May 28, 2009 03:04 PM by Britteny Elrick
It was reported that over 38 million of the American Idolfinale votes came from Arkansas, which seems like quitea fewconsidering the population of Arkansas. AT&T admitted to providing phones and free “power texting” to Kris Allen fan parties… so did he receive an unfair advantage?
The New York Times recently reported this statement from an AT&T spokesperson: “In Arkansas, we were invited to attend the local watch parties organized by the community. A few local employees brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested.” They also admitted that AT&Temployees demonstrated “how to send 10 or more text messages at the press of a single button, known as power texts. Power texts have an exponentially greater effect on voting than do single text messages or calls to theshow’s toll-free phone lines.”
The”efforts appear to run afoul of American Idolvoting rules in two ways”: “the show regularly states that text voting is open only to AT&T subscribers and is subject to normal rates,” and “the show broadcasts an on-screen statement at the end of each episode warning that blocks of votes cast using ‘technical enhancements’ that unfairly influence the outcome of voting can be thrown out,”according to the New YorkTimes.
As reported by RealityBlurred, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that, during the finale, “fans at the Estes Stadium watch party took out wireless phones and started making calls and firing off text messages ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â¬” some voting on their own devices and others on phones borrowed from AT&T, which supplied about 50 display units and representatives to teach multiple ‘power texting.’ AT&T also made about 30 phones available in a ‘texting zone’ at a watch party at the Peabody Little Rock hotel.”
Although AT&T reps have been attending these Idol gatherings for years, in attempt to make phone sales, it isn’t setting well with Adam Lambert fans.
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photo credit: fox.com