Never in a million years would this author ever intend to write about the TV show "American Idol" or news and controversies surrounding the show.
Well, last Friday morning, WV Tweeter Jason Neal brought a new Idol scandal to our attention when he forwarded this author a Twitter message he received from Hollywood celebrity and host of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest. The "tweet" tends to support Neal’s theory that even though the public is made to believe voting results are kept secret from everyone until the show airs, is not true. Neal is just one of 6,492,951 people who follow Seacrest on Twitter.
And, according to at least two recent tweets linked below, it appears Idol officials actually tweeted their opinions about the voting results hours before the show aired Thursday Night April 12th, 2012. What occurred on Thursday nights elimination show only confirms the Tweets contents and that the secrecy of the voting results is not true.
Comments from Ryan Seacrest's twitter account, @RyanSeacrest stated at 4:46PM east coast time "There is a result tonight on American Idol that some would say is very shocking!" What is more shocking is the fact that Seacrest tweeted this before the show began; leaving millions of unsuspecting followers siting anxiously in front of their TV's believing the voting results are sealed. Neal, who says he follows Seacrest on Twitter has been a loyal fan of American Idol since it first started. "I even went to the auditions when they came to Pittsburgh, but never tried out for the show because unlike some contestants, I know I cant sing."
This is not the first time Seacrest has tweeted the shows results early. On the March 17, 2010 results episode of the ninth seasons delayed airing on the west coast, he tweeted the outcome of the episode, which angered some fans. That episode of the show then suffered "the smallest audience among 18–49 year-olds for a regularly scheduled in-season episode in Idol history." This latest leaking of voters results occurred hours before the show aired anywhere.
Neal says he sent his twitter to several news agencies in the WV area but no one seemed interested. He also follows Hollywood's "Thirty Mile Zone," (TMZ) News Blog and hit TV Celebrity News Service. Their twitter account is @HarveyLevin. He claims to have forwarded the Seacrest tweet to them with several question marks behind what Ryan Seacrest tweeted. The next day, TMZ's Harvey Levin was tweeting related information on what actually occurred on the show Thursday night, (that co-insides with what Seacrest wrote) how highly favored singer Jessica Sanchez was supposed to have been voted off American Idol. And, how all 3 judges lobbied with the shows producers before the show aired to keep her on Idol by using their one time "save" of a contestant. TMZ tweeted..."that means judges knew b/4 show."
Now, it appears another Hollywood Celebrity may have also known the voters results ahead of time too. Nigel Lythgo, Emmy Award winning British television producer, known across the globe as one of the early producers of American Idol, and "So You Think You Can Dance." Lythgo tweeted his shock and awe also before the show on his Twitter account @dizzyfeet... "Okay no BS I am truly shocked by tonight's American Idol result! I don't understand!"
What All Of The Hoopla Boiled Down To
According to news accounts,... At the closing of Thursday nights show, the bottom three contestants facing elimination were Jessica Sanchez, Elise Testone and Joshua Ledet. Jessica was the contestant with the lowest number of votes, and though she was entitled to sing for the judges to 'save' her from going home, she only managed to get a few bars into the song before the judges took the stage, with Jennifer Lopez demanding that she hand over the microphone. "This is crazy! Go sit down, yes, we're using the save," she insisted.
After a brief huddle, Randy Jackson spoke for his fellow judges, and admonished America for their lack of votes for Jessica. "We are saving Jessica without any doubt," he reiterated, before adding, "Let me just say this ... This girl is one of the best singers in America, ever, are you kidding me? Please, everybody, please, vote for the best, it's about finding the best. C'mon!"
Then in a complete shock to viewers, Idol Judge Randy Jackson took this show to a whole new level by stating to millions of faithful Idol viewers, how racism and sexism was part of the voting problem... "I hate to say I told you so" about the systemic racist and sexist voting patterns in relation to this show, but the results certainly proved that, without the judges' intervention, Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet probably had no chance of winning this season, while Colton and Phillip are likely to remain our final two.
Really?... Racism and Sexism? Why is it that whenever it comes down to needing a reason or excuse to explain something, someone has to play one or both of those cards? Could it be as simple as this is just how the American public voted? Or, is this TV shows technical operation flawed beyond belief?
American Idol Rewind
Controversy of the shows true production and operation has loomed over the TV show since it began. Some of the more memorable problems were:
1) In season one, Idol producers claim that around 100 phone-phreak hackers with power-dialing hardware and software were reported to be able to place as many as 10,000 votes a night from a single phone line with the touch of a button.
2) Out of 24 million votes recorded following the season two finale, Ruben Studdard finished just 130,000 votes ahead of Clay Aiken. There was confusion over the winning margin as Ryan Seacrest initially announced it as 13,000, later again 1,335, finally corrected by Fox as 130,000. Idol producers claim there was much discussion in the communication industry about the phone system being overloaded, and that potentially more than 230 million calls were dropped just by AT&T and SBC (over 30% of the market), making the results statistically invalid.
3) During the second season, Idol producers blamed a phone scam operation based in Salt Lake City, Utah that allegedly tricked callers into believing that viewers could vote for their favorites through an 800 number, rather than the 866 number used on the show. They were then instructed to call a 900 number to vote. This allowed the company to charge the caller anywhere from 99¢ to $1.99.
4) Three African American singers, Fantasia Barrino, LaToya London, and Jennifer Hudson, dubbed the Three Divas, all unexpectedly landed at the bottom three. Jennifer Hudson was eliminated, prompting much discussion and criticism. Elton John, who was one of the mentors that season, called the results of the votes "incredibly racist". It was claimed that Jasmine Trias' fans were able to vote early and often outside of the 2-hour voting window, and a disproportionate number of votes came from Jasmine Trias' home state of Hawaii.
5) In the week finalist Chris Daughtry was voted off, some voters claimed that phone calls dialed for Daughtry during the first few minutes of voting were misrouted to Katharine McPhee's lines, and they heard her recorded message thanking them for voting. Other voters claimed similar problems voting for other contestants, in some cases resulting in votes going to Daughtry that were intended for another contestant, Elliott Yamin.
6) In May 2009, following allegations in the media of an American Idol texting scandal dubbed "Textgate", one of American Idol's corporate sponsors AT&T, admitted providing free mobile phones and texting services for fans of Kris Allen at parties organized on the night of the program's final episode. Company representatives also provided Allen's supporters with lessons in how to send "power texts" which send ten or more votes with the touch of a single button. Bobby Kierna, one of the 2,000 guests who attended just one of the events, told reporters that she had voted for Allen 10,840 times.
AT&T denied attempting to "fix" the contest and apologized, saying that employees had been "caught up in their enthusiasm" and promised that they will in future "celebrate the competition, not individual contestants." While speculations were rife over the reasons for Allen's win over Lambert, in a statement, Fox said that an independent monitor was employed to oversee the voting process to ensure the competition results were "fair, accurate and verified."
7) The first five contestants eliminated from the finals in Season 10 were all female which led some critics to believe that it was partly due to the demographic of the voters which is skewed towards females who tended to vote for men. Idol producer Ken Warwick said, "It's no secret that most reality shows are female driven, either by moms or by young girls. It does mean we're going to get a heftier amount of female votes and it's always bent towards the boys, obviously, we are very much aware that the voting can be skewed towards the boys. In response to the criticism, the producers considered tweaking the voting format for the following season to correct the bias.
The last of these five girls to be eliminated was a presumed front-runner, Pia Toscano, and her elimination drew considerable criticisms, with various former Idol alums and celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher and Tom Hanks expressing shock and surprise. However, after Toscano's elimination, the next five eliminated contestants were all males.
8) Probably the most memorable "Idol Blooper" came during the seventh season April 29, 2008 episode of Neil Diamond songs, the judging was modified in order to fit two songs per contestant into the show. Rather than judging each performance, the judges waited until each contestant had sung once, then were to give a quick critique of each contestants' first song. When the judging came to Paula, she commented on Jason Castro's first song, then proceeded to critique his second song, that he had not yet sung.
That "blooper" tends to show that American Idol producers dont have a clue what their doing.
WV resident and onetime super fan of American Idol, Jason Neal feels that he and his friends have been duped by producers. And that the integrity the show portrayed of all contestants facing an elimination process by secretly kept voting results, was one of the major attractions to watching the show. "We anticipated the facial reaction that Ryan Seacrest would show when he allegedly read the results for the first time. Who was safe from elimination and who wasn't." And also the reaction of the judges. Now he feels it is just "acting."
"I personally called in each week to cast my votes, is that process even scared or do they just pick names out of a hat before the show? Or meet for coffee and decide amongst themselves who they want to be the next American Idol?" We also tweeted TMZ from our account, @WVNewsonline, with quoted text of what Seacrest wrote and we then began following both Twitter Accounts for any follow-up on the American Idol events that took place before, during and after the televised show this past Thursday.
End Of Story...
West Virginia News
LinkedIn: Jack Swint
Copy Of Ryan Seacrest Tweet
Copy Of Nigel Lythgo Tweet
TMZ American Idol Story