It was the “American Idol” scandal heard round the world.
When word leaked that AT&T may have swayed American Idol’s outcome in favor of Kris Allen, Adam Lambert fans went crazy on the internet. According to the NY Times, AT&T, the only wireless provider that can be used to cast ‘Idol’ votes via text message, provided free text messaging phones and lessons in how to block vote at two parties organized by Kris Allen fans in Arkansas. The reps from AT&T reportedly showed Allen fans how to cast up to 10 votes in one click. When Allen was announced the show’s winner last Wednesday night, even he was surprised: “Adam deserves this,” he said.
All across the country, ‘AI’ fans were calling for a recount. The scandal brought up questions of how the show regulates its voting process, especially because ‘AI’ brings in 100 million votes—far more than a U.S. presidential election. But unlike the electoral college that organizes national voting, or the consulting firms tasked with tallying and protecting Academy Award ballots, FOX is mum about the inner-workings of the ‘AI’ voting system. And they’re sticking by their story: “Fox and the producers of ‘American Idol’ are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified,” the official statement read. “Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol.”
Lambert and Allen went right along with it. When they appeared together on The Today Show yesterday morning, Lambert said, “I rolled my eyes actually when I heard about it. I think people are just looking for something to be dramatic about.” The two contestants seemed relatively unfazed by the hoopla and quickly squelched further speculation. Either they’re thinking, ‘Who cares? We get to make records anyway’ or pressure from the network has settled onto their lips.
Watch Kris Allen and Adam Lambert discuss the scandal on The Today Show:
Watch Adam Lambert perform “Mad World”: