The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Idol voting requires overhaul

Opinion-Idol voting requires overhaul

edcartoon41107American Idol, one of the highest-rated programs on television, is also one of the most controversial.

Since 2002, American Idol has showcased some of the best undiscovered musical talent in America. Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite performers each week, but the voting process is flawed.

Viewers can vote as many times as they want for any performer. Idol then flaunts the vote totals, which are usually in the 20-30 million range, each Wednesday during the results show. But viewers are never given the exact number of votes.

And each season has seen a voting controversy.

During the first and second seasons of Idol, the U.S. Justice Department filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission against a Utah-based phone company that deceived callers by redirecting their calls to 900 numbers instead of the toll-free number given by Idol. Most of the votes were not counted.

Incorrect phone numbers were given during season four. Idol had to conduct a re-vote the next night.

The biggest Idol voting controversy comes from a Web site started by an Idol fan.

Votefortheworst.com encourages its readers to vote for the worst performer each week. The site was created by David Della Terza, and since season three, online members have chosen the worst performer to support. This season 17-year-old high school student Sanjaya Malakar has been selected.

“ Most of the people on Vote for the Worst love the show; we just love it because it’s so bad,” Della Terza said in a Chicago Tribune interview. “It’s so bad it’s good. It’s so fun to watch because it’s so fun to make fun of.”

Shock jock Howard Stern recently endorsed Vote for the Worst by persuading his legions of fans to vote for Malakar.

“ We are corrupting the entire thing,” he said on his Sirrus Satellite radio show. “All of us are routing American Idol. It’s so great. It’s the No. 1 show on television, and it’s getting ruined.”

Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe has expressed his disdain for Vote for the Worst since the site was created. In a conference call with reporters March 26, Lythgoe told reporters his opinion.

“ It’s a bit like a fly buzzing around a cow; you want to waft it away with your tail,” he said. “When you’re getting 30 million votes, whatever that Web site can do is just not enough.”

Idol’s voting process is the worst on television.

ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars also allows viewers to vote for their favorite celebrity dancers. However, it has tougher restrictions on voting.

Each household is allowed 10 votes. The votes can be placed either on the ABC Web site or by calling a toll-free number. The judges’ scores also are used for the final tally.

Idol’s voting process must be changed to maintain a sense of integrity for the show. If American Idol adopts a voting policy similar to that of Dancing with the Stars, America’s favorite performer will be chosen every time.

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