Thursday, May 25, 2006

63 MILLION VOTES

That's how many were cast during the finals of American Idol, according to Ryan Seacrest last night on the show. He said that's more votes than were cast for any Presidential winner in any election.

Uh, wait a minute. I know for a fact that there weren't 63 million people voting for American Idol. For one thing, only about 30 million people tuned into the show to begin with. So that's number one. Second, I know for a fact that there were people out there casting several dozen, even hundreds of votes by phone and by text-messaging. If you check out the boards over at Votefortheworst.com, so many of the people on there were bragging about casting multiple votes. Some were claiming they got in well over a hundred votes during the time the "polls" were open on both coasts. A hundred votes.

The same thing happens on CTV's Canadian Idol; in fact, on last year's show the number of votes recorded exceeded the entire population of Canada. This is no joke, this really happened. Now, I'm sure millions of people cast their votes in the final for American Idol. But don't tell me it was 63 million actual people who voted, because that is so much nonsense. I'm sure all these E.R. medical doctors, and these high-powered corporate attorneys who work all night, and these diplomats and these high-level political people were all watching and ringing those phones, and text-messaging their votes. Fat chance.

Speaking of political people, I noticed a newspaper headline today that claimed that Taylor Hicks' victory on last night's show was a victory for "Red State America." I dunno about that one, this vote sure didn't come down to political or cultural divides this time. Maybe they think it's another "Red State" victory because Hicks is from Alabama, and represents "Soul Patrol", while Katharine McPhee was from California. I don't think people really cared about where they came from, honestly. What people really cared about and were complaining about in the end was how bland and mainstream these two were. What got many people hot under the collar were the dreck middle-of-the-road songs that were selected for these two to sing as their original debut singles. Everyone is blaming the songwriters for Katharine's defeat, because her song was so bad that it got trashed by the judges on national television. Most people recognize, though, that these two contestants had to go "mainstream" and sing all these tunes designed to appeal to all these soccer moms out there in the viewing audience.

What ended up happening was that the die-hards ignored the performances and voted for their favorites anyway. Then you had the "Votefortheworst" people who were out to sabotage the entire competition and make a statement about what they thought about the quality of the music they were getting from this show. That whole crowd endorsed and voted for Taylor Hicks, mainly because they thought he was a joke.

So I don't think it came down to political/cultural lines at all. If you wanted to really talk about this Red State/Blue State business, last year's Idol vote was the time to do it. That divide, in that vote, was soooo obvious. Carrie Underwood, "Jesus Take the Wheel"... talk about your family values. Ugh.

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