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Kris Allen Dings Reports of AT&T Staffers' Voting Help

"American Idol" winner Kris Allen went on Jimmy Fallon's NBC late night show Wednesday. While there, he tried to hose down news reports that employees of one of the singing competition's corporate sponsors helped Allen fans increase the number of votes they could cast last week to determine the winner -- providing fans at viewing parties with cell phones, a phone charging station, and quickie tutorials on how to turn each text vote into 10 votes via "power texting."

"All I'm hearing about [today] was Textgate," Fallon says to Allen.
"I've heard a little bit," Allen says, laughing.
"About how it was rigged or they don't know what's going on," Fallon says.
"Yeah, cheating apparently," Allen adds.
"They said, like, there was extra votes given to you from a party in Arkansas that got you the win," Fallon says, inaccurately. News reports have not said the AT&T staffers' efforts landed Allen the win; the news reports have said the staffers' efforts helped increase the number of votes Allen received.

Back to the interview/damage control:

"Did you win by 10 votes?" Fallon asks Allen, cracking up at his own joke.
"I doubt that, with 100 million votes," Allen simpers, adding "but you know I just try to go out there and do my thing...I have no idea what's going on with [makes air quotes] Textgate."

Today, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -- which first broke the story of the AT&T staffers' AT&T Text Zone activities at Kris Allen fan "Idol" viewing parties -- provided more details of those two viewing parties. The paper cites a fan named Bobbie Kierna who voted 10,840 times on one of the phones provided by AT&T staffers at a roped-off area advertised by signs as a "Texting Zone."

Watch the whole "Late Night" interview with Allen on the subject here.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 28, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  "American Idol"  
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Gets a little murkier.

Posted by: rraustin1 | May 28, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Why does there always have to be a conspiracy theory? Are Americans, in general, so obsessed with winning that they can't acknowledge that THEIR favorite contestant didn't get as many votes as SOMEONE ELSE'S favorite contestant? I'm glad that both Kris and Adam think this whole "textgate" issue is nonsense. It makes me like both of them even more, and the media(by this I mean tabloid-esque sensational "journalism") even less.

Posted by: kenny9 | May 28, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Someone did a better investigating than most reporters.

Dial Idol which checks busy phone signals it showed that Kris Allen had an edge over Adam Lambert

Notice that Kris Allen was ahead of Adam in phone busy signals, which does not include text messaging.

Here is a couple of Adam Lambert sites teaching them how to "cheat".

So apparently Adam Lambert fans were also mass voting. There were several sites instructing them how to do it, but interestingly they are starting to disappear. Because it shows that Adam Lambert fans were doing the same thing.

But funny how the media hasn't investigated that but regular people have found it. Why is that?

Posted by: GayDude2 | May 29, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

This how to "cheat" by Lambert fans disappeared after it was found on a very popular American Idol website.

So where is the media on that? Oh, they are too busy trying to write about textgate.

It appears the Adam Lambert fans were also cheating.

Posted by: GayDude2 | May 29, 2009 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Kris Allen IS the American Idol because even Dial Idol, which measures busy phone signals, had Kris ahead.

Why don't reporters mention that. Busy phone signals don't have anything to do with text messaging votes and still had Kris ahead.

So where are the articles of Adam fans doing the same mass text voting and using Gizmo?

Posted by: GayDude2 | May 29, 2009 6:08 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for "screen capture". I caught this site that was mysteriously taken down on popular which most AI fans hang out at after someone mentioned it on another blog. This was under Adam Lambert's section.

Some Adam Lambert fans wanted to remove the signs that they were also cheating.

So they were doing the same thing as the rest of the contestants, but now want to try to hide it.

Posted by: GayDude2 | May 29, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Lisa is extremely witty and a great writer. I enjoy reading her reports of the TV shows better than I enjoy watching them. Keep them coming!

Posted by: janehowze | May 29, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

AT&T did not give Lambert fans demos cell phones, show them how to use them and allow them to power text free of charge. That is what AT&T admits happened. Read the article in the NY Times. There is no such thing as a little cheating. Saying they did not effect the outcome doesn't mean anything. One only cheats to try to effect the outcome. I am an Allen fan and I am outraged for him. AT&T and Idol have cast a cloud over him with their behavior that could follow him his whole life. I don't see why more fans are not standing up and demanding the whole truth. Their treatment of him is outrageous.

Posted by: xavier4 | May 29, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

This was defintiely a tainted contest. There is too much evidence trickling in to suggest otherwise. It makes no sense that Kris Allen won American Idol title. Even Kris Allen knows it. Adam Lambert has more talent in his pinky finger. It is shameful and I feel sorry for Kris because he will never be considered the clear winner fair and square. There will always be a huge cloud of doubt hanging over Kris's head. I will say this Kris needed to win and Adam was already a winner. I think American and the world is outraged because it wasn't a fair competition. Each individual should be allowed one vote only. If that had been the case Kris would not have needed 10 plus votes per person to win. That is not a competition based on talent. THAT IS CALLED CHEATING!!!!

Posted by: pbelang | June 2, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

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