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So… Cingular’s Southern Slant Selected American Idols?

21 June 2006

Odd that many of us discussed this here in Birmingham the day or so after Taylor Hicks' took the title of American Idol… the mere thought that Text Messaging voting limited to the Cingular network tipped the vote in favor of Taylor over the Los Angeles-based runner-up, McPhee. Sadly, Colin Gibbs in Port Washington, NY has chosen to write now (what, a month or so later?) about this flawed conspiracy theory.

He quotes an "analyst" saying:

“Cingular has partnered with the show’s producers to provide text-message voting solely from Cingular phones, so it’s certainly possible that Southern subscribers might have more a voting edge than those in other regions in the U.S.,” said Drew Hull, wireless industry research director for NPD [Group]. “Had ‘American Idol’ partnered with another carrier with a higher percentage of their subscriber base in another region, the results might have been different.”

Mike Masnick's contribution on the Techdirt Wireless blog pokes all sorts of holes in the argument. Not the least of which is that Cingular is simply the combined brand of the AT&T Wireless and Cingular merger from over a year ago. While the argument might hold water IF Cingular had been the sponsor before the merger, it falls apart once you consider that AT&T had the sponsorship and that THEIR text messaging should have given the northwest contestants the advantage in the early years of the contest.

Face it Colin… Taylor, Ruben, and every other idol (who all happen to hail from the South) won the whole thing each year because of their talent! For example, OneCoolSoul reports that Taylor Hicks' first single will debut at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. Go Soul Patrol!!

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