Yes, the executive producer wants Jordin Sparks to take it all. We can only imagine that he sees dollars signs looking at the future of the (yes) malleable 17-year-old, whose career hasn't even begun, as opposed to the somewhat older, wiser and more professionally hip Blake Lewis, who probably has somewhat stronger opinions of what he'd like to do musically.
In an interview Wednesday, prior to Melinda Doolittle's elimination, Nigel Lythgoe talked with TV Weekly:
"All in all, I think Blake was probably the best across the board for his level of talent. But, for me, Melinda and Jordin are both vocally more talented than Blake. However, I think that it's possible because there are two girls, it may split the female vote, and you're always going to have a vote for the male."
Asked if age makes a difference, Lythgoe said, "I don't know, you know at the end of the day, you say you are searching for an American Idol and then I think you've got to put your own point of view forward as to what an American Idol is, or could be."
Asked if there has ever been a 17-year-old on the show who is as talented as Jordin? "I look at Paris [Bennett] and Lisa Tucker [what about Season 3 second-place finished Diana DeGarmo, who was only 16; that same year, third-place finisher Jasmine Trias was also 17], and then I look at Jordin, and I say Jordin takes the biscuit for me. She's the one who's got everything. It's a sad thing that we keep talking about age in this. It's vocal ability and she's got everything, still young and learning. For me, Jordin is the ideal person to become the next American Idol, if I were voting." Nigel adds, "I was a little sad in the first round when Simon said 'You sang that brilliantly, I didn't like the arrangement, so it wasn't one of your best performances.' We shouldn't be judging her on the arrangement of the song, we should be judging on how she sings. So, he seemed to have a little downer on Jordin tonight. I don't know why, I thought she was great."
So, we know even before the finale begins that Lythgoe is pulling for Jordin. Ryan Seacrest in April, when there were 9 contestants left, told People magazine he was rooting for Jordin to win ("First of all, she's a girl. She represents fantastic qualities. She's a great singer and a pretty girl … She's non-threatening, cute and attractive. Plus, she has this sincere likeability that is rare and genuine." Does Blake even stand a chance?
Important note: Remember, this is not a game show, it's a reality show. That means the performers are considered paid actors and the producers can legally make the results anything they want them to be. Think back to last Wednesday night. Ryan never told Melinda she had the lowest vote total. He never said anything about how close the voting was. He only said there were nearly 60 million votes cast. Ryan's exact words to the contestants, and America, were:
"And now tonight's results. Let me start with Jordin. Would you step forward please? Jordin Sparks, ladies and gentlemen. Jordin, almost 60 million votes came in. Almost 60 million votes. And I think you'll be happy with those votes. You have made it through to the "American Idol" finale. Congratulations Jordin! Congratulation, you may have a seat.
"Now back at the center of the stage. Who joins Jordin? Will it be girl-girl? Guy-girl? Melinda, would you step forward? Almost 60 million votes. Again, an incredible number. Those votes came in. America has decided ... that this is the end of the road for you tonight ... on "American Idol." That means Blake makes it into the "Idol" finale. Congratulations Blake. Congrat, buddy, you can take a seat with Jordin. And here she is, one of our best singers ever, Melinda Doolittle. Take a look we have your journey on the show. Watch."
The producers use the ploy of carefully wording the eliminations now and then, so that they are not actually lying, but let the public assume that the eliminated persons received the lowest vote total. Many times, they'll say which contestant received the lowest vote total, but never indicate which contestant placed second or third lowest in the Bottom 3. Sometimes the way Ryan's words are written, you don't even know for sure whether the other two contestants actually received low vote totals. Listen carefully next year. Sometimes they spell it out. Many times they don't. Those are the times that conspiracy theorists believe the producers have made their own decisions on who should go and who should stay.
On the official "American Idol" site, under FAQs, it states:
"Production will have in place weekly monitoring procedures designed to prevent individuals from unfairly influencing the outcome of the voting by generating significant blocks of votes using technical enhancements. The producers reserve the right to remove any identified 'power dialing' votes."
This pretty much leaves it to the producers discretion if they want to not count certain votes, i.e., they totally control the outcome you see on the show, although earlier this year executive producer Ken Warwick claimed that the software they use had never detected an incident of block voting.
So, was Melinda actually eliminated according to the votes cast by the public this week? We'll never know. Will Blake get a fair shake on Wednesday night? We'll never know. Will Jordin become the next American Idol whether or not she gets more votes from the public? We'll never know.
while, Blake fans are getting support from VotefortheWorst.com. We love their caricature of Lewis. Have a look.
HELP EW PICK THE NEXT IDOL ... COVER
tainment Weekly is asking for readers help to select their
"American Idol" cover. They have two choices each for Blake Lewis and Jordin Sparks. To cast your vote for the cover you think should grace the magazine's "American Idol" winner issue, click here.
Did you like the clothes that Jordin Sparks and Melinda Doolittle wore of this past Tuesday's performance show? TMZ.com reports that the V-neck short dress that Melinda wore over jeans for her second number was a $165 number by T-Bags.
For her second song, Jordin squeezed her curves into a sexy blue $168 Twister halter by LaROK that comes with double straps in the front.
Should you want to dress like an "Idol," starstyle.com sells the frocks, but, the Web site, adds, act fast! A few weeks ago, Jordin's Nicole Miller gown sold out prior to the West Coast airing and left thousands of prom-going teens in tears.
And if you still can't get enough of your "Idol" fashion fix, click this "A.I." widget link to see what each contestant wore throughout the season.
JORDIN, BLAKE & MELINDA ON LENO
If you missed Jordin, Blake and Melinda on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno this past Monday night, you can catch it right here:
HOWARD STERN CLAIMS IDOL RIGGED
You might not want to believe this, and we don't know if we do either, but the Howard Stern web site claims that Idol winner has been picked in advance by the producers every season except two, and that Jordin Sparks was selected in advance to be this season's winner. Here's what they say:
"Does Howard 100 News owe an apology . . . to American Idol contestant Melinda Doolittle? A source inside the show claims that American Idol was reportedly in a panic yesterday to put the brakes on a Howard 100 News investigation into voting on the FOX talent show. This source alleges the show decided to switch horses at the last minute, that contestant Blake Lewis was allegedly scheduled to be told to go home last night, until Idol producers changed their minds. Our source claiming Simon Cowell allegedly said quote “F--- Howard Stern,” and added that the Idol result last night would be the opposite of what Howard 100 News reported. All of which might explain the strange subdued mood on American Idol last night. So if the last minute switch is true, Howard 100 News must apologize to the talented Melinda Doolittle. But now, Howard 100 News reports that another source has revealed a bombshell claim about American Idol; that in 6 seasons only two American Idol’s have been picked by the viewing public, according to our source. The source claims that this season, producers of the show had allegedly decided to go straight, to let viewer votes decide the winner, but panicked when Howard Stern and VotefortheWorst.com backed Sanjaya. The show then reverted back to picking the winner, according to our source. The source claims Sanjaya was running away with the competition, until producers decided to take back control and throw him off the show in spite of Sanjaya’s alleged vote victories. Bottom line here; three sources telling Howard 100 News Jordin Sparks has long been scheduled to be the winner of American Idol. Now will the producers switch that? There’s one way to clear all this up… release the vote results and prove that American Idol is run according to how the viewers vote. By the way, FOX Television has still not called us back after running off the phone two days ago."
Now, you might read this and say, "bull," but it reminds us of last season's "RockStar SuperNova" competition. Four weeks before it ended, gossip columnist Janet Charlton claimed that Tommy Lee, the head of the SuperNova band had selected contestant Lukas Rossi to win. Although he was a popular contestant, there were others who were just as or more popular, including Dilana, Toby and Magni. Dave Navarro, the show's host and executive producer basically said, "Who's Janet Charlton?" as well as, "she doesn't have a clue as to what she is talking about. If she has an inside source... Name it! Come on! I dare you! Name it! If you don't know what I am talking about... She has claimed that she knows who the winner is. Trust me... Nobody knows until it's over." Uh, yeah, sure, thanks Dave. Well, surprise, surprise. Guess who won the competition four weeks later on Sept, 13? Afterwards, Tommy Lee said that he had wanted Lukas as the lead singer of SuperNova from the minute he met him. So why did they let public think that their vote mattered and that they were picking the winner, even though Tommy had final say (as the Idol producers do)? Why, so we'd sit and watch the series. And that, folks, is called how you pump up the ratings.
e-mail Idol Addict