Did text messages skew "Idol" votes?
All five "American Idol" winners hail from Southern states. Is that a coincidence -- or a result of "Idol"'s sponsorship arrangement with Cingular Wireless? The deal gives the wireless carrier's subscribers the exclusive privilege of voting by text message instead of calling into "Idol"'s oft-clogged phone lines. According to research firm NPD Group, half of Cingular's 18 million text-messaging users come from the South, a result of Atlanta-based Cingular's formation from the merger of SBC and BellSouth's wireless divisions in 2001. In theory, that means that Cingular text-message users in the South may well be able to swing the vote.
There's a problem with the theory, though, RCR Wireless News points out -- Cingular took over as an "American Idol" sponsor after it acquired AT&T Wireless, based in Redmond, Wash., in 2004. AT&T Wireless, the original sponsor of American Idol, didn't have Cingular's demographic skew. That means Southerners Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard won in the first two seasons on their own charms, not regional bias.
Meanwhile, some fans of Chris Daughtry actually believe that it was a technical problem with "Idol"'s conventional phone lines, not text-messaging demographics, that was to blame for his loss.
Did voting technology influence the show's outcome? Tell us what you think.
I liked Chris but he was a one note singer. He could sing it well but he was just limited. I think that the winner (Taylor Hicks) was the best over all performer, but some of the finalists should have lasted longer than they did.
Southerners will more generally fall for trivial reality shows like American Idol. That is the reason that southerners usually win.
AI is the worst show since Happy days. All you AI fans are idiots for buying into there AI text scams. How easily americans are taken back.
For this theory to be true, you'd first have to assume that Southerns, as a voting block, would vote overwhelmingly for one of their own. I think this is a risky assumtion based on the dramatic demographic shifts throughout the South during the past couple of decades. As a former long time native resident of Atlanta I witnessed the change firsthand. Populations of the major Southern cities have swelled as migration from other areas of the country has increased. In Atlanta, for instance, it is difficult to find a middle aged native. Most natives today are those born to families who migrated from other parts of the country. If there is a cultural bias in these voters it should be that of their family and not "The South" which is a vastly different culture from the one in which I grew up.
maybe people in the south are generally the type of people who more readily buy into the American Idol concept whereas folks in say NYC, Boston or the Bay Area and Northwest simply feel as if they are above watching, (and if they lower themselves to that level), they are just way too cool to go ahead and vote?
When Cingular bought AT&T Wireless, me and everyone I know dropped the service, since our calls were being dropped. Most went to Verizon or TMobile. Note that I am from LA
CNNMoney.com Comment Policy: CNNMoney.com encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNNMoney.com makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNNMoney.com may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNNMoney.com the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNNMoney.com Privacy Statement.