What a crazy ride it's been.
IDOL MADNESS is now over, and the winner has been determined.
Before we get to that, however, a note about the game.
The idea for this game originated from an Idol Thoughts reader, and we determined that I would host it on my site. The hope was that we would be able to have a fun, spirited NCAA bracket style tournament among the Idol finalists, and determine who the Idol Thoughts readers thought was the best Idol contestant ever. Perhaps naively, we did not imagine how word would spread and the different fanbases would mobilize to support their favorites.
At first it was exciting -- in addition to bringing new readers to my blog, I thought it might be an interesting experiment in determining which finalists still had the largest fanbases. And for the first several rounds, voting turned out to be interesting. There was only one major upset in the first round (Diana Degarmo losing to Bucky Covington), and several surprises became clear, like the size of Constantine Maroulis, Bo Bice and Anthony Fedorov's fanbases. Voting was fair, results were interesting, and, by most accounts, everyone was having a good time.
As we got into the Elite 8 and Final Four, however, a bit of shadiness started to happen. Numbers started to look strange. I received word from polldaddy.com and Vizu.com, who were hosting the respective rounds, that illegal scripting had taken place. Polls were restarted; numbers were watched; warnings were issued. Everything was done in the interest of fairness.
I have no vested interest in any of these contestants -- I considered myself an anthropologist of sorts, interested only in seeing how several years of Idol history would play out in a competition like this. I did not care who won. I mean, if I was going to be pulling for anyone it would have been Kelly Clarkson, and she was upset early on. Again -- I had no interest in rigging the votes one way or another -- I did not care who won.
Most of you did not cheat, but those who did really put a damper on the fun of those who did not.
I tried everything I could to keep the game as fair as possible. If you feel like I could have done more, I apologize. I tried to determine, best I could, who to move on to the finals, based on the corrupted scores. If I made a wrong decision in not just canceling the game completely at the point I realized people were cheating, I apologize. But I was trying to finish the game for those who were playing fairly and had invested time in voting. If you voted and you feel like you wasted your time, I am sorry.
So, the winner of IDOL MADNESS is Clay Aiken, with Elliott Yamin coming in a close 2nd place, Bo Bice in 3rd and Carrie Underwoodin 4th. I have to admit, very sadly, it's a bit of a hollow result, since there is no doubt the game has been corrupted by fans on ALL sides (this has been confirmed to me by polldaddy.com.)
But I will say this -- Clay, Elliott, Carrie and Bo would be proud to know they have some extremely passionate and loyal fans, and even aside from the cheating, these four definitely did have the most total amount of fans vote. I believe Constantine Maroulis, Anthony Fedorov, Kelly Clarkson, Josh Gracin, Jasmine Trias, Kellie Pickler, Ace Young and many more would be pleased to know there fans are so devoted as well.
What I bet they would not be proud of is the cheating that took place for, let's face it, a fairly meaningless result (there's no prize involved, after all). Like I said, most of you did not cheat, but those who did really put a damper on the fun of those who did not. Clay, Elliott, Carrie and Bo would also likely not be proud of the level of vitriol you addressed each other and, quite frankly, me.
So there it is...the end of IDOL MADNESS. I wish it would have ended on a more celebratory note, but I thank those of you who committed to the game and participated fairly, and I hope if you've like other parts of Idol Thoughts you'll come back and check out what's going on here.
Monday, March 03, 2008
What a crazy ride it's been.