Unauthorized Idol DVD claims show is rigged

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Feb 5th 2007 4:18PM
American Idol JudgesA new DVD, American Idol: Unauthorized, takes aim at the Idol juggernaut, interviewing fans, critics, experts (in what, I'm not sure), and past contestants in an attempt to dig up and reveal behind-the-scene scandals and scoops.

I haven't viewed the doc, but according to this review, there's quite a bit of sour grapes whining coming from past Idol rejects. Scott Savol (Season 4) claims creative editing made him appear "lazy." Corey Clark (Season 2) whines about not getting a free hairstylist. And Julia Demato (Season 2) complains that some contestants were given more attention from vocal coaches than others.

According to the Unauthorized filmmakers, the entire show is a scam, rigged from the beginning. A popular conspiracy theory alleges that producers pick their favorites and then "jam" the phone lines on contestants they want to block from getting votes.

The film apparently doesn't back up these allegations with any actual proof, but does claim that more than 2,000 viewers have asked the FCC to investigate Idol. It should be noted that the Unauthorized filmmakers did not contact Fox or producer FremantleMedia to respond to these charges of fraud.

While I doubt American Idol is rigged, I'm sure none of us are shocked by the notion that producers manipulate reality for entertainment purposes. This IS Reality TV, after all. Creative editing is what makes it tick. How could Idol contestants not know that? Don't these people realize that in signing up for such a show, they're basically selling their souls to the TV-Devil? Of course, smart producers are going to tweak the drama for all it's worth, manipulate confrontations, and turn ordinary people into TV-ready characters (villains or heroes). Welcome to Hollywood, Baby.

Even my 10-year-old daughter gets this. The other day, she told me she'd never let our family go on WifeSwap because they would turn her into some hideous she-beast for all of America to mock. "Not even for $25,000?" I asked her. "Not for a million dollars," she replied.

There's only one way to avoid being used and abused by Hollywood producers. Stay out of the game. And if you're going to play, take your loss with dignity. And quit your whining.

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