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AT&T “influenced” the outcome of American Idol 2009 by giving free phones and lessons on how to cast massive blocks of votes at various parties organized by fans of Kris Allen…who went on to win the show.
American Idol Voting Controversy
AT&T reps gave the free text-messaging training at two bashes in Arkansas following the final performance episode of American Idol.
There were no such “lessons” provided to fans of Adam Lambert, who finished as the runner-up to Mr. Allen.
Fox officials have declined to comment. In a statement on Tuesday, an AT&T said the following:
“In Arkansas, we were invited to attend the local watch parties organized by the community. A few local employees brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested.”
AT&T reps showed Allen supporters how to send 10 or more text messages at once. These “power texts” influence voting much more than standard text messages.
This violates two sets of American Idol rules:
1) The show warns that blocks of votes cast using ‘technical enhancements’ that unfairly influence the outcome of voting can be thrown out.
2) The show also states that text voting is open only to AT&T subscribers and is subject to normal rates…these were free.
AT&T and Fox are going to have some ‘splaining to do! Uh oh!
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