Friday, April 08, 2011

Did America really not vote for Pia?

Let me take a break from blogging about my Sabbatical in Israel to comment about an equally important topic, American Idol.  In particular, electronic voting on American Idol. In past years, I've picked the top two or three (as did everyone else), when there were around ten contestants left, and it was pretty obvious that we were all correct. This year, I picked (as I assume did most people) Casey and Pia as the top two, or at least two of the top three (along with James).

Now, American Idol airs in Israel several days after the show happens, so I have not seen this week's episode. But I have been following the excitement online. I have to say that one of two things (or both) must be true. Either I am completely out of tune with the American Idol audience, or something is messed up in their voting system. Interestingly, I'm just saying, American Idol adopted a form of Internet voting this time around (for a terrific description of how it works, see Ben Adida's blog posting). Unlike voting in public elections, people are actually encouraged to vote multiple times, up to a limit, and votes are not private.

So, a few weeks ago, Casey (touted by Randy as the most talented contestant ever on the show) was voted off early to everyone's shock. The judges saved him. Now Pia, my personal prediction to win the whole thing, was reportedly voted off. The judges have no more saves, but would clearly have saved her if they could. Is something going on with the voting? Who knows, but when Internet voting systems produce unexpected results such as this, questions will be asked. Personally, I'm very sorry to see her go, and I can't believe people really voted this way. I will miss Pia, and I am starting to doubt the integrity of the voting on American Idol. Or, maybe I'm just out of tune with pop culture. Yeah, that's probably it.