American Idol is back in the spotlight a week after it aired it’s season finale due to a voting controversy. According to a report in The New York Times, telecom giant AT&T may have helped Kris Allen win the title.
The report states that Kris Allen may have received extra votes from the telecom company, who is one of the biggest sponsors of the show. The report claims that representatives from the company were present at two vote-raising functions for Allen in Arkansas. It was also reported that they ( AT&T) even gave out free mobile phones to the attendees and even taught them how to “power-text” their votes. It has been reported that no similar effort was been made for Adam Lambert.
Both Fox and AT&T claims it is a non-issue. A spokesperson for the company has released this statement: “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.”
A joint statement by the show producers and network execs Wednesday defended the integrity of the voting system, saying: “Fox and the producers of ‘American Idol’ are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified. Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol. We have an independent third-party monitoring procedure in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition.”