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And The Producers Speak


StoliontheRox
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LOS ANGELES(AP) It's "rubbish" to suggest there was a deliberate effort to tinker with "American Idol" by putting wrong voting information on-screen, a series producer said Wednesday.

Fox's talent contest, which viewers decide by casting phone or text-messaging votes, showed incorrect call-in numbers Tuesday for Mikalah Gordon, Anwar Robinson and Jessica Sierra.

It was the second unsettling incident for "American Idol" in two weeks. Finalist Mario Vazquez quit abruptly and without explanation March 12."Why would we contaminate the honesty of one of the top-rated shows in America by fiddling with it?" executive producer Ken Warwick asked Wednesday in a telephone news conference.

"It's regrettable. This was a human error and we had to address it as best we could," Warwick said. An independent contractor was responsible for the on-air display, he said, declining to identify the company.

All the results were tossed out and a new vote was to be conducted after the filmed performances were re-aired Wednesday in an expanded hourlong show. The outcome _ one contestant is voted off each week _ will be announced in a half-hour special 9 p.m. EST Thursday.Various remedies were considered but the producers decided the fairest outcome would be based on the performances the singers had given, not new ones, Warwick said. The 11 finalists took the error in stride, he said.

Judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul "were as flabbergasted about it as we were," Warwick said.

Conceding that the program has been dogged by accusations of everything from racism to an anti-overweight bias skewing the outcome, Warwick said the contest's honesty has been proven.

He dismissed any possibility of conspiracy in the latest incident, which comes in the fourth season. Web sites were abuzz with speculation, reporters noted.

"It's rubbish. We wouldn't contaminate the success of the show in fiddling with it, and that's the truth," he said.

Thursday's additional half-hour (paired with the debut of the new Fox comedy "Life on a Stick") will displace the low-rated "Point Pleasant," which is drawing about 4 million viewers versus up to 30 million for "American Idol."

Warwick said there had been no discussion of whether "American Idol" would perform better in the ratings than the drama and said it was inappropriate to discuss it.

The telephone voting system has been at issue before. Viewers have repeatedly complained that clogged phone lines in the two-hour voting window after Tuesday's performance shows are unfair.

Frustrations and doubts aside, the program remains a consistent hit for Fox, ranking as one of the most-watched shows on television.

On Tuesday, the last two digits of the call-in numbers for Gordon, Robinson and Sierra should have reflected their order in the lineup. Instead, their votes would have gone to the first three singers: Anthony Fedorov, Carrie Underwood and Scott Savol.

The mistake became known Tuesday when viewers alerted Fox. The producers may have been distracted by efforts to fix glitches with high-definition and sound improvements, both introduced this season, Warwick said.

Other finalists vying for a recording contract: Bo Bice, Constantine Maroulis, Nikko Smith, Vonzell Solomon and Nadia Turner.

* i know this my be a little bit of old news but its nice to see what the producers are saying

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Other finalists vying for a recording contract: Bo Bice, Constantine Maroulis, Nikko Smith, Vonzell Solomon and Nadia Turner.

Stoli, this was just out there, it's own thought, it seems. Does it mention somewhere about any of the others who are vying for a contract?

:?:

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