Controversy dogs Kris Allen’s American Idol winMay 27th, 2009 - 6:52 pm ICT by John Le Fevre
Controversy overshadows the win by Kris Allen in the popular American television talent show American Idol, following revelations employees of communications carrier AT&T helped his supporters vote in the finale.
The accusations against AT&T, whose mobile phone network is the only one that can be used to cast votes on the shows outcome via text messaging, surfaced almost immediately after the decision last week.
Allen, a 23-year-old married college student from Conway Arkansas won the coveted American Idol crown based on tele-votes from the at-home audience, in a result that surprised some in the studio audience and the judges alike.
It has been revealed that representatives of AT&T provided phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at two parties organized by fans in Arkansas.
Officials of Fox Broadcasting, producers of the show, declined to discuss the situation, while fans of Adam Lambert, the performer he beat, have flooded online chat boards with messages claiming irregularities in the competition’s voting.
Representatives of AT&T helped fans of Mr. Allen at the two Arkansas events by providing instructions on how to send 10 or more text messages at the press of a single button, known as power texts. Power texts have an exponentially greater effect on voting than do single text messages, or calls to the show’s toll-free phone lines.
When votes were tallied and the result finalized, veteran judge Simon Cowell visibly disagreed and refused to rise from his seat and join fellow judges in applauding the winner.
Tags: accusations, american idol, american television, arkansas officials, controversy, conway arkansas, fellow judges, fox broadcasting, home audience, irregularities, mobile phone network, revelations, ryan seacrest, simon cowell, studio audience, talent show, television talent, text messages, text messaging, toll free phone