How did Kris Allen win ‘Idol’? 38 million votes from Arkansas helped
Full disclosure: I’m an Adam Lambert fan. A frustrated Adam Lambert fan at present, but a fan.
I’m also a Kris Allen fan.
I only waited until the end to vote for Adam because I was sure he could get to the end without me.
At any rate, Ryan Seacrest said just under 100 million votes had come in Tuesday night for the season eight “American Idol” finale.
He didn’t mention the difference between Kris and Adam.
Last season, there were 12 million votes between David Cook and David Archuleta.
I wrote about that in my “Poor Kris Allen! Wrong guy wins ‘American Idol'” lament, adding, “I’m curious about how many people really hated Adam Lambert that much.”
An Arkansas native named — appropriately enough — Dave, read my lament and offered some perspective.
“I’m originally from Arkansas, and let me tell you, they have very little coming out of the state that they can all get behind. As a result, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks athletic teams are all but a religion there–especially when they are performing well.
“During American Idol elimination episodes, my facebook feed was flooded with Kris Allen comments from friends back home. If you watched the show, you saw a crowd show up to see Kris in my (and his) hometown of Conway, AR that is pretty much the entire population of the town.
“One of my facebook friends posted a comment after Allen won saying that AT&T had disclosed that 38,000,000 votes came out of Arkansas last night.
“Seriously, it isn’t a hatred of Lambert that drove this, it’s the facts that a) everybody like an underdog, b) church-going types moved from Gokey to Allen, and c) Arkansans enthusiastically support their own. It was just a perfect storm in Allen’s favor.”
He added a nice P.S.: “An avant-garde type like Lambert needed to lose, so he could have the creative freedom he needs.”
Very true, Dave.
I don’t blame Arkansas. They were backing their boy and I give them props for that.
The 38 million number from AT&T is interesting.
He’s not the only one quoting it — it originally came from Fox16.com, an Arkansas news station, and was picked up by the Idol blog mjsbigblog.
Now Fox16 is reporting that AT&T is denying the 38 million votes.
To quote Fox16’s updated report as of Thursday, May 21: AT&T says, “We can’t confirm how many votes were cast in Arkansas, and we can’t comment on the number of votes for any contestant.”
Well. Wonder where they got it to begin with.
Actually, here’s more on that. From the same Fox 16 link, just added later:
“CORRECTION: Based on incorrect information provided to one of our reporters, FOX16 News reported Wednesday night, an extraordinary number of votes came in from Arkansas to American Idol. AT&T spokesman Ted Wagnon told us today, ‘AT&T does not divulge or confirm how many votes were cast in any state.’ We apologize for the error.”
I bet it was still around 38 million and someone is playing CYA.
I don’t have AT&T but I always hear Ryan saying AT&T users can text their votes, so I would think that makes things faster than trying to dial 100 times and getting through once.
Of course it doesn’t mean all of the Arkansas AT&T votes (however many there were) were for Kris, but chances are most were.
Dial Idol — where they keep “Measuring the busy signal” — has a funky map that supposedly breaks down by state who called for Kris and who called for Adam.
According to that info, New Hampshire – my state – had 600-odd busy signals on each of Adam Lambert’s three lines, getting through on each line a little over 300 times. For Kris Allen, people hit busy signals in the 400-range on each line and got through in the 200-range.
According to the same map, Arkansas got busy signals in the 6,000 range on each of Kris Allen’s three lines, getting through in the 3,000 range on each line. (Only about 600 votes total seemed to go to Adam from the three lines.)
Over on KrisAllenNation.com, there was a page leading people step by step to “power text” for Kris.
To quote part of the site: “Kris Allen fans can triple (at least) the number of votes by power texting. (I usually get 3000 to 5000 votes out in two hours.”
It’s now Friday, May 22 and I just got this e-mail:
“I am a student at the University of Central Arkansas in the heart of Conway, AR…Kris Allen’s hometown. There was a newspaper article that was produced today by our local newspaper basically about how people could vote so many times for Kris Allen. I’m posting the link for the Conway, Arkansas newspaper as well as an email that was sent out through the UCA listserve that basically explains step by step how these Kris Allen fans or fanatics, if you will, were able to vote so many times. I thought I couldn’t do anything about it even though I thought it was a disservice and unfair. I’m glad that I am finally able to expose the people and their obsession with being “put on the map.”
Here’s the link she’s talking about: http://www.thecabin.net/stories/052209/loc_0522090002.shtml
And here’s the e-mail she received from the University of Central Arkansas, repeating the KrisAllenNation stuff about power texting:
From: (Name deleted)
Sent: Monday, May 04, 2009 3:55 PM
To: (Name deleted)
Subject: FW: American Idol Power Texting trick for Kris
I know some of you supporting Kris Allen, a great Conway guy, on American Idol. If you’re not “into” this contest, you can delete now!
This following message was posted by Kris’s facebook account. It takes a little effort before the voting night, but it looks like it may pay off!
Kris Allen fans can triple (at least) the number of votes by power texting. (I usually get 3000 to 5000 votes out in two hours.) Adam and Danny fans have been doing this for weeks.
Essentially, power texting sends ten votes at a time instead of just one.
Ã‚Â• Must have a cell phone on AT&T. If you don’t have one, you can pick up a Go Phone for about $30 at Target, WalMart, or Best Buy.
Ã‚Â• Must have unlimited text plan.
Power Texting (note: these instruction may differ based upon which kind of phone you have!)
1. You are going to create ten contacts in your cell phone (Kris1, Kris2, Kris3, etc.).
2. Create a contact group (also known as a distribution list) and name it something like “Kris For The Win” and add your contacts (Kris1, Kris2, etc.) to the group. If you don’t know how to do that, check the manual for your phone or go to the AT&T Support Site
3. Add the voting number for Kris (570x) to each of the contacts. At this point Kris has two numbers, so you can alternate – five contacts get the first number, five contacts get the second number. Do this during the show before the voting starts.
4. At the end of the show, send the message “vote” to your “Kris for the Win” contact group. This sends the message to the ten contacts at once. It will take a couple of seconds more than sending a single contact.
5. Now, resend or forward the same message to your contract group over and over for the next two hours.
Super Power Texting
Get a second Go Phone and have ATT give it a number on the opposite side of the country from you. This will let you vote for two hours in Eastern Standard time and then for two hours in Pacific Time.
University of Central Arkansas
McCastlain Hall, Room 002
I’m sure Adam Lambert fans were doing the same thing. Just not enough of us, I guess.
According to our friends at Wikipedia, the 2008 population estimate for Arkansas is 2,855,390, making it 32nd out of 50.
So, as Randy Jackson might put it, those dawgs worked it out Tuesday night.
California, for shame! Where were you for Adam Lambert? For me, for you? Not cool.