Monday, March 03, 2008

IDOL MADNESS: Final Results and a Statement About the Game

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 and, 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

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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for hosting the game. It has been very interesting to watch it play out over the past several weeks. Checking in here to see current results led me to some interesting articles that I would otherwise have missed. This is now a regular stop on my 'net rounds' and will stay so.

Anonymous said...

BTW - Kellie Pickler never really lost in this competition. Maybe that should mean that Kellie wins the whole thing!!!! ;)

Thanks anyway to the Idol Thoughts dude for their efforts and being forced to put up with those cheating Elliott and Clay fans.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Clay, Elliot, Bo and Carrie. Yes, unfortunately, all the fanbases cheat. That's where the problem is. If you know that someone your idol is against is racking up thousands of votes in an hour, then you want to do it for your idol, too. I think the only fans that don't cheat are the Kelly Clarkson fans (and I'm not a Kelly fan) because they gave up on the polls years ago. I think that was probably smart.

Anonymous said...

Well for what it's worth, I'm going to add my two cents. Thank you for hosting the game. I know that your poll is not the only one that has ever taken place and I also know that this is not the first poll to be corrupted by voting irregularities. You've just been the first to confirm it. For that, I thank you again. As for me, I'm done with polls. I don't know of a way that anyone could secure a completely accurate and fair vote as there are always a few who manage to work their way around the system to beat the numbers. I'm not sure how a hollow victory can make a fan feel better about their Idol of choice. It does make me feel better to know that at least the four largest fanbases were in the final four. Not sure they are in the right order on the poll but what are you gonna do? I will however be stopping by this website from time to time to check it out because I did read lots of interesting articles while I was here voting. Congratulations to those that voted fairly and shame on you to those that didn't. I may not know who you are but you do and after all, you're the person who has to look at yourself every day in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

Thanks anyway to the Idol Thoughts dude for their efforts and being forced to put up with those cheating Elliott and Clay fans.
I also wish to thank you for the opportunity to vote. I have to tell you that I voted ONLY once per day . There were times when I would come in and vote but it had not been a full day yet and it showed I had already voted, but I guarantee you that I did not cheat and the many Clayfans that I do know did not cheat either , so I really do object to that blanket statement . I really did prefer the ONE vote per day system because it is simple quite fair. The multiple voting just encourages difficulty ! I see nothing being gained by it at all!!

Thanks again

Anonymous said...

The problem is fair votes that are cast are taken away by the ones that cheat..Working to get the numbers up is hard work and time consuming for many fair voters. I wish we had a system in place that could keep the cheaters out! We need an even playing field.

Anonymous said...

Elliott fan here....voted my 1....very upset to see that the Elliott fans were being dishonest..

Congrats Clay !

Anonymous said...

Awesome job! Thank you for "hosting" the competition poll and putting up with the insanity of it all. But I think it comes with the territory. Anytime you have a "competition" between passionate fans the results are often "fan wars" of a sort. It's senseless but a fact.
I am a Clay Aiken fan and I hope that most of his fans participated in a way that would do him justice and make him proud. But I think Kelly's fans may have hit on something...

Anonymous said...

I love it how people are so ready to generalize all fans within a fanbase with a certain mentality, and then place blame accordingly. Cheating happens everywhere. But I am so very glad to hear that not one of Kelly Clarkson's fans ever cheated in a poll. I'll sleep better tonight knowing that. Get real.

Congrats to the top 8. Beyond that the poll makes no difference anyway. These polls only identify the size and devotion of a fanbase, not the best Idol of all time. You can't compare apples to oranges. There's room for everyone. Let's see how things shake out 10 years down the road and who still has a solid career.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Claymate and gave up on these voting polls years ago. Silly to think people have to cheat for what reason. Who cares if they lost or won the show. They all have wonderful
careers and wish them all good luck in staying out there in that doggie dog world of music.

Lisa said...

I find it so sad and a bit pathetic that anyone would put so much time into cheating on a POLL. A poll that was just supposed to be for fun and has no real world advantage to any of these people. SO silly. If people want to support their favorite Idols, they need to do so in more productive ways than that. Honestly.

I guess I'm one of those Kelly fans who gave up on this stuff years ago too! We're a practical lot, aren't we?

Anyway, thanks for hosting the competition and putting the time into it that you did. It's unfortunate that things can never be fair on the internet, but as a regular reader of your blog, I do appreciate the time you put into it. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks the blog owner for hosting the poll,
but-as I see it nobody WON!!

I enjoy voting, I don't like my hard work being wasted on cheating bots!? or whatever!

Someone please tell me, what is a BOT!!??

The Reality -I don't think any idol is BETTER than another, it's all a matter of taste! They are all pretty amazing!;)