Did AT&T Rock the Idol Vote? Fox Maintains Results Are "Fair, Accurate and Verified"
AT&T, American Idol
AT&T and Fox denied Wednesday the telecommunications giant and American Idol partner could have tainted the outcome of this year's finale by helping residents in Kris Allen's home state of Arkansas text-vote.
AT&T said in a statement "a few local employees" were invited to attend two Idol viewing parties, but called any accusations of influencing the vote "quite a leap." Fox and the producers of Idol also issued a statement, saying they are "absolutely certain" that the Season 8 results are "fair, accurate and verified."
AT&T reps dropping in on finalists' hometown viewing parties is an annual occurence, but the New York Times reported the Arkansas tutorials included tips on "power texts" by which one press of a button can submit 10 or more votes.
Power texting and the use of demo phones runs afoul of Idol rules, one of which prohibits the use of "technical enhancements" to deliver block votes that unfairly influence the outcome. Another limits text voting to AT&T subscribers.
Fox stands by its results.
"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 Fox statement said. "Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol."
Allen, for one, is fine moving forward with his career, never knowing the exact margin of victory he held over Adam Lambert.
"I don't want to know, I don't know, and I'm glad I don't know," he told TVGuide.com on Tuesday. Citing also-ran Adam Lambert's own celebrated run — and echoing TVGuide.com's pre-finale reader poll, which gave him a 53 percent cut of the vote — Kris added, "I have a feeling it was pretty close."
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