FOX Responds to 'American Idol' Voting Controversy

May 28, 2009 02:42:06 GMT

The accusation that Kris Allen won due to a boost of voting from phones provided by AT and T, has been debunked in a statement released by the network.

Adam Lambert, Kris Allen
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Photo credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos

FOX has come forward to set things straight on the allegations that the voting resulting in Kris Allen's win in "American Idol" this season is based on unfair count. Similarly, the show's sponsor AT&T released a statement that "it's quite a leap to suggest that a few individuals could have impacted the final results."

FOX insists that the final result pointed out to Kris winning over Adam Lambert, with no foul play. "Fox and the producers of 'American Idol' are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified," a statement from FremantleMedia North America, 19Entertainment and Fox Broadcasting Company is read.

"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."

The statement came out as response to the report by The New York Times that points out a possible flaw in the voting process. The publication noted that two parties were held in Arkansas shortly after the finale performance and AT&T reps were present to assist Kris' supporters on a feature called Power Texting, allowing multiple messages sent in one push of a button.

The phone company took stance in their action, saying the demo phones, reportedly 80 in total, were meant for strictly business. "Going forward, we will make sure our employees understand our sponsorship celebrates the competition, not individual contestants," AT&T stated on Tuesday, May 26.

For one thing, FOX did not release the difference in number between Kris and Adam, which may have contributed in the fans' rampant about unfair voting. Last year, the network announced that 12 million votes separated winner David Cook and runner-up David Archuleta.


Post Your Comments

posted by moira on Mar 17, 2011
3/16/11. Have been totally unable to get through on ANy line to vote for ANYONE. Despite over 50 calls to Brighthouse, they say there is no problem. Somebody HELP ME
posted by D Roberts on May 08, 2010
all these lame excuses why people votes could not get thur. I have been voting since season 1 and have never,ever had a problem. Sound like people need to update their telephones and computers and not blame the network, we can always find a reason to complain
posted by mindy on Jun 08, 2009
I am from Arkansas I do not have AT&T and I did not go to the watch party put in the first hour I got in on the home phone line like 15 times and decided to also use the internet to vote until my internet froze up and in the second hour same thing I only got though about 15 times I do not text either and then in the final 1 and a hours I used my home phone which is windsteam and then decided to use my cell phone which is Alltel now Verizon in the last hour I got in over 60 times on my cell phone and over 100 times on the home phone. I voted for Kris Allen. Same for everyone else in our family so for the first two and half hour it was tough to get though because it was busy voting for Kris also. By the way it took the next day for the text message to confirm that the vote was accepted in texting so who know if the power votes actually went though all those times.
posted by DW on Jun 08, 2009
How sad that in a talent contest, the most talented person ever on the show comes in second. Perhaps letting the judges decide, people who have the background to determine the best, is the answer. Unless there is a radical change in the way the show is handled, this is one viewer who will be watching TCM next season.
posted by Lisa on May 31, 2009
Like most Adam fans, I couldn't get through to vote for him on regular phone lines until the 4th hour (dialing constantly on 3 phones at a time), so there's no way to count our votes for Adam. I never had this problem before all this season and even in last year's finale when I voted for David A. Why were the lines busy for 3+ hours and I haven't heard of anyone who got through for Adam during that time in the east? To find out that AT&T helped get 38 million votes from Arkansas when I couldn't get through really bothers me. Why should I have to buy an AT&T phone to vote?
posted by Frank on May 30, 2009
This whole dust up just shows how corrupt the American Idol voting system has become. AT&T makes Big Bucks from tens of millions of American Idol votes each week. Text votes can only be sent in on AT&T phones, so selling those cell phones and text message packages has become a growing revenue source. This puts pressure on the American Idol folks to encourage even more fan multiple voting and to extend the voting hours to milk every last dime from the sheep who think they are electing an "American Idol". The encouragement of power voting and enhanced text voting, makes a mockery of the telephone votes of the average American Idol voter (if they can even get through). Considering the profit motive, AT&T, Fox, and the American Idol Franchise will continue to defend this idiot voting scheme. However, in the light of recent events, calls for a re-vote, and a potential FCC investigation, American Idol should drop AT&T (and say goodby to all that lovely money), and go to a voting system that strictly limits the voting, like "Dancing With The Stars" does.
posted by Justathought on May 30, 2009
Google the "Arkansas Democratic Gazette" and you will see that it was not just a "few" AT&T power vote tutoring employees or a "few" free texting phones that were involved in the Arkansas voting parties. It was at least 80 AT&T phones and ongoing speed voting tutoring. One of those voting parties was in a stadium with over 2,000 Kris Allen fans. One fan told the Gazette she had voted over 10,800 times in approximately 2 1/2 hours. There have been a number of Blog reports of people being able to clock in an average of 10,000 votes per a 2 hour period. It looks like 100 dedicated, or paid, "Power Voters", each sending in 10,000 votes, could effect ONE MILLION votes per 2 hours! Multiply that by any number you want, and it is apparent that the current American Idol voting system can be easily manipulated in the future by gambling or special interest groups. Currently, in a worse case scenario, the AT&T "tinkering" might be responsible for a few million votes going to Kris. However, if the "leaks" from American Idol are to be believed, the lead that Kris ended up with is huge (20 to 30 million votes??). If so, then I suspect the early reports of 38 million votes coming from Arkansas are correct. A state with a population of 3 million people managed to send in 38 million votes out of a national total of 97 million? That would be proof of "Power Voting" and the effect of repeatedly texting 10 votes at a time with a touch of a key. American Idol is becoming a Power voting contest, not a talent contest, and their credibility is going down the drain.
posted by Lambert Fan with a b on May 29, 2009
If 80 people show the technique to only 2 other person2, then 240 people per hour can text 10 messages per minute. That equals 2400 votes per hour x 4 hours = 576,000 votes.... that's an extremely conservative estimate of the potential skewing. How can AT&T claim that it's "quite a leap to suggest a few individuals can skew the results", without releasing the difference in the number of votes between the two. They should do their homework on exponential growth before making claims they think we are too stupid to challenge.
posted by kiki on May 29, 2009
It just is not adding up. The votes where not there for Chris without those power text phones. Adam is so gracious but what a terrible wrong they did to him. It is a sad day in America when cheating wins out.
posted by Poochey on May 29, 2009
Adam's no F____'in runner up or second place winner. He is numbe one and the only one and america knows it. So does AT&T and they need to show all the votes if they want to continue with another show. America has been mis-lead and taken down the river.
posted by Libby on May 29, 2009
It has nothing to do with Chris, he even said "no way Adam deserves to win!" This is not right this is fraud. We demand a re-do!
posted by on May 29, 2009
If there is not a problem then release the difference in the vote between Adam & Chris.
posted by pavilion on May 29, 2009
The producer should at least initiate investigation to satisfy viewers since all the judges were all for Adam Lambert
posted by georgettaloras on May 29, 2009
I will NEVER waste my time again watching "AMerican Idol", Adam was ripped off, he was the best in EVERYTHING, talent, showmanship, personality, he has CHARISMA! SHAME ON AT & T and American Idol for letting this happen! I hope the show goes off the air, it's a farse!
posted by Yvonne (Australia) on May 29, 2009
Well America - the world is watching you and we were absolutely devastated by the final result. I really do think that you have to do something to rectify what has happened due to this disastrous type of voting. It is blatent cheating and unfair. The least those responsible could do, would be to admit to this voting error and although there is nothing you can do about the 'shocking' result now, I think admitting it would be a start.
posted by KGC on May 29, 2009
One vote per person would solve the whole issue and no texting! Doesn't that sound like the solution. Obviously there is controversy or we wouldn't be discussing it now would we! Do the math!
posted by jasmine on May 29, 2009
It is fact that AT&T committed a fraud. I was trying for 4 hours to vote using T-Mobile, but I couldn't go through........ Why????? it is obvious why.......America wanted Adam, not Kris. Kris was my second choice after Adam of course!!!!!!!!!! Adam is a true American Idol. And why we have to vote for 4 is annoying........ Why can't it be like voting for "Dancing with the stars"???????? Fox, you should learn from ABC, which would not commit to this fraud.........Hey, AT&T, you lost one customer. I will never sign up for dirty manipulators......Shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you, Adam!!!!!!!! You are the best!!!!!!
posted by what the ... on May 29, 2009
posted by Kris the Hillbilly A on May 29, 2009
Kris Allen? LOL He's just a hillbilly from a state that 25% of the people don't even have a high school diploma! Kris is a mediocre talent and will amount to nothing...maybe he can land a job at AT&T ? I look forward to buying Adam's first record and seeing him in concert soon! Is it true that Kris Allen's parents are really brother and sister? :)
posted by SteveN on May 28, 2009
We deserve to know the real count especially out of Arkansas to see if it was even possible to vote fairly without those machines. There is no way the vote was fair. Recount is the only way for AT&T to save face.
posted by Knew on May 28, 2009
I do agree it was not a true vote. Adam was so much more talented and deserved to win and america is not that stupid. I demand a re-count!!!!
posted by Alikat on May 28, 2009
it is our right to vote as many times as we want!!! if some people dont like it pay my phone bill!!!! adams was and is a great singer but the screaming went out of music ummm in the 80's!
posted by aliKat on May 28, 2009
Who cares if people voted 10,000 times if American Idol wanted limits on votes they would put them there. There are other reality shows that do so people just need to get a freakin grip and realize Arkansas does have talent and we are not a bunch of stupid non shoe wearing rednecks!! The best man won GET OVER IT!!!
posted by kudo on May 28, 2009
Today, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -- which first broke the story of the AT&T staffers' AT&T Text Zone activities at Kris Allen fan "Idol" viewing parties -- provided more details of those two viewing parties. The paper cites a fan named Bobbie Kierna who voted 10,840 times on one of the phones provided by AT&T staffers at a roped-off area advertised by signs as a "Texting Zone."and we think our little honest vote for lambert counted??? what a joke this show has become! i will not watch it again! exlain it away all you was a fake win!
posted by Aussie girl on May 28, 2009
There is no need to attack Chris here. His integraty is not in question. While I am a huuuuge fan of Adam, it is unfair to blame Chris. Rather, you Americans should keep pushing AT&T for the real answers. I am sure that chris is feeling a little unworthy - dont forget that he has a great voice as well.
posted by maria on May 28, 2009
Tell the truth AT&t and maybe even Fox tv...i tried 4 hours to vote for Adam and i didn't go through... for me the truth is that Adam image didn't fit the media ..but that puppy dog of Kris did..we don't know the real votes but Adam is 4ever the best..and the little puppy winner can sing in church with his wife!!!!
posted by jim on May 28, 2009
Cook himself told people to buy Go Phone and vote for him on TV last year. Go Phone is a temporary phone without long term contract. Winning is that important?
posted by Aussie girl on May 28, 2009
BTW in Australia, we are charged a premium rate to vote on this type of show. Every text and phone call costs the voter. In our country you have to put your money where your mouth is and if you want to make multiple vote is will burn a hole in your pocket - needless to say, the favourite doesnt always win here either. The runner up seems to have the lasting career.
posted by Aussie girl on May 28, 2009
Everyone in the world knew there was going to be a contraversy surrounding the multiple voting system/one phone company of AI 09. Blind freddy (that's aussie slang for an idiot and not intended to be prejudice against the visually impaired contestant)could see that this result was going to be open to corruption. So far there has been little response from the millions of Chris fans who seemed to vote with amazing ease, while Adam fans are angry at not being able to register votes despite hours of trying. Tell us the truth AT&T what was the final tally and let us be the judge as to whether Chris is the real American Idol.
posted by Angry Adam Lover on May 28, 2009
I am very mad at this moment about the AT&T contreversy. This shows how much people care about each others feelings. These are totally unfair and irresponsible actions. They made a fool out of thesmelves and Kris for that matter. I do NOT have anything against Kris and know that he had NOTHING to do with this, but something could have been done. It seems very strange that in the past years they have told how many votes set them apart but not this year. Thanks for Understanding
posted by dUmIZthanewSMART on May 28, 2009
when the stakes are high, power to be gained and money (ratings in this case)stands to be made, there is ALWAYS corruption -I am convinced of this. I won't be voting on or for ANYTHING ever again. corruption has taken over, has become the rule, not the exception and honest DEMOCRACY no longer exists.
posted by sistah on May 28, 2009
Fraud has become an acceptable practice in big biz. Who can you believe nowadays? Where is the accountability? Adam is a class act and is deserving of all the successes that will come his way.
posted by Stop The Fraud on May 28, 2009
People seem to be missing the point which is AT&T committed fraud! Not only did they teach the people of Conway how to power text, they supplied FREE phones to them. This is not a rumor, it has been confirmed by the Arkansas Gazzette and residents of Conway. Many, many fans spend many, many hours voting for their favorite Idol and now they are feeling betrayed. I don't care if the fraudulent act by AT&T provided 1 vote or 38 million votes - WRONG IS WRONG! No one is expecting American Idol to say, OK we take it back, Adam is the real winner! What we want is someone looking into this matter so it never happens again. Why was Adam's phone lines busy the entire 4 hours? You would think this would have been a good sign, everyone was voting for him but now who the heck knows what it means. We want to know that the votes of American Idol fans is what counts, not the votes of Corporate America. We want an apology to the fans and the contestants who worked their butts off! We want AT&T to own up to their illegal acts and we want American Idol to remove the monopoly held by AT&T all these years and allow other phone vendors to be used. American Idol take a stand, confirm AT&T's abuse and get rid of them. It's either AT&T or the fans... which is it?
posted by Banks Woman on May 28, 2009
Only way I'll ever watch this again is if they institute a one vote per person rule.
posted by Banks Woman on May 28, 2009
well surprise surprise. I feel so much better now.
posted by jake on May 28, 2009
Last year, fans of David Cook posted on DC website how to vote power voting. A group of four guys bragged about how they voted 320000 together using some kind of system. I am not lying. AT & T employees were also involved in instructing power voting last year, too. When Simon is removed from the show, new honest producers take over the show limiting manipulation, and only one vote per person is allowed, there may be a little bit of chance for fairness. But AI would never try one vote per head because they don't want to say only 20000 people voted.
posted by only1kene on May 27, 2009
well of course they're just going to deny it!DUH!

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