‘American Idol’: New TV Show Reveals Voting Fraud Claims Against Singing Competition

by Joe Rutland

There have been some concerns over the years that American Idol might have had rigged contests and a TV show looks at this. Music’s Greatest Mysteries decided to tackle the subject matter. There have been claims of fraud over the many years that American Idol has been on TV. Of course, fans of the winner are overjoyed while the losers’ fans will start yelling. Even with this going on, and those losers’ fans toning down their complaining, two situations still stir attention.

When starting to talk about them, music journalist Steven Ivory, according to Heavy, said, “Some of the outcomes have been questionable.” For instance, let’s focus on the 2003 competition between Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. This seems to be a point of contention because Aiken apparently was in the driver’s seat. Well, what happened? Studdard ended up winning that year’s event. The show’s second year would lead Yahoo! Entertainment music columnist Lyndsey Parker to claim that “conspiracy theories went into overdrive.”

‘American Idol’ Controversies Appeared To Heat Up

After all, Aiken was looked upon as the favorite to win it all. That didn’t happen. We even had show host Ryan Seacrest goof up when talking about by how many votes Studdard won. Seacrest at first said it was 1,300 votes. Then, he changed it to 13,000 votes. Fox would adjust that number and make it 130,000 between Aiken and Studdard in the final voting.

No true discrepancy was revealed. Yet some old-school American Idol fans probably still believe there was something wrong and afoot in the competition. Would you believe that Aiken sold more albums than Studdard? Numbers indicate that is true. Once Aiken’s debut album hit stores, it was skyrocketing to the top. It was doing much better than Studdard’s release.

Now, the next situation that was raised on the show involved Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. When it comes to this competition, Ivory reportedly said that Season 8 was the worse case of possible fraud in show history. “Every week Adam Lambert was knocking ’em dead but Kris Allen ends up winning,” he said.

It was revealed after the 2009 grand finale that the show sponsor AT&T might have swayed votes for Allen. That was according to a story from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. While most viewers cast votes by calling a number on their TV screens, AT&T customers could text their votes. This allowed some people, according to this show’s panel, to what is called “power vote.” This is a situation where people could vote for the same contestant nearly 10 times per text. Additionally, viewing parties were held in Allen’s home state of Arkansas. AT&T representatives reportedly handed out sample phones and showed people how to text votes for free.