Was the American Idol Finale Rigged?

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I feel like every year somebody says that the American Idol finale was rigged, or that the voting count was off, or that Ryan Seacrest read the wrong name off the card.

This time around, the controversy is surrounding the claims that corporate sponsor AT&T unfairly swayed the show's outcome by providing Kris Allen fans with free "power texts."

According to The New York Times, AT&T provided phones for free text-messaging services at two parties(!) in Arkansas on the night of the finals. The paper says that AT&T reps showed Kris' supporters how to "power text" -- cast 10 votes at the touch of a button -- which violates show rules, and that nothing of the sort was provided for Adam Lambert's fans.

Really? Two parties in Arkansas? Like that's going to make the difference.

On Wednesday, Fox, Idol producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia denied the claims in a statement:

"Fox and the producers of American Idol are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified. Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol. We have an independent third-party monitoring procedure in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition."

AT&T also released a statement:

"Last week, countless parties were held in homes, bars, and other public places across America to watch the American Idol finale. In Arkansas, a few local AT&T employees were invited to attend two local watch parties organized by the community. Caught up in the enthusiasm of rooting for their hometown contestant, they brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested.

"Going forward, we will make sure our employees understand our sponsorship celebrates the competition, not individual contestants. That said, it's quite a leap to suggest that a few individuals could have impacted the final results."

Yeah, so they screwed up with the power texts -- but that's not why Kris won. I think Adam Lambert's die-hard fans are just in denial. Get over it, people, it's just a show.

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