Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Are American Idol Results Rigged?

Well, before you think that American Idol is nothing more than a waste of time and before you start saying that this simple little slice of American pop culture is not important in the grand scheme of things, let me say why I think that it is.

You see, it's almost nostalgia in a way, for me. I remember watching the first two seasons with my son, back when he was younger and didn't mind spending some quality time, with his old man. We share an inherent love for music (albeit we most certainly have different tastes). He likes alternative. I can handle some, but not all. But, as you may guess, I love the classics. He does some, but not all.

You see, this was one simple little activity, one little TV show that we could both agree to watch together; one that we both enjoyed (besides sports) whereby, we could spend a few minutes together, critiquing performances of people we had never heard of before. For that reason, it was, and still is, a quality family show.

But, as my son grew and started doing his own thing, the show (in my opinion) began to stink. It got repetitious, boring, and I began to think that the talent pool had been flushed out. That is, until this year. I think that this year was, and still is, the best Idol ever. Anyone of these final five (or so) could have seriously challenged for, or won the competition outright, in any of the past years.

So forgive me just a moment, if I voice a concern (or two) about this show, in spite of the rave reviews, I give it.

Let me first say that when you think about all of the things that really matter in this world, it really isn't such an important thing.

Threats exist (some may not want to admit it, but they still exist, nonetheless). People are forced to adhere to ideologies that would never permit a show like Idol. And, many people suffer harsh lives as a result of not living in the right country and having the freedom to watch a show, like it.. So, I freely admit that I probably should not waste the time it will take, to write this post. Yet, I cannot help it.

Still not important, you say? Well, think about this a second. Since there seems to be a disconnect between the leaders of this country and the people, what else is worthy of my time?

Oh, I wish I could say that George Bush's plan for the border is going to work. I'd love to say it. But in reality, sending 6000 National guard troops to stand there, watch 2000 miles of border, and call an already understaffed agency to do the detaining, really doesn't mean much. At least it doesn't, when you understand the reality of the situation. Add to that, they aren't going to be there forever (at least, that's what Bush told Fox on Sunday), then maybe (just maybe) you can see my point.

One of the few things in the TV world that I can now sit and enjoy with my wife (her musical tastes are different than mine too), and now, I am getting the feeling that this entire process might be rigged.

Why do I think that?

Well, last week, one of the best singers ever in the history of this competition, was voted off. I do not think much of it usually. But I have just found it so unusual that Katherine McPhee has been in the bottom 2 or 3 for a few weeks now, and someone always seems to sink right past her, week after week. I didn't think much about it, until last week.

Chris Daughtry was an alternative singer, but found a way to take songs from other genres and turn them into his own, with his own style and flair. He did it in such a way, that everyone I know, thought he very well could have/ should have been still there, after tonight. But in a shocker, he was voted off. Last week and for several weeks now, Katherine has clearly put on the weakest performances, in several ways. Song choice, oversinging the song, I could go on. But from where I sit, she should have been gone last week, if not before.

But, she isn't.

Tonight, it was announced that by an almost evenly split three-way vote, Elliott Yamin had the lower vote total and was canned; in spite of the fact that he has put together an impressively strong surge, at the end. Again, his performances were much stronger and much better than Kat's.

But, who goes home? Not Kat.

Look, I do not know if this is true or not, but a lot people have claimed since last week that they voted for Chris last week, and was thanked by an automated voice for voting for Taylor Hicks (the clear favorite) or, you guessed it, Katherine McPhee. What gives with that?

Now, before we go any further, let me say unequivocally that Katherine is very talented and has a great voice. I will never say otherwise, because it simply would not be so. She has a wonderful voice. But, her performances, from a musical and vocal perspective, just haven't been up to snuff for this level of the competition.

Why do I care?

Well the truth is, if I cannot count on government leaders to give me something to feel good about, once in a great while, then I must find it elsewhere, when I need escape from the world for a brief moment. And when Hollywood, for once, can put on a quality show that features a musical singing competition and can capture my interest, I hope to have a legitimate competition, not a farce. I do not want to think that they are manipulating the vote, so as, to have one male and one female, left on the final week. If I thought that for one moment, I would think that the one girl that would have deserved to still be in it, would be Mandesa. She was a far better singer and performer, than Kat. And, if I wanted to watch something with a predetermined outcome, I would much rather go back to watching professional wrestling.

Now, there is something that brings back some real memories of my son and me, bonding in front of the TV, when he didn't mind being with his old man. That phase lasted much longer than the Idol phase. That was when I was the King of the World. At least to him, I was.

UPDATE: 5/19/06

This web site linked to this article for a brief period of time, yesterday. But now, the link is mysteriously gone. I would say that someone, somewhere, for some reason, didn't want this question to be asked. They definitely didn't want this article to be read.

It seems that Hollywood likes to stir controversy in other disciplines, but when they themselves are the center of it, it is quite a different story. Can you spell, hmmm?


G_in_AL said...

You and my wife need to talk, she takes this as serious as you do... I dont... I like Taylor, he's from Alabama

A.C. said...

I confess to not watching it much, only because I devote way too much time to blogging. But just wondering--have they checked to see if Diebolt was involved in the voting?

All_I_Can_Stands said...

Great post. I agree that if it is rigged, why watch it? Aside from that my wife and I have been pulling for Kat and Elliot for weeks now. Last night we both hoped Elliot would stay. I would have loved to see Elliot and Kat in the finals. While Taylor has some talent, the depth of his appeal eludes me. I think we have seen Taylor's zenith, while I think both Elliot and Kat will grow from here in their performance regardless of the Idol outcome.

Before last night I predicted that whoever stayed between Elliot and Kat would go on to win. I think that Taylor has peaked in voters. I think more from Elliot's camp will go to Kat than Taylor and she will win.

LASunsett said...


I like Taylor too. Not beacause he from Alabama, though. I like him because he is a natural. The music is in him.

LASunsett said...


But just wondering--have they checked to see if Diebolt was involved in the voting?

It does make me wonder.

LASunsett said...


I think that Taylor has peaked in voters. I think more from Elliot's camp will go to Kat than Taylor and she will win.

I usually agree with you, sir. But this is one area that we must part company.

Kat will need some good handlers, after all of this is over, if she wants a decent career. She doesn't have near the tastes that Chris, Elliott, or Taylor have.

Why do I say that?

The only song she nailed spot on in the last few weeks, was chosen for her by Simon. When she has the artistic control, she bombs. The others are a much different story.

Of course, this is just my opinion. And you know what opinions are like, and how everyone has one.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

LA, I guess it had to happen some time that you disagreed with me. And on such a life and death topic too :)

I will accept your assessment of Kat, but also point out that it actually supports my premise that she has high potential for growth. Whereas Taylor has so much music experience already I don't see as much room for growth with him.

Kat has the raw talent but is very immature and green. She will definitely need handlers. I don't see that as a downside though.

On a final note I am almost willing to see Taylor win it to keep from hearing the pitching and moaning when Kat does.

Anonymous said...

In the beginning of the competion, the judges stated that their voices are what matters. Taylor does not have a voice, but yet Kat does. Why do they tear her down. Taylor just jumps around. He's too old and fat to be a winner.

What about last night? Don't you think it was rigged when her earphone did not work. This is Hollywood, nothing in sound ever fails. Come on, the show is rigged. And what about the lousy song they picked for Kat with so many vocal changes in it. Throughout the competition the songs were guy songs, not girl songs. Kat has held her own, considering. Also, the judges manipulate the vote. Who is Paula Abdul, just someone who made the charts once. Listen to her songs, they aren't that great. It has not been fair to her, yet Taylor had a very easy song.