Fox, American Idol, and AT&T have all defended themselves against accusations that Kris Allen won the singing competition unfairly. Earlier today, The New York Times ran a story saying AT&T may have heavily 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."
It’s sparked outrage among Idol fans, and especially those who were in favor of Adam Lambert winning the competition. But Fox and Idol producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia released a statement Wednesday saying Allen is indeed the winner:
“Fox and the producers of American Idol are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified. Kris 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.”
Also, AT&T released this statement:
“Last week, countless parties were held in homes, bars, and other public places across America to watch the American Idol finale. In Arkansas, a few local AT&T employees were invited to attend two local watch parties organized by the community. Caught up in the enthusiasm of rooting for their hometown contestant, they brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested. Going forward, we will make sure our employees understand our sponsorship celebrates the competition, not individual contestants. That said, it’s quite a leap to suggest that a few individuals could have impacted the final results.”
While it is a little disturbing that AT&T allowed their employees to do such a thing, we agree that it most likely didn’t affect the outcome of the finale. Maybe just to be on the safe side, AT&T should write in a clause to ban that type of activity next year!