did not chart. The X-Factor UK charges for votes and it’s last winner was a WGWG.

  • Miss Blue

    I just hope that now that Nigel has spilled the beans about Scott (HATE) and Lauren, that there is a backlash and people start voting in huge numbers for anybody but. And you can throw Jacob in that mix as well.

    The 3 contestants I dislike the most are the top vote getters? That’s great Nigel. So explain to me why I should continue watching this show when I can just look forward to everyone I like getting booted the next 3 weeks.

  • Tess

    Wow. “idiotic issues”? I really don’t think so.

    Anyone, anytime can turn most anything into an issue about race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference…or how about religion or social status, or geographic stereotypes or intelligence or lack there of.

    American Idol has been at the center of these “issues” over and over again. Anyone who isn’t happy about their favorite being eliminated pulls out the “issue” card to “prove” that everything, but the lack of connection and maybe talent, have been the reasons that the person being discussed has been “voted” off of idol. Name me a contestant and I can, most likely, find the discussion centering on their “issue” of the moment. AI is not a “social” experiment….it is a reality entertainment show that is about finding “someone” that appeals to someone else in the context of musicality.

  • tinawina

    Thank you Kirsten. It’s not the voting system, its the voters. If the masses have a preference, they’ll still vote the winner they want. The outcome stays the same.

    And I don’t believe it would have changed a single outcome in the 9 previous years of Idol.

    Anyone who isn’t happy about their favorite being eliminated pulls out the “issue” card to “prove” that everything, but the lack of connection and maybe talent, have been the reasons that the person being discussed has been “voted” off of idol.

    Remind me of his next time we have a discussion about season 8′s results. I’m sure it will go over well.

  • springboard

    American Idol has been at the center of these “issues” over and over again. Anyone who isn’t happy about their favorite being eliminated pulls out the “issue” card to “prove” that everything, but the lack of connection and maybe talent, have been the reasons that the person being discussed has been “voted” off of idol. Name me a contestant and I can, most likely, find the discussion centering on their “issue” of the moment. AI is not a “social” experiment….it is a reality entertainment show that is about finding “someone” that appeals to someone else in the context of musicality.

    I agree completely with this.

  • wfowfowfo

    People actually vote?!

  • mmb

    Lol. Idol is just a (sorta) cheesy reality/singing competition show. Its a tv show! Its entertainment! This is not the presidential election!!!! Props to Nigel and Fuller for keeping the show in the news and a pop culture touchstone. As a ” talent discovery” vehicle it ha a darn good track record. But as the industry changes, and as there has been and continues to be new singing competition shows to provide competition, gauging the success or failure of the show on whether this years ( or next years, or last years) winners/ finalists have a multi platinum debut cd like in the first five seasons is, IMO, silly. If they can get a finalist or two with a radio hit or two, respectable to good cd sales, maybe a Grammy ( or ACM or CMA or whatever) nomination, that is a great result

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Anyone, anytime can turn most anything into an issue about race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference…or how about religion or social status, or geographic stereotypes or intelligence or lack there of.

    American Idol has been at the center of these “issues” over and over again. Anyone who isn’t happy about their favorite being eliminated pulls out the “issue” card to “prove” that everything, but the lack of connection and maybe talent, have been the reasons that the person being discussed has been “voted” off of idol. Name me a contestant and I can, most likely, find the discussion centering on their “issue” of the moment. AI is not a “social” experiment….it is a reality entertainment show that is about finding “someone” that appeals to someone else in the context of musicality.

    All true, but there’s a big difference between pulling a “race/gender/sexuality/ethnicity” card in situations where they are not a factor vs. saying that these issues are “idiotic” (which is what I objected to). I agree that often these are used as excuses and applied when bias is not an issue, but I would never regard these issues as “idiotic”, only the misguided application of them.

  • Miss Blue

    On the “no publicity is bad publicity” front, the girl who purportedly was moved from the front row b/c of weight is being interviewed on GMA this morning. Get a grip, news shows!

    “News shows”. Hilarious. We don’t have “news shows” in this country anymore. We have robots reading the questions they are given by their masters. No follow-ups, no questioning the facts of any given answer.

    When Fox “News” was sued for lying, their defense was that they weren’t a news channel, they were an entertainment channel and as such they were allowed to lie. Get that? Their defense was that they are allowed to lie. And they won the suit based on that defense.

    I have that channel blocked because of their lies, but it’s the most-watched cable “news” channel. What does that tell you? The majority of news watchers are being fed hogwash. Makes the crap Nigel spews pretty unimportant.

  • SpenserJ

    And I don’t believe it would have changed a single outcome in the 9 previous years of Idol.

    Ditto. The whackadoodles will still find ways to get in far more votes than the average viewer. And, if someone is willing to buy go phones, monitor multiple facebook accounts and give up 2 hours of their life every week, while I’m not? Then, I can’t begrudge them getting the winner they want. Clearly, they care far more than I do.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Kirsten says:
    04/13/2011 at 8:41 am

    I agree with everything that you wrote, but I still believe that limiting the votes/source would lead to vote totals that would be more representative of the popularity of the contestants on the show. So the votes would be a better representation of the popularity of the contestants among the voting audience. However, this may pose some new “problems” in that a contestant who receives more votes will only indicate their popularity as a contestant on the show among voters and that may be less connected to sales post-show.

  • tinawina

    Yeah, its real easy to say there’s no problem and to call everyone who thinks so idiotic when you’re not the one who’s culture is called “weird” and/or “un-American” on message boards. But I digress.

    Anyway, for people who need “proof”, WNTS actually ran numbers on all the seasons and found a gender bias. It is not unsurmountable, but generally the girls have to be better contestants than the guys to get past it. Lately the girls have been as good or worse, so we have the results we have.

    That said, I care way more about real life issues than reality show voting, but I’m not about to pretend its all made up by misguided idiots so people can feel better about themselves.

  • 1wildegirl

    Dear Nigel, just shut up already.

    He who tweeted the morning after Pia left: “I am still shocked and sad about last night’s #AmericanIdol result. I guess that’s going to happen every week now!!?”

    I totally lost respect for this man when he went on Twitter and called the fans of his show “morons.”

  • http://www.amadcow2.com amadcow2

    Let’s see…

    In the past 6 days, there have been on average 2 stories a day on this blog alone about Pia’s boot from Idol. This is about the third time in those 6 days (not counting his ‘leaks’ to his TMZ lackies) that Nigel has spun the situation as nothing more than the way the show works, because Pia wasn’t that strong a contestant anyway.

    Alright, if I drink the cool-aid, then why is Pia still in the news? There must be more to this story, and I believe that it revolves around direct manipulation of the existing voting process to gin up media buz during a season where Idol faces some real competition from similar reality shows.

    The producers of Idol know darn well how voting works in Idol. They also know that season 10 is a make or break year for the franchise. Therefore, how best to influence the voteing statistics to give the greatest potential for ‘shocking’ results on a weekly basis. I think that it was a deliberate decision to select a cast of very diverse individuals with a good degree of talent, and then to ultra produce each of their performances so that the difference between each performance is very small. It’s all a smart move to keep the Idol name alive in a see of performance-based reality TV.

  • Vanille

    Carrie pwns all… She owned her season.. she out votes country superstars like T swift, Faith HIll, Brad Paisly, Tim Mgraw, Keith Urban etc to win enertainer of the year…. Obviously she could destroy anyone from idol in popular votes.. Maybe even Barack Obama..

  • Hazehel

    People would still complain. They’d say it’s not fair that some people vote 50 times, while others don’t. That their votes don’t count. That some people vote both online and on the phone, while some just do one or the other. Or, they’ll say, why vote, since their vote won’t count. Basically, the same baseless complaints that we have now.

    Certainly not baseless. There is a huge difference between 1,000 people power-texting 5 million votes and 100,000 people casting 5 million votes.

    We should realise that Idol gets people to vote for a particular contestant, and that helps to cultivate a dedicated fanbase who feels to a personal connection to a particular contestant. It is this trick of establishing personal engagement that helps a contestant’s career post-Idol because those who makes large number of votes are also the ones most likely to buy their albums.

    The point about limiting the number of votes is that it levels the playing field. Those who only have landline phone would not be disadvantaged compared to those with unlimited text option. It makes people feel that their votes count. The limit can be higher than 50 – I think it is reasonable to limit to the number of votes to a maximum number that a people dialling manually can likely achieve, say 500. Now those who feel inclined to vote large number can still do so, the difference is that no one is disadvantaged – those who feel strongly about a particular contestant can still vote many times, those who only cared a little may vote just a few, and that is good for the contestant, because it would mean that those who wins are the ones who have the most dedicated fan-base which would help launch the contestant’s career.

    However, it is bad when only one subset of people can cast huge number of votes, it means that those who proceed further in the competition or win do so by having fewer number of fans, and that is bad for the contestants themselves, they won’t have as successful a career post-Idol. It also keeps people from voting because they would think that their votes can’t possibly count when someone else can cast 10,000 votes while they can’t. You get into a situation of diminishing return when the votes keep going up but fewer and fewer people actually voted, again that means fewer potential fans for the contestant. I do think this is one big reason why the sales have been dropping the last couple of years for the contestants when people started to power-text – those who won actually don’t have that many fans.

  • Elliegrll

    Certainly not baseless. There is a huge difference between 1,000 people casting power-texting 5 million votes and 100,000 people casting 5 million votes.

    You just pulled these numbers out of the air, that’s why the complaint is baseless. It’s also baseless because every contestant will have power voters, and every contestant will have people who only vote once or twice. Limiting the voting won’t change people’s habits, there will still be some that think 50 is too much, and complain that it’s not fair that people vote 50 times, while they only want to vote once.

    More importantly, there will always be those who need an excuse for why their favorite didn’t win, so they will say that the voting is flawed. It’s funny that Nigel gave that information about Carrie, because we can go in the archives of any idol related message board and find a lot of people who said that Bo was the favorite, that he would do better than her, and that he had more unique voters. Nothing ever changes.

    I do think this is one big reason why the sales have been dropping the last couple of years for the contestants when people start to power-text – those who won actually don’t have that many fans.

    Well, even those who didn’t win, namely Adam and Crystal, didn’t have numbers that were as good as previous Idol alums. Even Jordin’s initial numbers weren’t as good. But, common sense would also tell us that votes don’t equal people buying the album, and that has always been the case.

  • TwigLA

    Regarding ‘The Voice’, I thought it was a great concept until I saw the most recent commercials. Once the celebrity judges/mentors chose a contestant based on voice, they turn around and see that person. Meanwhile, they can see audience reaction and the studio and TV voting audience sees them the entire time.

    I’m not getting how ‘The Voice’ is the determining factor following those first picks. It may end up being a great show, but for now it’s just a good gimmick to bring first time viewers in.

    Nigel showed zero class (nothing new) in his comment about Susan Boyle.

    Nigel said the other day that they like to say ‘XX million votes’ and if voting was limited people would say that votes were down. So what? Does he really think that people are too stupid to NOT expect total number of votes to be down with that sort of change? The real fear is that people would have a better way to figure out how many individuals are voting. THAT is the figure that I would want and is also what I think the results should be based on.

    I’m not surprised that Carrie was the front runner her entire season. They, Simon Cowell especially, pimped her to high heavens even before the first show aired. I’ve liked her much more after the show than I did on it.

  • Valentin432

    ITA with Haezel, the voting system is a problem.

    Saying that none of the results will change is just an assumption based on no evidence since we have no data on overall number of votes per contestants and number of people voting for each contestants.

    All we can analyze is wheter the actual system is good or not, most would agree that the fact that one person can vote tousands of time is not ideal.

    I’ll also add that gender, race issues are part of any election.

  • Hazehel

    You just pulled these numbers out of the air, that’s why the complaint is baseless.

    I have shown how I derived the number before. It’s not baseless. I won’t bother repeating to you.

    It’s also baseless because every contestant will have power voters,

    Who says? In equal proportion? Your assertion is baseless.

  • Elliegrll

    I’ll also add that gender, race issues are part of any election.

    All voters are biased about something. How many times have we seen posts on here about people who have an issue with a contestant’s religious beliefs? That’s no worse than someone who has a problem with a contestant’s race or gender. Some people will have a problem with the type of music that a contestant sings. It’s all just a part of the process.

    most would agree that the fact that one person can vote tousands of time is not ideal.

    I’ve never had a problem with people voting as often as they want. The phone lines are open for two hours, and if someone wants to vote for the entire two hours I don’t get how that’s a problem. The person might be overly invested, but they are following the rules. I can understand these people a lot more than the ones who cry that it’s not fair, or whine about why should they have to vote for that long. The answer is that nobody is being forced to vote.

  • tinawina

    Saying that none of the results will change is just an assumption based on no evidence since we have no data on overall number of votes per contestants and number of people voting for each contestants.

    The thing is, no one has evidence that the power voters have significantly different preferences from casual voters. It is true that 1,000 power voters can swamp 50,000 normal ones, but how do we know they are not distributed proportionately among the contestants in a way that mirrors everyone else’s choices? For all we know, power voting just exaggerates the outcome.

    But I do agree we have no hard data to support anyone’s conclusion on this.

    All voters are biased about something. How many times have we seen posts on here about people who have an issue with a contestant’s religious beliefs? That’s no worse than someone who has a problem with a contestant’s race or gender. Some people will have a problem with the type of music that a contestant sings. It’s all just a part of the process.

    Yes, of course. A process that will consistently lean toward people who don’t offend the audience on multiple fronts. And that means something, its not a neutral thing that “just happens” and therefore should be rendered inconsequential. The preferences of the collective are not neutral, or objective. Certain things are built into that. Those things are real. It can be overcome but its there.

  • Elliegrll

    I have shown how I derived the number before.

    Unless you got the numbers directly from the people at 19, it is baseless.

    Who says? In equal proportion? Your assertion is baseless.

    Because obviously you have facts that prove that some contestants, obviously the ones who lose, don’t have power voters, or people who vote for the whole two to four hours.

  • 1wildegirl

    The voting system is flawed…Limiting the voting would lead to having a better idea of the number of fans a certain contestant might have.

    But there is also a major disconnect from the voting audience vs. the buying public. At this point, Idol is merely exposure. Success on Idol guarantees nothing if it can’t be translated into “real world” appeal. Look at Kelly and Carrie, sure, both were winners and successful during their Idol run, but they had to prove they could gain fans outside the Idol bubble to make it.

    I just find it very interesting that for someone who had “no shot at winning” (Nigel must be psychic!) and was a complete “middle of the pack” we are still talking about her a week later. I also found Ryan’s plead of “Don’t leave us, America” at the end of last week’s result an interesting comment to make for a middle of the packer…

  • Hazehel

    Unless you got the numbers directly from the people at 19, it is baseless.

    You apparently don’t know about estimates. Or what “baseless” means.

    Because obviously you have facts that prove that some contestants, obviously the ones who lose, don’t have power voters, or people who vote for the whole two to four hours.

    What has that got to do with what you said being baseless? So you know that all contestants have power-voters, and in equal proportion, so there can be no bias in any way? Kettle, pot, black.

  • SpenserJ

    The thing is, no one has evidence that the power voters have significantly different preferences from casual voters. It is true that 1,000 power voters can swamp 50,000 normal ones, but how do we know they are not distributed proportionately among the contestants in a way that mirrors everyone else’s choices? For all we know, power voting just exaggerates the outcome.

    Also, the people who attempt to do the “power-texting” that allegedly results in thousands of votes from one person in 2 hours, have yet to confirm that all those votes actually go through. People have explained how they “try” to do it, but no one on the receiving end has ever confirmed that all those votes have counted.

    People keep surmising that the power voters are more likely to vote for men, but we actually have no evidence that this is true. It’s just a theory based on the results of the last few years. And last year, there was a fairly unconvential, female Idol contestant in the finale who made it farther than the “cute” boys.

    So, I’m just not convinced that any of these theories are true.

  • Valentin432

    The thing is, no one has evidence that the power voters have significantly different preferences from casual voters. It is true that 1,000 power voters can swamp 50,000 normal ones, but how do we know they are not distributed proportionately among the contestants in a way that mirrors everyone else’s choices? For all we know, power voting just exaggerates the outcome.

    IA, we have no evidence one way or another how this affects the voting.

    All we can do is analyze the voting system in itself and evaluate wheter the fact that it gives an advantage to a specific set of voters and allows for tousands of votes from one single person is good or not.

    Some will have no problem with it (like Elliegirl), I find this voting system ridiculous and only designed to get the most money for AT&T and to get to announce inflated number of votes each week.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    I don’t know why people are shocked by Pia’s supposed status as “middle of the pack.”

    That said, I’m not sure I buy all of Nigel’s “revelations.”

    Oh, and he may be an asshat, but the show is better with him than without him. For me, for you.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    ITA with Haezel, the voting system is a problem.

    Saying that none of the results will change is just an assumption based on no evidence since we have no data on overall number of votes per contestants and number of people voting for each contestants.

    All we can analyze is wheter the actual system is good or not, most would agree that the fact that one person can vote tousands of time is not ideal.

    I’ll also add that gender, race issues are part of any election.

    You also need to factor in where the contestant is from. As we have discussed a gazillion times, those from the south and midwest seem to have a greater advantage because home towns will actually organize to vote for their native son or daughter. Do we even want to touch on the conservative Christian vote, which Rushfield discusses in his book? LOL.

    Anyway, who knows, maybe limiting the votes wouldn’t change any outcome at all. So if it wouldn’t, why not just limit the votes? It would be great PR for the show. At least it would give the AI viewers the perception of fairness. Either limit the votes or allow all viewers with ANY cell phone plan, not just AT&T, to text vote.

  • tinawina

    Oh, and he may be an asshat, but the show is better with him than without him. For me, for you.

    This. I ain’t mad. Consider the alternative. **nods**

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    ows, maybe limiting the votes wouldn’t change any outcome at all. So if it wouldn’t, why not just limit the votes? It would be great PR for the show. At least it would give the AI viewers the perception of fairness. Either limit the votes or allow all viewers with ANY cell phone plan, not just AT&T, to text vote.

    I think Nigel is more interested in the $$ provided by AT&T.

  • SpenserJ

    I don’t know why people are shocked by Pia’s supposed status as “middle of the pack.”

    I don’t either. Just here in our little corner of the idolverse, last week’s show thread was overflowing with comments about how not exciting her performance was. Sure, she has fans, but it didn’t seem to be such an overwhelming majority that would lead me to think this result was impossible.

    I was surprised she went out so early, but I never thought she was one of the top vote-getters.

    Her “shocking” boot has been good for giving her a high profile, as well as giving the show some much-needed buzz. Because of that, I think Nigel’s just blathering on, and this show isn’t going to change a damn thing.

  • Valentin432

    Also I would like to add that these issues didn’t come to light only because of what happened in the past few weeks.

    Voting system talk has been out there for the past 3 years, I’ve been discussing of gender parity issues on these voting shows before this season began and we didn’t have 5 staight girls going home.

  • flyaway

    Look at the highest-placing women of the past few seasons. Crystal Bowersox. Brooke White. Iraheta. Maybe it’s no surprise when you consider the most successful female pop stars of the moment, like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Pink, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Ke$ha.

    Quote from another blog that makes sense. If Stefano and Jacob go next, will verify voters are done with the “old” idol types, no matter sex.

  • https://twitter.com/pmhowden undercooked

    I think Nigel is more interested in the $$ provided by AT&T.

    Yes, but I wonder how many people actual purchase unlimited texting plans just for the AI season? I would also love to know how many go phones are purchased as well? Is it significant? Text plans have really gone down over the years and so more and more people are likely to have an unlimited plan today then they were four years ago. I don’t know. The theories are fun.

    At the end of the day, Pia is getting plenty of buzz from this ouster. Also, many runner ups/top 10 finalist, have gone on to great careers so winning isn’t everything. As long the talented peeps are given great opportunities, the faulty voting system doesn’t matter as much.

  • Fullmoon

    Tess says:
    04/13/2011 at 8:16 am

    Nigel is brilliant…Simon Fuller is brilliant…AI as a TV reality TV show is brilliant. All of these “fully” understand how to keep a silly TV show relevant and on top in the competitive world of “pop” culture. I mean, really, how many TV programs over the last 10 years can say they have consistently “appealed” to some 20 million (give or take a million here and there) viewers week after week. With all the conspiracy theories, and the idiotic issues of gender, race, and ethnicity bias this show should have fallen on its own sword years and years ago.

    The show really hasn’t offered anything new since it’s conception. The format, though tweeked a bit, is still the same as it was 10 years ago. The “issues” (gasp) that have been plaguing the blogging world for years are still the topics of conversation this season.

    And as “unfair” as EVERYTHING about the voting, and contestant selection, and song choice, and “whatever” is perceived to be the show is still the number 1 show week in and out and probably gets as much “press” as any show on TV.

    Brilliant I say…just brilliant.

    I love this post. It’s why it doesn’t matter who wins or who doesn’t. Since the ultimate goal is to produce a viable winner let them push who they want win or lose. The problem is when a loser gets all the attention a backlash starts to happen to that person. The idol bloggers get outrage on why the winner doesn’t get the star treatment. AI knows America gets it half right/wrong all the time. The show in itself doesn’t care who wins as long as someone is successful and Simon fuller/19/UMG are going to push whoever they see as the most marketable despite what the voters say.Take a good look at all the manipulation that goes on. I never get why the show and producers get accused of manipulations all the time but yet when it comes to the votes there is no way they would ever go there. AI is a reality TV show. They all get scripted including the end results.

  • Hazehel

    IA, we have no evidence one way or another how this affects the voting.

    There is plenty of circumstantial evidence. From season 1 to 7, all winners have sold better than the runner-up apart from Season 2 where the vote result was controversial (in Season 5 the best seller did not reach Top 2). Everything do suggest that the winners have a bigger fanbase than the runner-ups, so why is it that when power-texting comes into play you have two straight seasons where the winner sold worse than the runner-up? Now I concede that Kris was likely to have gotten the anti-Adam votes, which may partly explain why he won despite having a smaller fan-base, but harder to explain Season 9 result.

    Then there is the number for the text votes – 100 million more in Season 8 over Season 7. There is so far no good reason why there is such a huge increase in text votes – it’s all likely down to be down to power-texters. While DialIdol may be flakey at times, it is a reasonably good measure of landline phone votes; if what we heard is true, that Kris actually won by a huge margin (and I think Lee also said to have won by a huge margin), DialIdol however says that he was only marginally in front, then the difference would likely to have been due to the power-texters.

  • SpenserJ

    Text plans have really gone down over the years and so more and more people are likely to have an unlimited plan today then they were four years ago. I don’t know. The theories are fun.

    I text quite a bit in my everyday life. So, I’ve had unlimited texting for quite a while now, and it has nothing to do with this show. Also, voting bores me after a few minutes, so not all of us with unlimited AT&T texting plans are skewing the results.

  • SpenserJ

    There is so far no good reason why there is such a huge increase in text votes – it’s all likely down to be down to power-texters.

    Well, texting used to be difficult on a lot of phones. Now, it’s easy. Much easier than phone voting, and it doesn’t require that you hold a phone to your ear at all. A significant portion of the increase could just be due to the fact that many voters switched their method of voting from dialing to text. Heck, some of it could be due to the surge in popularity of the iPhone.

  • BootStar

    Personally, I think much of the show was designed around the voting mechanism (a HUGE money maker), so the voting process is never going to change. It’s essentially the “third rail” of American Idol and is off limits. Wishing it were so (and Lord knows I do) is a waste of energy. Never gonna happen.

    People keep surmising that the power voters are more likely to vote for men, but we actually have no evidence that this is true. It’s just a theory based on the results of the last few years. And last year, there was a fairly unconvential, female Idol contestant in the finale who made it farther than the “cute” boys.

    So, I’m just not convinced that any of these theories are true.

    Neither am I. Especially when you consider that the “fine print” at the end of each episode specifically states that the show reserves the right to throw out mass power voting:

    Production will have in place weekly monitoring procedures designed to prevent individuals from unfairly influencing the outcome of the voting by generating significant blocks of votes using technical enhancements. The producers reserve the right to remove any identified ‘power dialling’ votes.

    They, of course, love that folks power vote, because they reap the dollars, but then they can discard those votes and nobody’s the wiser.

    Nigel, you are one evil genius. But you look really petty referring to Susan Boyle as “Shrek’s older sister.” You’re not going to win any beauty pageants yourself, dude. I mean, no offense intended, but if there were a photo attached to an explanation of the idiom “long in the tooth,” it would be yours.

  • 1wildegirl

    Especially when you consider that the “fine print” at the end of each episode specifically states that the show reserves the right to throw out mass power voting

    Ahhh. So Nigel is not psychic…he just can manipulate the votes!

  • Hazehel

    A significant portion of the increase could just be due to the fact that many voters switched their method of voting from dialing to text.

    It doesn’t really explain why there is such a huge jump in number from Season 7 to Season 8 (you can find the numbers here )

    You see only an increase of 21% of texts in 2 years from Season 5 to Season 7, then suddenly a massive increase of 128% from Season 7 to Season 8. It is not possible to explain the difference by just people switching from phone voting to texting. The big switch to texting before Season 7 actually happened in Season 4. What happened in Season 8 is something else – texters starting to power-text.

  • http://twitter.com/cara_lee pj

    You see only an increase of 21% in 2 years from Season 5 to Season 7, then suddenly a massive increase of 128% from Season 7 to Season 8. It is not possible to explain the difference by just people switching from phone voting to texting. The big switch to texting before Season 7 actually happened in Season 4. What happened in Season 8 is something else, texters starting to power-text.

    Text usage in general has gone up at a rate of 250% a year, according to a study back in 2008. So that rate exceeds the rate you provide for Idol text voter increases.

    http://www.cellsigns.com/industry.shtml

    I know I text way more than I used to.

  • Fullmoon

    Especially when you consider that the “fine print” at the end of each episode specifically states that the show reserves the right to throw out mass power voting

    The producers reserve the right to remove any identified ‘power dialling’ votes.

    Pay attention to this folks. It’s why it’s there. In legal terms it’s to cover their ass.

  • lucy

    Her “shocking” boot has been good for giving her a high profile, as well as giving the show some much-needed buzz.

    I saw an article somewhere just this morning — Huffington Post, maybe — noting that the decade-old idol is getting buzz over the Pia thing that probably makes much newer shows jealous. True enough, I’d say. Getting so much attention at age 10 may well be unprecedented for a tv show.

    And Pia’s getting attention, too. More than she would have got, most likely, had she finished in, say, the deathly third place, where you even miss out on some of the publicity gigs the much lower finishers get because you have to stay in LA to work on the finale and the top two finishers overshadow you….. And attention can *not* hurt as you’re trying to start a show-biz career. (It’s not guarantee of anything, either, of course, but definitely *never* a negative).

    So we can whine all we want to. But both Pia and Idol can laugh all the way to the bank, I’ll bet.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    You see only an increase of 21% in 2 years from Season 5 to Season 7, then suddenly a massive increase of 128% from Season 7 to Season 8. It is not possible to explain the difference by just people switching from phone voting to texting. The big switch to texting before Season 7 actually happened in Season 4. What happened in Season 8 is something else, texters starting to power-text.

    Thanks for posting that. It’s interesting information that I wasn’t aware of, but not surprising.

  • NOLA

    American Idol has been at the center of these “issues” over and over again. Anyone who isn’t happy about their favorite being eliminated pulls out the “issue” card to “prove” that everything, but the lack of connection and maybe talent, have been the reasons that the person being discussed has been “voted” off of idol. Name me a contestant and I can, most likely, find the discussion centering on their “issue” of the moment. AI is not a “social” experiment….it is a reality entertainment show that is about finding “someone” that appeals to someone else in the context of musicality.

    I agree completely with this.

    DITTO

  • gangreen29

    Neither am I. Especially when you consider that the “fine print” at the end of each episode specifically states that the show reserves the right to throw out mass power voting:

    And Fremantle executives came out last summer and said directly that they have never thrown any power votes out. I know some people will just claim they are lying, but why come out and commit fraud when you never even had to answer the question? Wouldn’t make much sense to me.

  • justshootme

    I assume AI wants to maintain unlimited voting cuz ATT wants it that way. I just don’t get why ATT makes more money with unlimited voting than limited voting, though I assume that must be true (since everything in this world seems to come down to money and/or blow jobs). Everybody I know has unlimited texting. Flat rate. They do it that way cuz it’s cheaper, nobody I know even votes for AI. Does ATT think that that many customers pay for unlimited texting strictly to vote thousands of times on AI? I find that hard to believe.

    On a side note, I continue to question everything that comes out of Nigel’s mouth.

  • fuzzywuzzy
    Neither am I. Especially when you consider that the “fine print” at the end of each episode specifically states that the show reserves the right to throw out mass power voting:

    And Fremantle executives came out last summer and said directly that they have never thrown any power votes out. I know some people will just claim they are lying, but why come out and commit fraud when you never even had to answer the question? Wouldn’t make much sense to me.

    The key phrase in the disclaimer is “reserves the right”. They will only throw out power voting, if it serves their purposes. This option gives AI a lot of leeway in shaping the vote totals each week.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    AI is not a “social” experiment….it is a reality entertainment show that is about finding “someone” that appeals to someone else in the context of musicality.

    In theory, that’s true, but in reality, people’s biases and preferences and social attitudes do affect if/how much they will vote, just like in any political elections. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people vote almost as much/or more for a contestant for perceived reasons other than “musicality” (backstories, personality, religious beliefs, etc.).

  • springboard

    People keep surmising that the power voters are more likely to vote for men, but we actually have no evidence that this is true. It’s just a theory based on the results of the last few years.

    And it was really only last year that arguably the girls were stronger. S 7 and 8 were clearly guy seasons from the start.

  • Hazehel

    Text usage in general has gone up at a rate of 250% a year, according to a study back in 2008. So that rate exceeds the rate you provide for Idol text voter increases.

    That had been discussed before, the rate of increase in general use of text does not correspond with the rate of increase of text to AI. Compare the numbers in the link I gave earlier with the numbers in yours, you will see no correspondence.

  • musicality

    What I find interesting is how people toss around the word “fraud” and “illegal” when talking about the votes on American Idol. I think some still don’t realize that this is a reality show and as any other reality show it’s entirely manipulated.

    “It’s plain to see how this TV show can manipulate results if it chose to: Votes deemed to be those cast by power-dialling can be deleted. Sure, it’s fair for the show to try to protect its voting integrity, but the system has the potential to be more flawed than a Florida election. Why? Because the public has no clue what goes on behind the scenes.”

    “On the other hand, if American Idol employs humans to look over computer-generated warnings, votes can be removed at the whim of the screener or subject to human error. ”

    “Q: What can producers do to correct this problem?

    Anything they want. There has been a disclaimer on the program that voting is subject to the producers’ whims. They can eliminate voting “blocs” and recently say they eliminate huge numbers of votes for the same person from one phone number. They can change the entire system in the middle of a season, if they so desire. ”

    Per Brian Dunkleman the original co-host (he quit):

    -Dunkleman says the show is fake, that there are re shoots for dramatic effect, with lots of fake tears.

    -On his first show, one of AI’s producers poked him in the chest and cussed him out because he was comforting to a contestant, and didn’t torment them further.

    -Dunkleman believes the show is rigged and to decide who’s going home, the producers “write a name on a piece of paper and hand it to the host, and say read this.”

    -Clay Aiken received more votes than Ruben in season 2 but Ruben was given the title anyway.

    -Seacrest was scheming to get Dunkelman off the show from the start, and sabotaged him by going off script, leaving Dunkelman with no set up for his punchlines.

    Idol has all kinds of built in disclaimers and it all boils down to it’s up to the producers whims. I’m so surprised that people still think “reality” tv is real.

  • Cookiebr7

    I agree with some others here that the voting system on this show is a problem. The voting system can be “hijacked” and manipulated by people as well as the show itself is manipulated by the producers. (I am not saying the voting practices are “illegal,” either). I dont understand people affirming that the most popular person wins everytime, then these “most popular” winners dont sell at all. If the most popular person is winning every year, then the ability of this show to produce a true superstar who sells platinum is way over. Cosmetic changes like those done this year arent going to help create the type of star they want, although it sure creates ratings and lots of money. Then the problem isnt just the voting system. I dont believe that the show as it is now will ever create another Carrie or Kelly. But if I am wrong, then good for the kids. But what is happening now continues to make American Idol lose credibilty as a show which can produce stars who will make it in the real world.

  • springboard

    -Dunkleman believes the show is rigged and to decide who’s going home, the producers “write a name on a piece of paper and hand it to the host, and say read this.”

    Are the votes verified by any independent organisation?

  • Valentin432

    Are the votes verified by any independent organisation?

    Yes, Telescope http://www.telescope.tv/

  • musicality

    Are the votes verified by any independent organisation?

    They are verified but it doesn’t mean they are used if the producers decide they are questionable votes (and of course based on the disclaimer it’s up to them to decide the meaning of questionable). The show is far from transparent when it comes to voting. Dunkleman had reported that the producers several times handed him the names of who to eliminate before any official results were delivered.

  • springboard

    Yes, Telescope http://www.telescope.tv/

    Thanks for the link.
    From their website, I understand that they provide the solutions. Can they both provide a service and verify that the handling of the votes is above board?

  • cowboysfan

    I don’t think AI manipulates the votes to any significant degree. After Siobhan was eliminated last year, one of her fans contacted a producer who claimed that the voting is monitored by the FCC. She insisted that they aren’t allowed to send anyone home who isn’t the lowest vote getter. I believe there is actually a federal statute prohibiting the rigging of a game show. It’s hard to believe that AI would risk that kind of scandal to get rid of some karaoke singer.

    Another fan contacted Telescope, the company that collects and certifies the voting results. I believe his email exchange is still posted on the AI message board if you want to read it. The only time they will throw out power votes is if you’re casting huge blocks of votes using some kind of technological exploit. They insisted that you will never get your votes thrown out if you text or dial by hand. The disclaimer probably covers situations like this.

    If the producers were really manipulating the results of the show in a significant way, someone would have spilled the beans a long time ago. This is the age of TMZ and Wikileaks. No way would they be able to keep something like that a secret.

  • SpenserJ

    If the producers were really manipulating the results of the show in a significant way, someone would have spilled the beans a long time ago. This is the age of TMZ and Wikileaks. No way would they be able to keep something like that a secret.

    I agree. I think the disclaimer exists in case someone finds a way to beat the system by sending in millions of votes and they have to throw them out.

    Plus, I don’t think TPTB would have necessarily picked some of the winners they’ve had. So, if this whole thing is rigged, how are they not always getting their desired result?

    -Dunkleman says the show is fake, that there are re shoots for dramatic effect, with lots of fake tears.

    The bulk of the episodes are live to the east coast, so exactly what are they reshooting?

    -Dunkleman believes the show is rigged and to decide who’s going home, the producers “write a name on a piece of paper and hand it to the host, and say read this.”

    He believes it’s rigged? Was it rigged the one and only season he was on it?

    -Seacrest was scheming to get Dunkelman off the show from the start, and sabotaged him by going off script, leaving Dunkelman with no set up for his punchlines.

    That’s Dunkelman’s excuse for not being funny. When the truth is, he’s just not funny. If he really said these things, then he’s an idiot.

  • Jewlmc

    Dunkleman? Really?

  • hoodathunk

    Add me to the list of people who do not think the producers manipulate the results. There is actually an independent verifier in a way…Dial Idol, who gives pretty accurate predictions week after week.

  • poohbear

    Thank you, Musicality, for sharing what I’ve been thinking all along about this television show. They decide who’s going to win and who isn’t. That was clear when Adam came in second. He sang circles around Kris.

    And last year, giving Dewyze the win was unbelievable. What a mediocre talent.

    They play these contestants for all it’s worth. They threw Pia off because they knew she was going to make money for them anyway…even without winning. It was clear, she was the most talented singer, hands down. So money in the bank.

    Now they need to prop up the remaining semi-talents and figure out a way to milk the public from each of them.

    This Nigel guy is a HUGE liar and a creep!