American Idol

American Idol has come up with a fix to a problem that could have found viewers unwittingly calling a phone-sex line to vote for their favorite singer. "During tonight's show, they'll announce a different number for that 13th contestant," Fox entertainment chairman Peter Liguori revealed Tuesday morning on Ryan Seacrest's KISS-FM radio show.

How did Fox's wholesome favorite child come to rub up against this naughty near-nightmare? As always, Idol has dibs on a dozen suffixes — Nos. 01 through 12 — of the toll-free 1-866-IDOLS. But because this season features a Top 13, the show needed an extra number to call into.

Alas, 1-866-IDOLS-13 (as well as 1-866-IDOLS-00) is owned by Intimate Encounters, Inc., an adult entertainment service. Call either of those lines (with Mom's a valid credit card handy) and you can avail yourself of "nasty talk" with "real students, housewives and working girls from all over the country," at a rate of 1.99 to $3.99 per minute. 

"We knew that the [1-866-IDOLS-13] number wasn't available," Liguori told Seacrest. But, the exec noted, "I personally didn't" know that the line was XXX-rated.

Still, a burning (and rather legitimate) question looms: Will being tagged with a brand-new toll-free line possibly handicap this week's 13th singer?

After all, the Idol faithful have been trained for several seasons to robo-dial 1-866-IDOLS plus their fave's two-digit extension. In the feverish afterglow of hearing a compelling cover of "P.Y.T.," who's going to notice that Singer No. 13 has been designated with an entirely different dial-in? (And might 13-year-old Jimmy from Utah, if he dials blindly, run the risk of going "one-on-one with hot, horny girls"?) Says Liguori, "We'll make sure the audience is aware of it."