American Idol Controversy: Did AT&T Contribute to Kris Allen Victory?

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We mean no disrespect to Kris Allen or his supporters, but might the reigning American Idol champion have unfairly earned his crown?

According to a report in The New York Times, one of the show's biggest sponsors may have played a vital role in Allen's victory.

AT&T, by its own admission, provided phones for free text-messaging services at parties organized by fans of the Arkansas native.

At a pair of gatherings in Allen's honor - held during, and immediately following, last week's Tuesday night performance show - representatives of AT&T (whose network is the only one that can be used to cast American Idol votes via text message) passed around free phones.

No such efforts were made on behalf of Adam Lambert.

Trophy Holder

No one doubts Kris Allen's talent. But questions are being raised about the fairness of his American Idol victory.

Moreover, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette states that AT&T employees actually instructed Allen fans on how to send 10 or more text messages at the press of a single button.

In a statement issued yesterday, a spokesman for AT&T didn't deny these accusations:

“In Arkansas, we were invited to attend the local watch parties organized by the community. A few local employees brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested."

Interestingly, Fox has refused to release the voting percentages or figures from this season.

Why would AT&T possibly favor Allen over Lambert? Might the company prefer a clean-cut, uncontroversial champion of a show it sponsors? We don't know.

But this rumor won't quiet critics that believe Lambert lost due to his sexual orientation.

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American Idol Quotes

Brooke White's tears come from the authentic, good soul that she is. Her heart was breaking because she was overwhelmed with the experience she had with the show and the gift that it brought.

Paula Abdul [after Brooke White was eliminated on season seven]

I read some of this online this morning and just for the record, the rumors — they’re not true. She’s part of our family and we love her.

Ryan Seacrest [on rumor of Paula Abdul being drunk on the show]