American Idol voting controversy


The South Africa reality show Idols broadcast by pay-TV broadcaster M-Net is not alone in facing controversy. After finals of the South African show, a technical investigation was conducted into the reasons for the delayed receipt of sms votes which saw Sasha Lee Davids pronounced winner on 3 May over her rival Jason Hartman who actually received the most votes.

The American Idol producers and sponsor AT&T have now had to defend themselves on Wednesday against accusations of voting irregularities during the Idol finale that saw underdog Kris Allen catapult over judges’ favourite Adam Lambert.

As The New York Times reported, Idol sponsor AT&T provided Allen fans with free text-messaging and tips on how to “power-text” at two finale viewing parties in Arkansas last week. Local AT&T reps gave fans phones they could use to send 10 text message votes at the touch of a button, a practice the Times said appears to violate the show’s rules against using “technical enhancements’ to bump voting.

The news has left fans wondering whether this voting technique was enough to tilt the balance of the finale’s outcome.
Fox and “Idol” producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia released a statement Wednesday saying Allen is indeed the winner: “Fox and the producers of American Idol are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified. Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol. We have an independent third-party monitoring procedure in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition.’


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