Idol Thoughts


Earth to, oh, I don't know, everyone.

American Idol is a TV show. The winner is not the best singer, necessarily, or the one with most potential star power. It is the person with the most votes as chosen by the telephone gods.

Seeing an opportunity for some ink and electrons, a research firm, HCD Research if you must know, is conducting its own Idol voting tally online, citing the "growing controversy over the validity of the voting process." Controversy? That's like using the word courage to describe a professional golfer's choice to go for the green in two on a long par five. It may be a lot of things, but courageous it aint. Save that for firemen and soldiers and Lenny Skutnick.

But I Digress.

HCD, however, says it is ready to step into the breech and save us from millions of screaming teenage girls with pictures of a certain Idol's latest hairdo tatooed to their torsos. It will give online participants an identification number–which always sounds more official–and send them to a password-protected website–even more official sounding–where they can vote once, and only once. Did I mention they can vote only once?

But wait, there's more. While viewing the show online, participants' interest level will be gauged along a sliding scale on which they can move their mouse from a 1 to a 10.

The results of this mouse-driven, one-time only voting method will be posted on April 11 in advance of the only voting results that actually matter, multiple and messy as they are.

Yes, some industrious people vote multiple times. Yes, some people with large, passionate fan bases and numerous hairdos probably get more votes than their talents warrant.

But them's the breaks. More calls means more money, so don't look for the one person, one vote rule anytime soon. And though it may not produce the best singer, it produces lots of ink and fun speculation and at the end of the day somebody gets to sing a cheesy song written especially for the big moment, then either sink or swim in the real world having helped produce watchable appointment TV that viewers are voting for multiple times with their remote controls.

Let the Sanjaya-fueled, Bennet-butchering, nice legs-promoting games continue.

By John Eggerton