Is American Idol Tamper Proof?

Let’s say some big radio jock _ we’ll call him Howard Stern _ decides he’ll mess around with the biggest show on TV.

Can he really muck up a show dependent on American voting, a show we’ll call “American Idol”?

Producer Ken Warwick says no way in Hades.

With close to 40 million votes cast each week, Warwick says the impact anyone like Stern has on the program is “minimal.”

“There’s very little hype anyone could do that would affect the vast number of votes cast, even if all of Howard Stern’s audience cast votes,” Warwick ays. “The gap above and below Sanjaya (isn’t affected by Stern).”

So, Sanjaya is doing this all on his own merits?

“Say what you may, but he’s a good looking kid and young girls like him,” Warwick says. “He’s not as bad as everyone makes him out to be. Part of this business is communicating with your audience and he does that. If the American public likes him enough to put him up at the end, it’s out of my hands. We always have one or two contestants that shine for reasons you think they shouldn’t, but it’s part and parcel of the show.”

Chris Sligh, who was voted out last week, says he thinks people are coming down too hard on Sanjaya.

“I think that people underestimate Sanjaya. I think that Sanjaya is actually a very good vocalist,” Sligh says. “I have a lot of respect for him. I do not envy his position at all. He’s a very, very sweet kid and he’s just 17. I think that he gets a bum rap.”

Warwick says that people might be surprised at how fluid the weekly results are, with so-called front runners often ending up near the bottom of the mix.

LaKisha Jones and Melinda Doolittle aren’t necessary shoo-ins just because he and others believe they are the best singers on the show.

“Last week, there was someone who was second that the week before was ninth or 10th. They move around like no tomorrow,” Warwick says. “It depends on their performance (that week). Some grow through the series. It’s always the way that the winner comes up in the competition and was not there (in the top) from the beginning.”

Which bodes well for someone like Jordin Sparks.

Warwick says in the history of the show, there has only been one contestant who was always the favorite who ended up winning the entire competition.


“America normally gets it right in the end, and I’m confident that Sanjaya will not be the `American Idol,’ ” Warwick says. “(If he does), it’s because the American public wants him. (`American Idol’ has always been) the story of a journey of somebody who started out with nothing and ended up a huge star.”


  1. Kim said,

    April 4, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    I have to admit that everyone — except Sanjaya — did a great job last night! I was surprised at how well even Phil and Haley did. Based on last night alone, it would have to be Sanjaya going home tonight. But because we’ve seen how realistic an expectation that has been, I’ll have to say the next-weakest link was…LaKisha, actually. But that’s based on last night alone.

  2. Valli said,

    April 4, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    I think that they should institute the same voting practice that “Dancing with the Stars” has where you, the viewer, only get 11 votes and that’s it.

    I mean think about it, who’s really going to waste their alloted 11 votes on Sanjaya. Sure as heck wouldn’t be me!

    Sanajya must go!

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