I have it! I’ve figured it out. It’s taken me nine seasons and many weeks of heavy thought, but I’ve suddenly realized how they fix American Idol. And now I feel just plain stupid for not hitting on the answer sooner. And ridiculous for wasting weeks of heavy thought on something so trivial. Still…
Some while ago, I posted my theory about why I believe the whole Idol elimination process is rigged to favor contestants that the producers think will sell the most albums once the season has wrapped up and all the mediocre performers have gone home and been forgotten about. Since then, consistently, week after week, that theory has held up. I made a prediction about which kid would leave, and sure enough, that kid left. It was flawless and dead-on.
Until this week.
This week Big Mike Lynche was sent packing. My pick had been Casey the Hair, who has minimal discernible talent, but great hair, a shaven chest, and tons of girlie appeal.
However, it was this apparent crack in my system that revealed the clue I’d been looking for. For a while I couldn’t work out how it was done. Now I’m more sure than ever that American Idol is rigged. Let me explain. Dim the lights. Here we go.
Ryan comes on at the start of the show and says how many fools wasted money this week on texting a vote, or repeat-dialing the show’s premium phone lines. This time it was a season high, 37 million.
Then we work down through the contestants one at a time over the course of an overpadded hour – an hour that could be reduced to four minutes; the rest is filler – whittling it away until we have our bottom three.
But then after that, there is no reference made during the show to who got the lowest number of votes, have you noticed? Something Seacrest fudges very handily by saying, “America voted and Big Mike is going home.” Or he’ll have two people standing there, as he did last night, and go, “After the nationwide vote, the person who’ll be in the final three is….Crystal Bowersox.”
See? No mention of Big Mike receiving the lowest number of votes. Why would there be? He didn’t, right?
In fact, now I come to think of it, it’s been like that on more than one occasion. “After the nationwide vote…” – not “…the person with the lowest number of votes…” So it looks like America gets to choose the bottom three, but if America acts like a dweeb and dumps the wrong person, the producers step in and pick the one they think should leave. I betcha I’m bang on the money with this.
My guess is that Casey the Hair tanked this week. But the tweens like him a lot and some of them may even buy his album, the one he records before he’s dropped by his label.
Of the four contestants left, Big Mike is the most generic, the least likely to endure as an artist and make money for the producers in coming years, and also the least likely to keep the girlie audience tuning in next week at a time when ratings are plummeting anyway. Bowersox and DeWyze are this season’s real talents. Big Mike is talented too, but squandered his advantage early on by not doing very much with anything and seeming kinda lame. That said, he was better all-round than Casey the Hair. No matter – Mike had to go.
And there you have it. Zero correlation between who got the lowest number of votes and who leaves. Furthermore, if the producers are challenged on this, they can throw up their hands in shock like a swooning coquette in a Victorian drama and claim, “But we never said Big Mike got the lowest number of votes, only that he was going home.”
Ta-daa. Am I right or am I right?
American Idol, you are sooo busted. Looks like it’s all about money. Selling albums, keeping sponsors, maintaining ratings. Ethics? Pah – not so much.
TV Swami – he feeling smug about this theory but extremely miffed at American Idol.