‘Idol’ Voting System Proves its Flaw

American Idol just non-voted off its best performer of Season 7 tonight with the exit of Michael Johns. He had never been in the Bottom 3 all season, but was left on stage as the lowest vote count after Tuesday’s incredible performance of ‘Dream On’ by Aerosmith. Both TiVo and I were wrong, as our guesses were on the stage with Michael, but Carly and Syesha were safe.

The crowd started booing. I’d bet good money America was booing. In the end, we have no one to blame but ourselves – or the system. I pick the system.

The problem with the voting system is two-fold:

  1. It allows losers to stay on through organized movements that plan to vote for the worst singers. Remember Sanjaya? Taylor Hicks? I rest my case.
  2. Most egregiously, it neglects to protect those whom the viewers deem “automatically safe” in their minds as they go on to vote for the ones on the bubble to protect them. That is what happened to Melinda Doolittle last year and Michael Johns tonight, and it sucks.

What do you think? Time to change the voting system after 7 years of putting up with this frustration? The whole world is based on getting rid of the weakest, so why does Idol eliminate by axing the non-popular, rather than most unpopular?

Broken. Broken. Broken.

  • Marc

    You’re wrong about Mr. Hicks. He’s the best and most seasoned performer they ever had on that show and the most deserved. He’s a great great soul and blues singer.

  • Marc

    You’re wrong about Mr. Hicks. He’s the best and most seasoned performer they ever had on that show and the most deserved. He’s a great great soul and blues singer.

  • Mike

    I have said from year 1 the judges need a veto in the voting. Michael Johns will go on the long list of performers that should have stayed. Daughtry comes to mind.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Marc,

    Thank you for stopping by and chiming in. It’s always nice to see a new face around.

    I have to stand by my opinion on this occassion, though. I don’t think he could really compete with Katharine McPhee at that time. He has improved since, but what ‘Idol’ hasn’t?

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Marc,

    Thank you for stopping by and chiming in. It’s always nice to see a new face around.

    I have to stand by my opinion on this occassion, though. I don’t think he could really compete with Katharine McPhee at that time. He has improved since, but what ‘Idol’ hasn’t?

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Mike,

    Again! Welcome new friend.

    I was a BIG fan of Daughtry and and have bought 4 of his songs on iTunes. If those were on cassette or LP, they’d be worn out by now.

    I’d never thought of a judge veto, but I sure darn thought the producers were going to save his butt. America would have wanted it, but you know the critics would have downed the show in 60 seconds flat in the morning.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Mike,

    Again! Welcome new friend.

    I was a BIG fan of Daughtry and and have bought 4 of his songs on iTunes. If those were on cassette or LP, they’d be worn out by now.

    I’d never thought of a judge veto, but I sure darn thought the producers were going to save his butt. America would have wanted it, but you know the critics would have downed the show in 60 seconds flat in the morning.

  • melanie

    Pretty pompous statement to speak for all of America. I agree with the first poster, Mr. Hicks had and still has the whole package. He is an excellent performer who IMO, was way too good for that show and until you have seen him live in concert, your opinions are mute and just plain ignorant. Why don’t you humor the soul patrol and his other fans by going to one of his concerts next time around, your blog might have a different tone to it regarding Taylor not being a worthy AI winner. As a matter of fact, it would be a nice change of pace if all naysayers on the internet would jump off the “it’s cool to put down Taylor Hicks” bandwagon and actually go see him perform before making unjustified negative remarks about him. Have a good day.

  • melanie

    Pretty pompous statement to speak for all of America. I agree with the first poster, Mr. Hicks had and still has the whole package. He is an excellent performer who IMO, was way too good for that show and until you have seen him live in concert, your opinions are mute and just plain ignorant. Why don’t you humor the soul patrol and his other fans by going to one of his concerts next time around, your blog might have a different tone to it regarding Taylor not being a worthy AI winner. As a matter of fact, it would be a nice change of pace if all naysayers on the internet would jump off the “it’s cool to put down Taylor Hicks” bandwagon and actually go see him perform before making unjustified negative remarks about him. Have a good day.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Melanie,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I think you are mis-reading point #1 in a very severe way. Tragically, actually. It mentions organized movements to vote for singers when there are more talented singers to vote for, resulting in skewed numbers. It is NOT saying that they can’t sing, although in Sanjaya’s case, I’m adamant that he can’t perform. Taylor Hicks was proudly touted week after week on Votefortheworst.com and it can’t be denied by his Soul Patrol that he was. There’s to much documentation to run from it.

    He may be able to sing and perform well and keep a crowd pleased, but maybe his Soul Patrol should learn about buying his music if they like him so much. He was the first AI winner to not sell 1 million albums. He was even dropped by his label pretty quick… remember or are you in Taylor denial?

    The whole Taylor bandwagon reeks of the Ron Paul whackos with their tactics, IMO. They make a lot of noise, but when it comes right down to it, their leader can’t bring in the numbers.

    I have spoken, and it is Perfectly Petersen.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Melanie,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I think you are mis-reading point #1 in a very severe way. Tragically, actually. It mentions organized movements to vote for singers when there are more talented singers to vote for, resulting in skewed numbers. It is NOT saying that they can’t sing, although in Sanjaya’s case, I’m adamant that he can’t perform. Taylor Hicks was proudly touted week after week on Votefortheworst.com and it can’t be denied by his Soul Patrol that he was. There’s to much documentation to run from it.

    He may be able to sing and perform well and keep a crowd pleased, but maybe his Soul Patrol should learn about buying his music if they like him so much. He was the first AI winner to not sell 1 million albums. He was even dropped by his label pretty quick… remember or are you in Taylor denial?

    The whole Taylor bandwagon reeks of the Ron Paul whackos with their tactics, IMO. They make a lot of noise, but when it comes right down to it, their leader can’t bring in the numbers.

    I have spoken, and it is Perfectly Petersen.

  • as

    So you’re a BIG Daughtry fan….now there’s a surprise! Taylor Hicks won because he was the most talented of Season 5 ..get over it, move on.

  • as

    So you’re a BIG Daughtry fan….now there’s a surprise! Taylor Hicks won because he was the most talented of Season 5 ..get over it, move on.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    as,

    The popular concensus does not agree with your claim.

    If we weren’t stuck on the stupid topic of Taylor Hicks and his entire road crew chiming in here, we’d be able to examine some numbers.

    Season 5… same thing happened as this year: Daughtry got non-voted off at #4 while Hicks won the whole thing.

    Sales (as of January) say:
    Daughtry – 3.6 Million
    Pickler (who sucked compared to Daughtry) – 702,00
    Hicks – 699,000
    (Source Ricky.org via USA Today)

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    as,

    The popular concensus does not agree with your claim.

    If we weren’t stuck on the stupid topic of Taylor Hicks and his entire road crew chiming in here, we’d be able to examine some numbers.

    Season 5… same thing happened as this year: Daughtry got non-voted off at #4 while Hicks won the whole thing.

    Sales (as of January) say:
    Daughtry – 3.6 Million
    Pickler (who sucked compared to Daughtry) – 702,00
    Hicks – 699,000
    (Source Ricky.org via USA Today)

  • Melanie

    First of all, maybe if Taylor had been promoted like Daughtry and his cd’s were priced at $7.99 (like Daughtry) instead of $14.99 (explain that one to me please), and as far as vote for the worst, they are wholly overestimated in their power to keep someone on the show and besides Taylor wasn’t the “chosen one by that site until later in the competition, so what’s your sorry excuse for the rest of the time when he was NEVER in the bottom 3 in the entire show, unlike your Daughtry who had been in the bottom 3 previous to his boot. Perfectly me, how do you compare a faux rocker to someone in a genre of soul and blues as far as sales go? Duh, I would think that Daughtry’s music is touted as being a lot more commercial than Hicks. Do you realize that many people don’t even know he has a cd out?They don’t hear him on the radio so naturally they aren’t looking for a cd. Again, Taylor was NOT dropped and it was stated as an amicable separation, so quit your parrot talk. As a matter of fact, J records has stated that they are open to Taylor’s 2nd cd if he so chooses to bring it to them…that doesn’t sound like he was dropped to me. You naysayers have created a whole ” I hate Taylor world” in which you parrot everything you hear w/o any actual finding of facts. No denial here, just common sense. And yes, I do agree that VFTW could skew numbers to a certain extent, but I doubt very much to the point of keeping someone unrightfully on the show. As far as cd sales, maybe they aren’t as high as expected b/c his voting audience is not a cd-buying audience. He did smash Daughtry to oblivion on millions grossed from live touring as a headliner I might add and everyone knows that’s where the money is for the artist…By the way, Britney Spears sells millions of cd’s as well, and she is a terrible singer so what’s your point about cd sales again?

  • Melanie

    First of all, maybe if Taylor had been promoted like Daughtry and his cd’s were priced at $7.99 (like Daughtry) instead of $14.99 (explain that one to me please), and as far as vote for the worst, they are wholly overestimated in their power to keep someone on the show and besides Taylor wasn’t the “chosen one by that site until later in the competition, so what’s your sorry excuse for the rest of the time when he was NEVER in the bottom 3 in the entire show, unlike your Daughtry who had been in the bottom 3 previous to his boot. Perfectly me, how do you compare a faux rocker to someone in a genre of soul and blues as far as sales go? Duh, I would think that Daughtry’s music is touted as being a lot more commercial than Hicks. Do you realize that many people don’t even know he has a cd out?They don’t hear him on the radio so naturally they aren’t looking for a cd. Again, Taylor was NOT dropped and it was stated as an amicable separation, so quit your parrot talk. As a matter of fact, J records has stated that they are open to Taylor’s 2nd cd if he so chooses to bring it to them…that doesn’t sound like he was dropped to me. You naysayers have created a whole ” I hate Taylor world” in which you parrot everything you hear w/o any actual finding of facts. No denial here, just common sense. And yes, I do agree that VFTW could skew numbers to a certain extent, but I doubt very much to the point of keeping someone unrightfully on the show. As far as cd sales, maybe they aren’t as high as expected b/c his voting audience is not a cd-buying audience. He did smash Daughtry to oblivion on millions grossed from live touring as a headliner I might add and everyone knows that’s where the money is for the artist…By the way, Britney Spears sells millions of cd’s as well, and she is a terrible singer so what’s your point about cd sales again?

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Do you realize that many people don’t even know he has a cd out?

    What does that say about his audience? The WHOLE POINT of American Idol is to find the next pop star, not bluesy, herky-jerky dancer whose fans will pay 2 months’ salary to go to a concert, but don’t even know that he has a CD out, or what a CD is. Ohhhh. I’m sorry that was a bit low, but you see where your point took me?

    American Idol is a brand, a business enterprise. If you can’t make them money, you are a failure. I’ve seen (looking it up now…) yeah, EVERY other Season winner either on American Idol as a returning star guest or as the singer for the “going home” song, PLUS the two contestants who finished behind him in Season 5, McPhee and Yamin. So, is he retarded and saying, “no,” to extra exposure to tell his QQ’ing fans that he has a CD or has he not been asked to return since he won?

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Do you realize that many people don’t even know he has a cd out?

    What does that say about his audience? The WHOLE POINT of American Idol is to find the next pop star, not bluesy, herky-jerky dancer whose fans will pay 2 months’ salary to go to a concert, but don’t even know that he has a CD out, or what a CD is. Ohhhh. I’m sorry that was a bit low, but you see where your point took me?

    American Idol is a brand, a business enterprise. If you can’t make them money, you are a failure. I’ve seen (looking it up now…) yeah, EVERY other Season winner either on American Idol as a returning star guest or as the singer for the “going home” song, PLUS the two contestants who finished behind him in Season 5, McPhee and Yamin. So, is he retarded and saying, “no,” to extra exposure to tell his QQ’ing fans that he has a CD or has he not been asked to return since he won?

  • Tyronious Maximus

    Was Taylor Hicks the most talented contestant of that season? Absoulutely not. Was he the most likeable contestant? Absolutely yes. That is why he won.

    Now, to address the real point, the flawed voting system. Is it flawed? Yes. Is your solution flawed? Yes. For all the same reasons that you point out. If it was the way you suggest, you’d be writing this post about VFTB.com instead of VFTW.com. Get it? I think this “flaw” is a little bit of what makes Idol worth watching. People can express their opinion and truly have an impact on the outcome. That’s why people keep coming back for more. Would Michael Johns have won AI VII? No chance. He’s not the most talented this year. David Archie’s got the best shot currently. Syesha is probably the most talented overall. But, guess what? I don’t ever even vote so that’s just my opinion.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Thanks for stopping by T-Max and returning the comments to the real point.

    I guess you can really think outside the box, there.

    Someone suggested to me to allow the judges one veto to use before the finale. At least that would delay something like this and create the current season’s wake up call to actually vote for your favorite.

  • http://www.perfectlypetersen.com Perfectly Me

    Thanks for stopping by T-Max and returning the comments to the real point.

    I guess you can really think outside the box, there.

    Someone suggested to me to allow the judges one veto to use before the finale. At least that would delay something like this and create the current season’s wake up call to actually vote for your favorite.