So, at last, voters have managed to get Sanjaya off the American Idol season six show. And what a show it’s been: full of controversy, surprise, and now questions about the integrity and honesty of the show’s producers and the voting system. Howard Stern set out to prove that American Idol was or could be manipulated, and now, after Sanajaya has been suddenly rejected at last, it seems that Stern has proved his point: the results can be manipulated and easily.
First, let’s look at Sanjaya himself. In fact, there was something endearing about him, and in fact, his voice isn’t that bad – it just takes a few more years to develop. After all, he is only 17 years old. He has a good tone and a pretty nice tone when he sings songs that work for him. In the long run, if this guy wants to sing for dinner, he’s probably more suited to Broadway. Or maybe, with that killer smile, you’d be better off in toothpaste commercials. But when it comes to “showmanship” as a performer who could keep the audience mesmerized by song after song, Sanjaya by no means had it. No way! It takes years of acting to develop great showmanship and charisma, even when you have it in the beginning. … and it doesn’t.
Taylor Hicks had a talent for the show. Chris Daughtry was a showman. So are Rod Stewart, Shania Twain and Tina Turner and many more superstars who do not necessarily have the best voices, but know how to keep the audience aware of their every move and note. That is certainly not Sanjaya. So, conclusion? The only thing that kept Sanjaya on this show must have been the Stern effect and / or Vote for the Worst.
But maybe there’s another reason – namely, the American Idol executives themselves kept it there, not so much because it provided showmanship, but because it was obvious from the moment they picked the top 10 or 12 that women had it all. About the boys in talent, voices. , and the show and that the show would get boring and lose viewers if the winner was so predictable. Those top 3 girls are not boring – they are fabulous singers and they have showmanship. The guys who remain are not fabulous singers, but they do have something of spectacularity. But if week after week those 3 main girls (Jordin, Melinda and Lakisha) constantly put on solid performances while the boys kept feeding us mediocre and forgettable performances, we would stop looking knowing that we can tune in only for the last 3 weeks and we would miss nothing.
In short, the producers of American Idol and anyone else deciding these things saw a great need to keep Sanjaya there, so we had a reason to come back every week. They needed controversy to keep viewers watching the show. And let’s not forget one thing: American Idol is all about ratings and putting on a TV show that people love to hate but can’t stay away from. It’s not about those people going up there every week to fulfill their “idol dreams.”
So now to the vote, the fine print on the contracts and the rest. For me, from the word “forward”, the voting system has been ridiculous. You CANNOT pick the true winner when a fan can vote 100 or 1000 times for their favorite. The only fair vote is one per person and it seems like that is impossible to configure and / or monitor. So voting is never fair and has always been manipulated, if not for show, by the voters themselves who find electronic means to beat the system.
As for the fine print, I’m not one iota surprised that the producers have an additional clause in the show’s contract that allows them to adjust, so to speak, the voting results. Frankly, it’s probably absolutely essential that people put in all the money for this show, both before and after the winner is decided, to be able to manipulate the results. Does John Q Public know the cost of turning an artist into a megastar? Let me tell you there are millions. Now who in their right mind would let a Sanjaya win? Who would be stupid enough to “let the public vote” for an American Idol who is a mediocre singer with minimal stage presence and showmanship? Once the winner wins, they should be able to sell tickets and CDs. So, once the novelty of the show has passed, the person who wins better have more to offer than cute teeth and a sweet smile.
So in hindsight, rigged or not, I think it’s probably imperative that the producers of American Idol and the money men behind it can override the popular vote so they can invest in success rather than failure. I do not believe, in any of the previous seasons, that the producers would not have intervened if they thought that the winner would not be able to sell tickets, much less CD’s. The judges manipulate the vote week after week with their comments. They know who should be in the bottom three, and they go out of their way to make sure the bottom three make money for them.
Or let’s put it another way: if you had a million dollars to invest, would you invest it in something that probably won’t give you the best returns? That is not good business sense. That is stupid. And that’s the reality of American Idol.