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I started watching American Idol when they had 2 host, remember Brian Dunkleman? I really thought it was a good concept, find some unknown singer and let America make’em a star. What could be wrong about that? Nothing…if that’s what was really happening, but year after year it’s become quite clear that America really had very little to do with it. It really started to change in 2007/2008 with Carly (Hennessy) Smithson.

Why Carly? Well…The first controversy involving Carly Smithson is that Randy Jackson worked for MCA during the same period of time that Carly Smithson was signed with MCA, in fact MCA spent almost 2 million dollars to promote Carly, only to sell around 3oo cd’s. So instead of a unknown singer we get a unmarketable singer. She became the poster child for Idol plants.

The other controversy about Carly can be found on her Wiki Page…

“Smithsons’ 6th place elimination ‘shocker’ on April 23rd, 2008 prompted an unprecedented reaction, with angry bloggers questioning the popular program’s credibility amidst reports from fans of busy signals throughout the voting period. One writer for Entertainment Weekly coined the show “America’s Embarrassing Lapses In Judgement,” saying “Carly Smithson was sent packing, despite a rendition of “Jesus Christ Superstar” that Jesus himself would have been hard-pressed to top”. There were renewed claims of “fixing” and calls for the show to publish precise voting totals, resulting in a release credited to Fox and show producers: “The network and producers will not disclose voting tallies for the competition, as the release of such information would only serve to create additional rumor and speculation”, conflicting with executive producer Ken Warwick’s claim that they were open to scrutiny, quoted “No one is saying you can’t look at them.”

Here’s some more interesting stuff from the LATimes website dated April 23, 2008.

“If there’s any overt rule that says why [totals] shouldn’t be released, I’m not aware of it,” executive producer Ken Warwick said in an interview last week. “I was under the impression they were open to scrutiny. “No one is saying you can’t look at them,” he added.

Of course this was also from the same LATimes story….

“The network and producers will not disclose voting tallies for the competition, as the release of such information would only serve to create additional rumor and speculation.” The statement added that the show would “be willing” to release “the total number of votes” received this season, as it has done in the past.”

Still waiting for those vote totals Ken.

So now we fast farward to 2008/2009…. Joanna Pacitti‘s the new plant on the scene, and it’s looking like…she…just…might…make…the…Top 36.

Denied! (She’s best friends with two executives that work for 19 Entertainment, so after the Top 36 were named…the next day American Idol replaces her with Felicia Barton)

So what does American Idol do now? How can American Idol be sure they don’t end up with another Taylor Hicks? (And btw…I think Taylor is great.)

Easy….Take away America’s vote. Millions and millions of votes thrown out like garbage, never mind the fact that “texting charges still apply”. They can call it a “Judges Save” all they want but it’s really nothing more than a money back guarantee that the TPTB will have their “chosen one” make the Top 5. Kind of hard to sell a artist if they don’t even make the Top 5.

So now we’re down to 2 finalist….

Adam Lambert…”The Chosen One” and Kris Allen…”The One Who’s Not”

Let the voting begin.

“Nearly 100,000,000 votes” later Kris Allen is crowned America’s Idol.

Everyone, and I mean everyone (except me) thought Adam Lambert should have won, including Kris Allen. News media websites were going nuts…Bloggers around the world were going nuts…Adam Lambert fans were going nuts…Perez Hilton was going….actually…Perez seemed to handle it well.

And then IT happened.

TEXTGATE!

AT&T “employees” decided to loan out some phones so Kris Allen fans (not Adam Lambert fans) could text vote, phone vote or whatever…not a real big deal except AT&T “employees” also showed said KA fans how to POWER TEXT. Being a person of limited means I cannot afford un-limited texting, so I wasn’t sure what power texting was…till I read this from the LATimes website dated May 27, 2009

“AT&T helped Allen fans on sending 10 or more text messages at the press of a single button.”

Ok now I think I know why Adam Lambert fans might be mad.

Since Idol won’t reveal the votes then there’s no way of knowing for sure who really won. Did Adam win?

This is from the CNN website dated May 27, 2009

“Fox Broadcasting and the show producers said they were “absolutely certain” that Allen was the winner, despite any boost he might have had from employees of one of the show’s major sponsors. “In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition,” said a joint statement from Fox, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment.”

Well, I guess that settles it then, I’m sure we can believe them…right?

But there is 1 more thing before we put this nasty scandal behind us…

I went to the AT&T website and checked out the media newsroom section and I found this…….Dated May 22, 2009

AT&T* reported today that more than 178 million text messages crossed its network as fans interacted with the country’s No. 1 TV show this season — the highest total for any season and more than double the 78 million messages AT&T reported last year.

And I then went to this other AT&T website and found this…

Q. What is the pricing for Text Messaging?

A. All AT&T customers with Text Messaging-capable phones are pre-activated to send and receive messages at $0.20 per message with no monthly charge. Or, you can save money and sign up for a Text Messaging package.

20 cents for each vote…times millions and millions and millions. Out of those 178 million text messages, how many of those were someone who just voted 1 vote at a time like a normal person @ .20 cents a pop for 2 hours or even 4 hours? When that AT&T phone bill arrives and you find out that all those votes cost you money…money you worked hard for, only to find out that AT&T was giving people phones and showing them how to power vote 10X’s as many votes as you because they had the Text Messaging package…then I have only 1 question left…..

Mad yet?

Every year it’s the same thing again and again, Paula did this…Simon said that…Randy….well Randy’s never does or says anything worth typing but I think you feel me Dawg! And the only things worth noting about Kara is…she’s not as good a songwriter as she thinks she is and she’s not as hot as she thinks she is. Nope, what I’m talking about is a real honest-to-goodness bonafied “SCANDAL”……”GASP!”

I’m guessing it’s ok to go ahead and call it….TEXTGATE.

When I read the “Textgate” headline the first time the first thing that popped in my head was “Watergate”. Boy, were those some crazy times. I was young, but not so much that I didn’t grasp what was happening. So when I read the Textgate headline I kinda laughed about it, I mean come on, one almost rips our country apart, each side screaming for justice, demanding the truth and wondering if it will ever end and the other one was President Nixon getting impeached. No contest on what’s more important…right?

After reading some of the stories I decided to do a little research of my own.

Since AT&T decided to “help” Kris Allen (and not Adam Lambert) I started with them. First I went to the AT&T website and checked out the media newsroom section and I found this…….Dated May 22, 2009

AT&T* reported today that more than 178 million text messages crossed its network as fans interacted with the country’s No. 1 TV show this season — the highest total for any season and more than double the 78 million messages AT&T reported last year.

Double the 78,000,000 messages from last year….wow, sounds like AT&T might be doing ok…financially speaking. I guess the recession’s not hurting them too much….how about you? Hurting yet?

And this…

More than twice as many AT&T customers played weekly Idol Trivia via text this season versus last. The number of AT&T customers who opted in to receive voting number reminders—a weekly text message listing all of the IDOLs and their voting numbers—was 70 percent higher than last season; fans who opted in for vote number reminders this season sent nearly twice as many text votes than did the overall voting population.”

Am I wrong? Is AT&T bragging that “fans who opted in for vote number reminders this season sent nearly twice as many text votes than did the overall voting population?

Nearly twice as many text votes than did the overall voting population. WTF!

Let’s do a little math…and I’m rounding this off to the nearest million.

100,000,000 votes..divided by the fact AT&T is making a pantsload of cash..subtracting the millions of idol viewers week to week..times the amount of bulls@#t that American Idol keeps pulling..adding the total of scandals that Idol has commited..and the total is………

Enough money to warrant an F.C.C. investigation of American Idol.

America has a right to know the truth…we’ve already paid for it.

Demand it! Write the F.C.C….Write your Congressman/Congresswoman and tell them to do their job, because if they don’t do something about these votes then you will do something about their votes……nothing gets a politician motivated like voters who aren’t voters anymore.

It’s time for American Idol to reveal “how many total votes?” and “who got the most votes?” and “how many votes were text?” and “how many were phone-in votes?” and “who’s going to be charged as an excessory after the fact?”

It’s up to you America.

Don’t settle for anything but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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