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.
Lisa de Moraes
May 28, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
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