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Did AT&T Help Kris Allen Win American Idol?

Adam Lambert fans take their anger to the Internet

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UPDATE: Fox and the American Idol producers released a joint statement saying, "(We) are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verifiedKris 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."

One week ago today Kris Allen was unexpectedly crowned the winner of American Idol season 8. But how could this be? Wasn’t the shows runner-up, Adam Lambert, a lock to win?

With over 100 million votes cast, Allen was announed as the winner… but just how many of those votes were assisted by AT&T employees? Do you feel the American Idol results were tainted? Tell us. 

It seems that American Idol corporate sponsor, AT&T, may have assisted in the casting of extra votes for Allen and shattering the dreams of Lambert. (It should be noted that AT&T is the only service where you can vote via text message)

Literally thousands of fans are outraged by this development, a simple Twitter search for AT&T turns up the following…

Twitterers trashing AT&T

In a statement issued yesterday, a spokesperson for AT&T said, "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."

The NYTimes stated that no such free texting services were extended to Adam Lambert supporters.

Perez Hilton, the self-proclaimed "Queen of all Media", had the following to say about the texting tutorials, "The phone company even showed guests how to "power text", which allows one to text 10 votes at the touch of a button and violates the show’s rules."

Here is a snippet from the American Idol FAQ about power dialing / texting, "The producers reserve the right to remove any identified ‘power dialing’ votes. Note that this applies to both toll-free and Text Messaging votes"

Now the question is… what are American Idol producers to do? Can they even do anything at this point?

Adam Lambert on Entertainment WeeklyPersonally, I don’t watch American Idol… but even I knew who Adam Lambert was. He was just on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, where they all but handed him the key to EW city. As far as I knew he was the winner-in-waiting. So when I heard that some other guy had won, it seemed odd.

So, how do you feel about Idolgate? Tell us.

Did AT&T Help Kris Allen Win American Idol?
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  • PhDude

    I tried voting for 4 hours for Adam and was only able to get through about a dozen times. I think that A T & T providing free power texting phones to Chris’s watch parties is just plain wrong. If they had provided the same phones to Adam watch parties in San Diego it would be ok but they didn’t. We all know who the winner should have been… Even Chris knows who the winner should have been and he said it right after he was erroneously announced as the winner. Adam’s album and videos are outselling the other guys and that is really all that matters in the end. The rule appears to be unless you are from Pig Chase, Arkansas or some other city in the South you need not apply to win American Idol. The best you can hope for is runner up and victory later on the charts.

    • Los Gatos Pam

      Like you, PhDude, I was able to get through once to vote for Adam but my husband and other family members tried over and over again to get through but the lines were constantly busy. So think how many millions of people that never got a chance to vote! Like I said.. so unfair!

  • Caren melendez

    you are ruining the show what it stand for and the excitement of Kris winning! The results are in….let it go!!!!

    • Jeremy Muncy

      Nothing is going to happen to the results, Kris Allen is the winner… but wouldn’t you rather know if something fishy went on during the voting process?


      Jeremy Muncy

      • Sue

        I don’t know about that. If there was a reasonable amount of unkosher voting going on, and proof that it could have skewed the results, then guess what…Kris allen (who I really liked throughout the entire season this year) is NOT the real winner! People will always know this. In fact, deep down I strongly suspect they already feel this way.

  • Michele

    This story is ridiculous!!! Everyone knows how to power text votes. It’s all over the internet. Anyone from any fanbase can do it.

    • Jeremy Muncy

      Hello Michele,

      Yes, Power Texting information is readily available online for anyone to use… but that’s not the point here.

      The point is, if power texting is against the rules… why were AT&T employees showing people how to do it? It’s clearly against the rules, as it states so in the American Idol FAQ.


      Jeremy Muncy

      • Michele

        Apparently, they have done it every year. Lambert’s fans already knew how to do it. See this link to one of his fan sites and scroll down to the Power Vote Section.

        http://adam-lambert.org/hardcore-voting-guide/

        • Jeremy Muncy

          That’s quite interesting.

          This just goes to show you the whole voting process is kind of a sham. How can they go through over 100,000,000 votes and weed out all of the power texting and questionable votes… in 24 hours? Is that even possible?

          Thanks for the link Michele.


          Jeremy Muncy

        • Guest

          You’d still need to be an AT&T subscriber to do that.

          That’s not the same as AT&T reps providing FREE phones to people who may not be subscribers, and showing them personally how to power text.

          • Jeremy Muncy

            Valid point.

            “That’s not the same as AT&T reps providing FREE phones to people who may not be subscribers, and showing them personally how to power text.”


            Jeremy Muncy

        • Kevin

          The issue is not power voting or who won. As a corporate sponsor of the show, they should have never attended any party for either contestant in an official capacity. That immediately show improprieties in their actions. As one of the more prominant sponsors, they should have remained completely nuetral in all matters of voting. And, if it was the local employees that chose to go and represent AT&T without the corporations knowledge, there should definitely be some repercussions for those employees.

          • Jeremy Muncy

            I agree.

            With AT&T being one of the major corporate sponsors of the show… they shouldn’t show favoritism, or anything that could be perceived as favoritism.

            If they were going to attend voting parties.. they should have attended them equally.


            Jeremy Muncy

          • S. L. Bass

            When dialing in votes one night (during the final four) in Conway, Arkansas, for Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta, more than once I received the message that my vote for #3 (Kris Allen) had been received. Most other times I received either a busy signal, or a message that this was not a working number. My sister got the same message dialing in on her AT&T phone! In weeks past, we were able to log an average of 400-600 votes total, spread between our three favorites. Beginning that evening, which was about the same time we were instructed by email how to “power vote” for Kris, we were lucky to get 200 votes in on one night — even the final night with four hours to vote. It crossed our minds more than once that it would be “good business” for Conway, and for Arkansas, if the fix were in through AT&T, or perhaps through a technically saavy Christian Kris fan who might have hacked into the system. The Christian angle was also very much at play in this community. Much ado was made about Adam possibly being gay, and members of Kris’ New Life Church made Adam out to be “the devil.” One said that his music made her “think of hell, and that wasn’t a good feeling.” It is common knowledge that at the Kris Allen Kick Awesome Task Force parties, attendees would boo Adam when he got up to sing. No other contestant got booed — not Allison, Matt Giraud, Danny Gokey, no one. Adam was the only contestant that had his own hate group. It was a classic case of Good versus Evil in this small berg of 50,000 . . . . or was that 38 million???? It was obviously God’s (and AT&T’s) Will that Kris win – and my hundreds of votes for Adam that final night were probably converted into Kris votes before they got out of Arkansas. God works in mysterious ways, has speed dial, and evidently is a BIG Kris Allen fan. Never underestimate the power of the pulpit.

  • Maura

    I tried so hard to try to vote for adam for so long and i couldnt even get through the line. All the judges and Kris himself know that Adam was for sure going to win. The fact AT&T swayed the votes by telling the people to text one time and press a button where it would send ten times is just ridiculous. AT&T people should not be allowed to text a vote anymore in American Idol because thats not a fair way to win. It should be either you call and call to win old fashioned way that way whoever wins,wins fair and square. As Simon said he knew who was going to win but this time the votes were butchered.

  • Guest

    Yes I believe something fishy went on. Adam should have been the clear winner hands down. They need to check into this further. It should be illegal.

    • Los Gatos Pam

      This whole scenario reminds me of the Presidential Election between Al Gore and George W Bush! We all know Al Gore won the election, but b/c of the state of Florida where a “Bush” was governor, things got all messed up and or should I say all “fixed up”… for George! What went down at American Idol was pretty much the same thing. Adam was clearly the best singer and the winner, but “something fishy” happened in the Ozarks and wella…we got Kris Allen!

  • Kim

    If American Idol does not investigate this controversy and take appropriate action concerning the alleged violations, I will not watch the show again or remain a customer of AT & T.

  • Dee

    I think if this is all true and it sounds like it is, then the true Idol is unknown. I am a big Adam fan, though both are worthy of the title, they are just in a different genre. I do think that many of us are outraged that the AT&T employees did this. I also want to say, AT&T is not full blame here, it is the employess that chose to do this, as they obviously were fans of Kris. I sure hope there is a fair outcome to this controversy.

  • Kathy

    I have an ATT account and tried to call and Vote for Adam Lambert, the phone was always busy. I called from my ATT cell phone.

    I had to text one vote at a time to get any votes in at all. I think Kris Allen is a nice guy, but I feel that the true winner didn’t win.

    • Michele

      You could have gone to this Adam Lambert fan site to learn how to power text:

      http://adam-lambert.org/hardcore-voting-guide/

    • Jeanie

      My AT&T text vote for Adam did not get through until the next afternoon (too late to be counted?). Kris is a sweetheart but Adam should have won and will be the bigger star. Time to change my cell service!

  • Angela

    Come on people. Do you think we are stupid. The underdog won and he is no way as talented as Adam Lambert. Adam was a shoe in. So what could have happened? I know the voting was fixed and should be investigated big time.

    This is a disgrace to the American Public.

    • http://www.intentionalfoul.com IFChris

      You “know” it was fixed? If that’s the case, what are the upcoming Powerball numbers cause I’d like to retire early?

  • D

    i dont think it matters who won. we dont know the truth, and im not gonna go looking for it. kris allen was good. so was adam. i didnt care who won. i still dont. both of them will make it big. they already have.

    www.myspace.com/themusikuderdog you gotta problem with what i say then you let me know.

  • Gabriela

    i hate at&t and kris allen. adamso should’ve won and this is now even mor eobvious then before.

  • Guest

    I think in the future that there should be only 1 vote allowed per number. This would show who the real american idol.

  • Laurz

    Don’t get me wrong, Kris deserves the lime light. He was in Adam’s shadow and never got credit for his ability. That being said….It is completely impossible to believe he won. He’s cute, yes. He’s humble and likable, of course, but i’m not buying it and either are any other Adam fans. I’m no looking for excuses because he lost, because honestly it’s better he has more offers than a little idol contract. Adam single-handedly brought back the viewers on idol. I called various times but it was busy all 4 hours. How could i get through twice and Adam not win. Thanks AT&T, now Kris feels undeserving, and Adam was robbed.

  • laurel

    The only way to rectify this is to declare it a tie and give both parties equal sharing of the title, then fire the culprits. I thought that there was a rat in the wood pile when 4 times the population of Arkansas voted. I thought Kris was a Christian but what a thing to teach your Christian children on how to cheat to win. I saw Kris in a interview and thought he looked awfully subdued. This is why-he knows Adam was the true winner and was embarressed to death.Adam was by far the better of the 2. I will never watch American Idol again unless this is corrected. Shame on American Idol to play with people’s lives like this. The credibility of the show is on the line. I never got to vote either.

    • Jeremy Muncy

      AT&T is at fault here… not Kris Allen. It’s not like he was the one giving out power texting tutorials.


      Jeremy Muncy

  • Donna

    First of all I really liked Adam he gave Idol a new look and what a look and what a voice. Then there is Chris- the new american idol. I feel that both are completely different in their styles. If this scandal is true it is SAD for both singers. However I think Adam will go far I will buy his CD and for Chris his fans will buy his. The future will only tell. They have to go through so much pressure to have it come to this. Good luck to Both Adam and Chris. I’ll be waiting!
    I thought Idol was so good this year hoping we didn’t get another “cookie cutter” winner. Idol needs to do some work ,
    And for AT &T SHAME ON YOU!

  • Dennis

    I’m the only one who doesn’t care? I mean, come on.

    It’s American Idol… not the Presidential election.

  • Guest

    If you want to complain about power voting go back to season 2 when Ruebens family supposedly voted over 700 times. We all knew that Clay should have won and it has been proven by the successes he has had as opposed to Reuben.

    As for Adam, yes he was good but a large number of people were turned off by his flambouyancy. American Idol should be for new talent, not successful entertainers.

    • Starbuck

      So first American Idol didn’t let Clay Aiken win… now they don’t let Adam Lambert win… does American Idol hate possible gay contestants?

  • Guest

    I belive they where both really good!! But kris could sit down with a guitar and sing his heart out , Adam had to have so much back ground. I belive no matter who won they will all get there chance. Adam will get more freadom to show his style. I think it is crap that everyone is taking this win away from kris he can’t even enjoy it. He didn’t make those votes and if he wasn’t good he wouldn’t have made it that fare. Kris and Adam has a better attitude then anyone elese. I THINK THE BOTH WON!!!!! Kris is truley a winner

  • Guest

    First, let me say I have nothing against Kris, however, he is just an average singer. When Smokey Robinson gave Adam Lambert a standing ovation this year for performing “Tracks of My Tears”, and Simon Cowell also gave Adam Lambert a standing ovation, that really says something about the talent of the performer. I was dumbfounded when I heard Kris’ name announced as the winner, and I firmly believe that AT&T played a role in helping people cheat to win with massive blocks of texts votes. I also don’t believe the Fox and American Idol statement that the voting was fair – BS! Of course they are going to say this, or else they will look either guilty oif allowing voter fraud or negligent of tracking votes – how else can a show go from 35 million votes last year to 100 million this year without cheating? I’m done with American Idol – and AT&T both!

    • Guest

      i totally agree with u on Im done with american idol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its total BS,,,,,,kris won by cheat votes for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dean

    The screamqueen blew it. It was clear that Kris’ last performances were far more controlled than Adam’s. Adam could only seem to scream the last half to third of each song which took away from each song. He showed some control but would always blow it with an over-the-top scream at the end, thus showing he wasn’t due the title and I think America showed that by not voting for him.

    Kris showed far more vocal talent, although I do think he needs to step up the energy. Adam was good but really was only a child screaming, could tell he was an annoying child to be around. I liked both but feel the true talent did indeed win.

    Did they announce the number of votes for each? That difference should quelsh any discrepancy with the 10x power votes depending on how many people were at that viewing party.

    Deal with it crybabies/screamheads.

    • Guest

      are u deaf????????????? kris so sucked on the song and was off key,,adam clearly was the better of the 2 grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr piss on all the fake vote for kris was not fair!!!!!!!!!!!!kris will be a hasbeen soon and adam will be laughing all the way to the bank!!!!!!!!!!

  • dave

    adam fans did the power text voting.. plus a lot more.. http://adam-lambert.org/hardcore-voting-guide/

  • Andy

    You guys can check online that AT&T provided 50+30 “demo” phones at two supporting sites.
    if one touch gets 10 votes, 100 touch in a minute(just touch then message sent, doesn’t it? can be faster than this) , then 60,000 votes in an hour, and 240,000 votes in four hours( let alone they got other area code cells to have 2 more hours to vote)
    Do you know how many votes for those “few phones” came out?

    19,200,000. Yeah, 19 million!!!!

  • American Idol and Fox Promote Cheating the Vote!

    It is discouraging that the idea of cheating is blatantly promoted across America by American Idol and Fox Network. This is the time that America needs hope and diversion from the economic hardships and foreclosures down the street. Teachers are going to be laid off in my state. I watched American Idol because it was a break from all that. The fact that many children across America votes and watches this show is shameful to America…. American Idol and Fox who advocate ‘cheating the vote’. When is media going to wake up and change their ‘morals’. But I suppose if I had a large corporation, the cash, the marketing saavy (What.. Ford??? aren’t they filling for broke and sucking up tax bail out money?), then yes, I suppose it is worth promoting ideals of demoralization of women, gays, minorities (you sing well, but you don’t look like me), the blind (I’m sorry, they don’t make Andrea Bocelli dance across the stage) ‘rednecks’, promote the ‘beautiful’ contestants, demote the ‘ugly’ contestants, demoralize women with the ‘bikini girl’ (young little girls are watching this show) and make the talented and untalented who are really striving to follow their dream squirm under the bigot brit, the has been 80′s singer and the black hip hop guy and the bikini italian lady (gotta represent everybody!!, this is america!). What is also fascinating is the stars that must be under contract to do their strut on their show (unhappily, it seems). How embarrassing. This really isn’t about who is the better singer, Adam or Kris. This is about how the American Ideal is alive and well in corporate America. And how well corporate America has done well for this country. Thanks American Idol and Fox Network. CANT WAIT TO ROCK THE VOTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest

    There was no way that Kris could of won b/c Adam is def. the best and although he didn’t win b/c IT WAS RIGGED, he will go farther than Kris.

  • anna

    i think kris really deserves to be the winner. even if adam gets to win. i think kris really did exert a lot of effort to improve along the way. i was so happy he came a long way from simon not liking his modesty during his audition to amazing the people of his wonderful talent. i’m not being biased, at first i really do like adam better than kris. but as weeks gone by kris kept surprising me with the songs he sang, while i got sick with adam singing the “okay i’ll scream like a baby, just wait” songs. i got tired of him screaming,. there’s nothing surprising anymore. but when kris sang heartless by kanye west, i believed deep in my heart that he’s gonna win. and he did.. =) maybe people voted for kris because they got so tired of adam, as i was…

  • queropee

    if there is american idol 20 years ago, adam could’ve won.. really.. kris would’ve been eliminated weeks ago… but it’s already 2009, and his kind of music was way too 70s. i’m not a fan of the 70s.. PLEASE… give adam a time machine, and i’m sure he’ll have the popularity he deserves… =p

  • Coyote65

    It seems Idol is turning into more of a popularity contest rather than a singing competition. This AT&T scandal is right up there with the Daughtry botch. Way to go Idol for letting AT&T ruin another one, Oh and lets not forget the idol phone sex escapade. Until Idol and AT&T stops being greedy and starts treating this like a real vote, 1 vote per person per phone number, this will not get resolved. Until this happens it’s simply a popularity contest masked as a singing competition, what a shame and shame on Idol and AT&T for allowing this to happen, these contestants deserve better and so do those of us who watch and cast our votes correctly.

  • Guest

    Basically, people have to stop making it an

  • Another Adam Fan

    I think it is sad that AT & T would have allowed the power voting for just one of the American Idol finalists. I know Adam will do really well and Kris will just do OK. Everyone was cheated in this mess! I would like to know what the judges thought. Maybe they should get a vote in this upcoming season. Maybe then the winner would WIN!

  • Bush_Gore_allover

    I think what’s pissing a lot of people off, isn’t the fact that AT&T cheated, but rather how they cheated!

    It was a total conflict for AT&T to go to only one of the contestants hometown and attend their Idol party. Yeah that looks so unbiased! I personally, I don’t like AI. I’ll watch mainly the first few shows where a bunch of fools make themselves look even more foolish thinking they can sing! LOL! Like that wacky chick who tried again this season, you know the one that loves Simon to death! Once those episodes are over I never watch only the final because of my wife.

    But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from AI is that most of the winners, in most cases never seem to take off. Rather the runner up or third place contestant ends up getting their carriers boosted.