Idol finalists won't be allowed to blog

by Liz Finn-Arnold, posted Feb 13th 2007 2:23PM
Season Five Top 12American Idol is a show whose popularity and success hinges on some well-kept secrets and big-ass surprises. Which is why the Top 24 Finalists will have to put their MySpace pages on temporary hiatus. There will be no blogging allowed during this part of the competition.

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?

[via Reality TV Magazine]

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MIA

Too bad, Idol finalists are not allowed to blog. Perhaps this is for security reasons. More on protecting the secrets of the show.


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April 21 2007 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Preston

I don't understand why the Idol finalists won't be allowed to blog. Can't we hear about the nervousness, the tension, the backstage stories and so forth? The people producing Idol are very tight lipped and confidential about everything. But I think that they don't want popular websites like YouTube and blog sites to invade their turf. YouTube has grown huge the past 12 months or so. They feel that leaking anything will throw the buildup, suspense and momentum of the competition off. Ever notice that they go to commercials before they reveal who's eliminated? That's why Idol likes to be one step ahead of the copycat shows and why they're No.1.

February 18 2007 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim in Augusta

The Idol producers should consider letting more "inside" stuff "leaking" out. All the big shows have writers' blogs or podcasts featuring the actors and producers dishing dirt and such - but the trick is that all of it is controlled, so no REAL big news gets out. It gives viewers the feeling they are in on some behind-the-scenes dish and encourages us to watch.

Nigel does do his weekly online interview before each elimination show, so there is that (but you have to go looking for it as it is not put on the Idol site). I bet letting the competitors do some controlled "blogging" would give the viewers some of that similar feeling of being in-the-know. Put all of this on the official site and boost web views.

February 13 2007 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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