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VoteForTheWorst.com Causes Fox Heartburn

I speculated in my annual handicapping of the American Idol finalists that VoteForTheWorst.com was starting to have an impact. If you doubt that to be true (and some of you did) may I present Sanjaya Malakar:


This guy, who is the worst singer ever to make the finals, is getting buckets of votes. Fox is trying to keep a stiff upper lip and playing up the fact that many young girls are voting for him... But Simon Cowell cut thru the charade last night admitting that it didn't matter what the judges said about him any more, he was going to get a bunch of votes either way.

The Chicago Sun Times has a writeup about the site this week:

Enjoying their worst Suburban Web site says 'Idol' is 'giant karaoke contest'

A scrappy little Web site run from suburban Chicago is giving "American Idol" and fans fits. It's the second most popular "Idol"-related site -- right behind "Idol's" official site. And it's inspiring death threats and promises of lawsuits against its owner.

The David and Goliath goal of VoteForTheWorst.com is to convince people to vote for the worst singer every week.

It's getting noticed. Last week, site owner Dave Della Terza, 24, chatted on Howard Stern's show. The site served as fodder for morning TV chatter. On "Letterman," Paula Abdul called the site "just terrible."

Support from Stern fans and "Idol" bashers appears to be helping contestant Sanjaya Malakar, the 17-year-old Washington state kid with the flowy hair and thin voice. Before last Tuesday's show, the site pleaded, "If we can move him ONE more week into the top 10, he'll go on tour."

Sanjaya then proceeded to get enough votes to make it to the final 10.

If you want a graphical representation of their power, you need only look to dialidol.com and this week's results:


The worst singer of the bunch is in the top 4! It's amazing how effective this site is. Fox might actually have a problem with this in the future.

BTW- As of this writing the site is offline.... Gotta wonder if it is growing faster than the hosting company can keep up with.

Comments (28)

Much as Sanjaya gives me th... (Below threshold)

Much as Sanjaya gives me the creeps, I don't think he's the worst singer left in the competition. I think that honor, at this point, goes to Haley Scarnato.

Also, to remain in the competition, you don't have to give the best performance, you just have to sing a little bit better than the worst. Last night, Sanjaya actually did pretty good, I thought, even with the weird hair. He certainly bested Chris Sligh's atrocious performance.

My prediction: Sanjaya stays for another week and Sligh gets the heave-ho.

Sanjaya isn't going anywher... (Below threshold)

Sanjaya isn't going anywhere, people: at least not for quite a while. Why? Because he gets the pre-pubescents like Ashley F. (of silent sobbing fame) to tune in, and to marketers that's priceless.

This is very interesting. W... (Below threshold)

This is very interesting. What is being exposed here is somethign that's been true all along but hidden under beneath the surface - that American Idol is just entertainment and not a true metric for the most talented performers. What's not being mentioned is that viewership continues to grow which suggests that viewers of the show are beginning to want something different from the show . There's only so much an audience can watch mediocre renditions of the same 70's pop songs until they start to feel fatigued by the format. The Idol voting format allows the viewer to alter their experience of the show by enabling an X-factor like Sanjaya to infiltrate the elite ranks which in turn gives Idol cynics a reason to watch and revel in the knowledge that they are contributing to diminishing the show's cache. I think this might be the beginning of the end. Little ripples like this have a way of turning into a tidal wave and no one's going to want to pay good money to go see the Idol concert tour if it's full of Sanjayas.

Easy fix. Just one vote per... (Below threshold)

Easy fix. Just one vote per call. Done. ww

I'm not crazy about Sanjaya... (Below threshold)

I'm not crazy about Sanjaya but my 12 year-old daughter loves him. Beauty is in the eye (and ear) of the beholder. While certainly not the best singer, Sanjaya isn't that bad and very possibly not the worst of the bunch. The power of votefortheworst.com and Howard Stern (I hear he is encouraging everyone to vote for Sanjaya) may be overrated.

Vote for the Worst has been... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Vote for the Worst has been around a long time and it's been proven as having no effect on the results. All they have to do is pick a polarizing "Idol" and sit back and say they're having success. Sanjaya's personality comes through when he performs and appeals to some more than say the bland, bland Brandon who might have been a technically better singer -- but technical ability doesn't have any correlation to being popular or even stardom.

Music is subjective -- there is no such thing as "worst."

I can't believe Chris Richa... (Below threshold)

I can't believe Chris Richardson even made it to the Top 24. He's about as good as any random person on the street IMO. Okay, so he looks like Justin Timberlake, but he's in the finals? WTF???

I hate to comment on this, ... (Below threshold)

I hate to comment on this, as I really can't stand reality TV. However, stuff like votefortheworst.com is just disgusting human cynicism. I get it, you don't like the show. DON'T WATCH IT! Why should the people who actually like the show have to put up with a sabotaged product? Why do we have to have small groups of assholes ruin things for everyone else in society today?

You know...like liberals.

I'll stick my neck out and ... (Below threshold)

I'll stick my neck out and say that Sligh survives, barely. The DialIdol task is difficult, especially since it is a small sampler of all dialers, and discounts any text votes, it is skewed a bit. It only picks the bottom three, and if you look historically, the real bootee is rarely the lowest DialIdol scorer. Also I think since the VFTWers and people that want to skew the votes may end up using DialIdol too automate the dialing and keep Sanjizzle safe, and that effects the sample.

As the field narrows, VFTW becomes less and less effective, and shows the wisdom of the crowds isn't wonderful until the choices are narrowed somewhat.

Who cares?... (Below threshold)

Who cares?

One of the reasons Sanjaya ... (Below threshold)

One of the reasons Sanjaya is getting votes is because of people like "J" who is on a fast until Sanjaya gets voted off (see http://www.myspace.com/starvationforsanjaya). People are now voting for Sanjaya to spite little miss hunger strike into starving for another week.

American Idol should be cancelled anyway... it's a farce. The first season was legit, but since then it's pretty much turned into a total joke.

but hidden under beneat... (Below threshold)

but hidden under beneath the surface - that American Idol is just entertainment and not a true metric for the most talented performers.

Actually what's hidden below the surface is the ignorance of a significant portion of the U.S. populace.

Don't think so? I got two words for ya: William Hung

OK, I haven't watched AI si... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

OK, I haven't watched AI since the auditions, which are the best parts of this show by far. But this pony-hawk turdburglar epitomizes exactly the type of weird ass people we have living here in the Seattle area! LOL

As terrible. as Sanjaya is,... (Below threshold)

As terrible. as Sanjaya is, strange things happen in the music business. During the late 70's, STIFF Records over in England found the most pathetic crippled, handicapped or disturbed persons such as Ian Dury(Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll), Wreckless Eric and others and gave them recording contracts. And many people actually bought these records.

I personally thought I was a terrible singer, yet I managed one song with radio airplay and was a lead singer of a band that played with Frank Zappa's group and other national acts. It was only when Courtney Love urged the group to replace me with her then boyfriend Rozz, that I lost my role as leader singer of the group.

Sanjaya just might be awful enough to be a teen idol to very young girls and sell plenty of CDs and sell out concerts to screaming crying girls. He's certainly no incarnation of The Beatles, but maybe in the junk pop music business talent isn't everything. But the screwy "mohawk" didn't help, and maybe woke some up that he's a bad pop idol personality.

American Idol is lame. I fi... (Below threshold)

American Idol is lame. I find it hilarious if some dude thats a horrible singer with dumb hair makes it in the top 10 as it proves the show, as stated above, isn't a metric for anything it's just another show that i don't understand why people watch. Over-rated karaoke contest for sure.

Sanjaya just might be a... (Below threshold)

Sanjaya just might be awful enough to be a teen idol to very young girls and sell plenty of CDs and sell out concerts to screaming crying girls.

WOW... that sounds very familiar. The question is where does it get you?

Wait, don't answer that, I will.


You can thank Howard Stern ... (Below threshold)

You can thank Howard Stern for Sanjaya too--he and his listeners have gotten on the VFTW bandwagon (so I've read, anyway).
VFTW probably couldn't save him alone, but Howard Stern's help sure can.

I think it's funny now, even though Sanjaya is a freaking joke. That's just it--he's a joke, and it's just silly now. It doesn't matter anyway, Melinda or Lakisha will win, as they should. (Knock on wood--I'd hate to see Sanjaya ride this joke to a win, although it IS just American Idol.)

Easy to fix. Just let the j... (Below threshold)

Easy to fix. Just let the judges vote to throw out one person each week and the public vote to throw out one person. It adds some randomness to the show because you could lose one or two people each week, depending upon whether the two votes pick the same person. Go to a purely public vote when you get to the final five.

WW ahits on the best soluti... (Below threshold)

WW ahits on the best solution. One vote per household. Problem is the show's relationship with the telecom firm (Nextel?) that gets the text msg business (I think).

I disagree that AI doesn't identify quality talent. The "Top Ten " might have one or three sketchy talents, but the winners for the past several years have proven their talent in the marketplace -- across three genres, no less -- country, rock and pop.

This year's probable winners (IMHO, Melinda Doolittle or Lakisha Jones) hold considerable promise, either in pop or R&B. Doolittle, especially, is an exceptional talent.

I will take Melinda or Blak... (Below threshold)

I will take Melinda or Blake. Both have their strong points. The overly humble acts of Melinda are getting old though.

I am turned off by the Sanj thing. If people figured out how to rig it, it is no longer fun. I hope AI does something quick to stop this. Sanj should have been in the bottom three at least. It has become a joke.

I know my music, I fronted for the beatles concerts. Sang back up with CSN&Y, taught Van Halin the guitar and I jam regularly with Eric Clapton. My bonifides are great. ;) ww

<a href="http://jonswift.bl... (Below threshold)

Sanjaya must be stopped! He is endangering our national security.

Fox could end all of this n... (Below threshold)

Fox could end all of this nonsense by having everyone vote for the person (THAT SHOULD GO!). By the show having people vote for who they like, they split up the vote. If you could vote for whom you want off this kid would have no chance. I can't believe that these dumb TV exec(s) have not figured this out yet???

your singing is for shit an... (Below threshold)

your singing is for shit and you fuckin suck

my boy friend is so much be... (Below threshold)
jessica kski:

my boy friend is so much better then you and your hair sucks

my boy friend is so much be... (Below threshold)

my boy friend is so much better then you and your hair sucks

get that techno homo blake ... (Below threshold)

get that techno homo blake a-hole off and that surprised schtick monkey broad off...the show is the worst ever...i hope they do push that sabu the elephant boy as far as they can...derail this train,
the f'n country is falling apart and we have this mind numb b.s. to worry about...f.u.

Who's the man behind votefo... (Below threshold)

Who's the man behind votefortheworst.com? http://infohype.blogspot.com

Fuck you faggots, Sanjaya i... (Below threshold)

Fuck you faggots, Sanjaya is the shit. You fucking assholes are just jealous your no-talent asses aren't singing on the show. Go fuck yourselves with snow shovelsa and jam a thermometer in your urethra so i can smash that shit with a hammer you loser motherfuckers. SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE SANJAYA 4 LIFE \m/






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