Idol finalists won't be allowed to blog
Part of me is disappointed by this rule. I love the behind-the-scenes first hand accounts that blogging provides. But I also understand why the producers need to be such a bunch of paranoid control freaks. Thirty-three million of us are not going to continue to tune in each week if too much vital information is leaked on the Internet.
Surprisingly, in this age of speed-of-light internet gossip, Idol producers have been able to keep things tightly under wraps. After all, the Hollywood Round, which airs tonight, was filmed months ago. Sure we've heard rumors of so-and-so advancing to the next round, but that's it. There's been no big internet scoop. Not one website has been able to conclusively compile a list of the Top 24.
American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe explained, "We don't want anything slipping out. If we've got major stars coming on that we want to do a big publicity thing with. "Hey, Michael Jackson is coming to American Idol this week," then I've got to leave that up to Fox publicity to put out there, not have it slip out with somebody telling their Mom that Michael Jackson is coming."
Sharing secrets and TV spoilers have become a way of life for bloggers and internet gossip sites. But those Idol employees and contestants are a rare breed. They sign a confidentiality agreement and they stick to it. Perhaps the CIA could learn from them.
That's not to say that the producers won't "leak" information when they want to reel us in. Is Lythgoe's mention of Michael Jackson in the statement above a carefully planted tease or an actual spoiler of things to come? There are rumors that Idol creator Simon Fuller is handling Jackson's comeback. Could an appearance on Idol be part of that comeback strategy? Or then again, are the producers merely toying with us bloggers, planting rumors so that we keep Idol's internet buzz alive and strong?