Did Kris Allen really win?

American Idol LogoThere has been a lot of talk on the internet about who voted for Kris Allen, this year’s winner, and why. Until now, though, no one disputed the vote itself. A New York Times article might change all that.

AT&T, one of the biggest corporate sponsors of “American Idol,” might have influenced the outcome of this year’s competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by fans of Kris Allen, the Arkansas singer who was the winner of the show last week.


Representatives of AT&T helped fans of Mr. Allen at the two Arkansas events by providing instructions on how to send 10 or more text messages at the press of a single button, known as power texts. Power texts have an exponentially greater effect on voting than do single text messages or calls to the show’s toll-free phone lines. The efforts appear to run afoul of “American Idol” voting rules in two ways. The show broadcasts an on-screen statement at the end of each episode warning that blocks of votes cast using “technical enhancements” that unfairly influence the outcome of voting can be thrown out.

And the show regularly states that text voting is open only to AT&T subscribers and is subject to normal rates.

Since Alison was voted off the show, I really didn’t have a horse in this race. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t see either Kris or runnerup Adam Lambert as an “idol.” Nevertheless, I was suprised that Kris won – as he seemed to be himself last week.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming weeks. Or whether the story simply dies.

10 thoughts on “Did Kris Allen really win?

  1. Adam Lambert supporters across the Internet have also been complaining that Allen people in Arkansas somehow got hold of a number of AT&T prepaid cell phones with California area codes. They purportedly switched to these when the Eastern/Central voting deadline hit and were thus able to text in votes for an extra three hours. I have no idea if there is any substance to this claim or not.

    In fairness, it should also be mentioned that there is no evidence Kris Allen was involved in any of this.

      1. Yeah, I recognize that. They told me right after the convention that I was on Brian’s Flicker site, and unfortunately they were correct. No wonder his expenses have been high, ruining perfectly good cameras like that.

  2. Guerrilla democracy at it’s finest. You want to win a canvass or convention? Call in a bunch of favors and friends to pack the hall. Maybe you weren’t the best candidate for the job, but you did the best job organizing and therefore win the day.

    1. Guerilla democracy? Maybe. I wouldn’t call it “democracy” if people are playing the system to vote early and often. Then again, this can be done in just about any computer vote; it’s why all Internet polls are bogus.

      The real issue here, though, is if the sponsor, or at least its employees, were involved in rigging the vote. That veers dangerously close to the 1950s game show scandals in terms of its basic dishonesty to the viewers.

  3. Whatever. Things worked out for the best anyway. I wish them both the best of luck on their careers.

    They are both good guys.

    I don’t think I will be tuning in to next years American Idol though.

  4. aside with that,,,, the rindition of the song no boundaries is very compatible with his voice,,, he dserves to win in the competition… i am excited to see kris single play in the hit chart… i hope it will come soon…

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