Election Results In: Reality TV Stuffs The Ballot Box

Two surprising finishes on "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars"? There's only one thing do to: Let's examine the hanging chads.

Robert F.X. Sillerman, CEO of CKX Inc., the company that owns "Idol" producer 19 Entertainment,  moaned that 64 million votes from an earlier "Idol" episode vote can't possibly mean only 30 million viewers.

But Sillerman must be forgetting about that old-style political election saying that seems to go with these reality shows: "Vote early. Vote often."  

Many people are upset believing that the best man or woman didn't win in these TV shows. But, hey this voting isn't meant to mimic an election for a Congressional seat, as far as I can tell.

Online reality show pollsters get sucked into this, concluding that an overwhelming number pointed to Adam Lambert -- seemingly the most talented "Idol" contestant -- as the winner. But, no. Kris Allen is your "Idol" man.

These efforts are obviously not to be trusted -- any more than a Nielsen diary with disappearing ink in a rainstorm. "Idol" and "Stars" are not popularity contests; they are popularity and stuff-the-ballot contests.  One votes as often as one likes, which is of little comparison to what goes on with the company called Nielsen Media Research.

There were 100 million finale votes for "Idol" -- but only 28.8 million overall Nielsen viewers. What can you say about that? Perhaps everyone voted an average of three times. Either that, or some devoted "Criminal Minds" viewers did some absentee voting.

This also goes for "Dancing with the Stars." Two presumptive finalists -- Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft -- didn't get the top spot, which went to gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Horizon Media's Brad Adgate suggests we get the top political election reporters on the case, like CBS' Bob Schieffer -- where he'll no doubt look over election results state by state, ward by ward. Adgate suggests examining the usual suspects -- starting in Illinois and working our way to Florida.

This crazy reality TV spin contains little reality. It only helps to push product -- so we'll all come back next season and get conned into trying to separate the good from the bad, the contenders from the pretenders, all to complain by season's end one more time.



4 comments about "Election Results In: Reality TV Stuffs The Ballot Box".
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  1. Bryan Cox from Cox Marketing, May 22, 2009 at 2:47 p.m.

    "Reality TV" is the death of Creativity in Television as we know it.

  2. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, May 22, 2009 at 3:25 p.m.

    Anybody worth their salt knows "Reality" Shows have about as much "Reality" as Professional Wrestling has "Competition"!

  3. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, May 22, 2009 at 10:17 p.m.

    Strange than more people voted for Idol contestants than voted for the President.

    Even stranger that the elected President defended his decision to move terrorists from Gitmo to American prisons just one day after American prisoners recruited to be terrorists in prison almost blew up a Jewish synagogue in NYC. Good idea: We need to recruit more terrorists by bringing terrorists to mainland prisons.

  4. vivian mabou, October 21, 2009 at 10:17 a.m.

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