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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Is repeating video evidence that Idol is rigged?

Over at Drudge Report right now there's a story about an investigative piece ABC is set to run next week alleging that the producers of American Idol on Fox are manipulating the outcome of the show. This hasn't been the first time this season it's been suggested that "the fix is in" on the number-one television show in America, but so far this is the only major media attention given the matter.

I'm not saying that American Idol is rigged. I'm praying it's not. Hoping that there are some ethical standards being adhered to and that EVERYONE is being given their fair shake at going all the way.

That said, there was something on tonight's broadcast of American Idol that I happened to catch, that has been bugging me all night.

The show's now down to six finalists, the theme this evening was songs that have come out since the year 2000. Before each contestant sang there was a brief set of video clips about that performer: where he or she comes from, comments from family and friends, their singing history, etc. The first contestant to perform tonight was Carrie Underwood, the 22-year old farmgirl from Oklahoma and one of the admitted favorites - if not the admitted favorite - to win the competition.

Now, here's what I've been wondering about...

Back in January, during Underwood's first appearance on the show, there was a brief video montage about her then also. One of the clips was of Underwood taking food to animals on her farm. Dunno why I remembered THAT particular clip, but as best as I can recollect, the show's producers had that same clip in Underwood's video segment tonight.

Why would American Idol's producers go to all the time and trouble to collect this kind of footage about Carrie Underwood, when at the time she was, at best, one of the 24 contestants that would be pared down to the final 12? Did all of the 24 contestants receive this kind of attention from the show that early on? And not just Underwood either: I noticed that Constantine Maroulis got much the same sort of "extra attention" from the show.

This isn't meant to "diss" either Underwood or Maroulis at all. Personally, I think they're both excellent singers and they should do well no matter how well American Idol ends up for them. But let's be honest here: how many times did we really see Anwar Robinson or Mikalah Gordon in the pages of People, or in the footage that Idol's producers released for public consumption? Could it be that maybe some contestants just aren't, ummm... "telegenic" enough to warrant equal consideration? Admittedly, Underwood is pretty and the ladies find Maroulis to be hot, but this is supposed to be a singing competition, not a beauty pageant.

Or maybe I'm seeing too much in this one little quirk. That might be fair to say too. But I guess I'm the kind of guy who doesn't like the deck stacked against anybody, no matter how "less appealing" they look in front of the television cameras. And hate to say it but this season of American Idol has tilted too much toward the fair-faced already.


Darth Larry said...

the best has already left the show. Nada, we miss you. *sniff, sniff*

i'm really pulling for anthony. darn if that sob story about his throat didn't get me.