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Did AT&T Skew 'Idol' Votes?

I have to admit, I was a little proud of the Late Nite Music Club being one of the only music blogs to have maintained an American Idol-free season, b

I have to admit, I was a little proud of the Late Nite Music Club being one of the only music blogs to have maintained an American Idol-free season, but I'm breaking the streak. There's plenty to be found about AT&T's nefarious dealings on the other part of this site, but it looks like we can add one more item to the pile.


AT&T, one of the biggest corporate sponsors of “American Idol,” might have influenced the outcome of this year’s competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by fans of Kris Allen, the Arkansas singer who was the winner of the show last week.

Representatives of AT&T, whose mobile phone network is the only one that can be used to cast “American Idol” votes via text message, provided the free text-messaging services at two parties in Arkansas after the final performance episode of “American Idol” last week, according to the company and people at the events.

There appear to have been no similar efforts to provide free texting services to supporters of Adam Lambert, who finished as the runner-up to Mr. Allen.

It's very tempting to try to build some horrible plot from the very top of AT&T to derail the sexually ambiguous (and clearly more talented) Lambert's train, but I'm going to keep such wild speculation in the mere realm of the noddingly acknowledged. If this turns out to be true and coordinated, expect the public outcry to be more charged than one would expect in an "election" with stakes so seemingly low. A miniature culture war played out in the final days of 'Idol', and since the vote disparity between 'Idol' competitors isn't revealed, torches and pitchforks may make their way out to try to pry some answers.

Some solace for Lambert and his fans: Season 5 competitor Chris Daughtry's credible rock act has a multi-platinum disc. Winner Taylor Hicks is currently in a Los Angeles production of Grease. I think you'll be just fine, Adam, no matter what AT&T did to you.

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