Is Idol going to have an awkward situation on its hands tonight?

by Kona Gallagher, posted Mar 10th 2009 12:06PM
seacrest high fiveI've been vocal about how I'm a fan of the awkwardly adorable Anoop Desai on this season's American Idol, so I was psyched when Simon told a stunned Anoop that even though he didn't make it into the Top 12 as a Wild Card pick, he made it into the Top 13. Of course, the cynical part of me figured that they had been planning this all along, since Idol is so fond of its "big twists." Well, apparently I was wrong, and Idol actually didn't quite think this one through.

Ryan Seacrest just posted the following to Twitter: "crap, were gonna have a problem on Idol tonight - just dialed 1-866-IDOLS-13 and its not quite SFW..." Oops. What's hilarious about this, is that no matter what the producers do, short of wrestling that phone number out of some poor porn purveyor's hands, somebody is going to dial that number tonight.

Remember how in the first few seasons, Idol had big problems with overeager fans dialing unsuspecting businesses because they dialed "800" instead of "866?" If you have 1-866-IDOLS 1-12, and then, say, 1-866-IDOLS-99, or whatever, people are still going to dial 13-- and it's probably going to be an unsuspecting 12-year-old.

While many parents may find this prospect horrifying, my kid is only five months old, and thus too little to dial for his favorite Idol-- so I think this is hilarious. It's live television, and it's airing in a matter of hours, so Idol producers are racing against the clock to come up with a solution. Seacrest goes on to say, "oh man...1-866-IDOLS-00 is dirty too, lol. Just talked to one of the Idol producers and they have a plan...*crossing fingers* - ryan."

I, for one, am excited to see what they come up with. What do you think they should do? Is it unfair for one contestant to have a random and potentially confusing phone number? Post your thoughts in the comments below (I'm sure Seacrest and the producers will be thankful for any ideas).

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Maybe they'll go Roman with it: 866-IDOLS-XIII

March 10 2009 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No, awkward will be the group dance/sing on Thursday.

March 10 2009 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Another thing I thought they could do is have the judges award someone immunity.

March 10 2009 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

I have faith in Ryan to be able to vamp his way through this troubling time.

March 10 2009 at 1:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rick cokely's comment

i betcha they come up with a different word to use.


March 10 2009 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SFW - suitable for work.

Have the producers tried changing all numbers to 1-866-IDOL-001 to 1-866-IDOL-013.

March 10 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike McNamara

When I read about this yesterday, I too laughed. That will teach them to change the rules...

But what I can't comprehend is how somebody over there wouldn't have figured this out already. While it's genius for somebody to have bought up the 866 number closest to the one they traditionally used -- I read that "00" gets you to the same sex line -- (for no advertising spent, you will still get accidental or curious dialers and some of them, eventually, will correspond with your target audience), don't you think somebody over at Idol would have checked this before they decided to go with 13 finalists and gotten onto the situation before the day of the show?

Don't watch Idol, but am very interested to see how this plays out.

March 10 2009 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I must be old. What does "its not quite SFW..." mean?

I am sure they will resolve the phone issue before the show starts. But will they fit 13 performances -- and subsequent comments from four judges -- into two hours? This one is sure to run long.

Now that I think of it, they should just acknowledge that the person who sings last -- "the pimp spot" -- always goes through, so they only need 12 numbers anyway.

March 10 2009 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about 1-866-IDOL-113? Or IDOL-14?
Either way, the IDOL 13 number is going to see some usage--mainly from curiosity, I'd guess!

March 10 2009 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also have no kids, and much like yourself, find this hilarious!

March 10 2009 at 12:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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