AT&T caught up in ‘Idol’ voting controversy
The final results of American Idol Season 8 has been questioned following the exposé that AT&T employees helped Kris Allen voters.
According to a New York Times story citing the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, AT&T representatives in Allen’s hometown provided free text-messaging service for his fans, and instructed them on how to cast multiple text votes for the 23-year-old singer.
The controversy has embarrassed AT&T, which has for years gotten repeated shout-outs from Idol host Ryan Seacrest in exchange for its paid sponsorship.
Both Fox and AT&T are denying that anything untoward happened, although the telecom giant did confirm that employees did assist Allen voters.
Fox and the show’s producers meanwhile issued a statement Wednesday reaffirming Allen’s victory.
“The results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified,” the statement read. “Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol. We have an independent third-party monitoring procedure in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition.”
The Conway, Arkansas native ended up winning the title last week over Adam Lambert, who’d been cast as the front-runner by the Idol judges.