Guest Author - Michelle Snow
During last night's live results show, it was announced that Jennifer Hudson was eliminated from the American Idol competition after receiving the fewest votes. But this decision has many questioning if the voting process is fair.
Many are in shock and questioning how Hudson could have been voted off while red-headed John Stevens not only remains a contestant, but was one of the top three vote-getters on this week's show. Anyone listening to the contestants covering Barry Manilow classics, the theme on this week's show, could plainly hear Stevens mangle "Mandy"--in front of Manilow, no less.
Do viewers realize that they're voting for who stays on, not who gets eliminated? Is there a concentrated voting campaign being waged with computerized dialers? Some are claiming it's a racial issue, while others are claiming that the teen female demographic that makes up a good amount of the viewers are leaning towards the male contestants. Looking at the Idol official message boards, it's easy to make a case for the pre-teens with messages like "I have a feeling John Stevens will win! He is so special, and he improves every week. His version of Mandy was spectacular...The momentum is building for you! We're going to vote over and over and over again--we'll make you the new American Idol!" I'm sure he's a nice guy...but best singer? Hardly.
And yet another theory is that the trio of divas--Hudson, LaToya London and Fantasia Barrino--who all have spectacular voices, are splitting the votes that would have normally been attributed to just one amazing voice. Or that those ladies are victims of voters who don't like them as a whole, not just as a singer, on the "it's not a popularity contest" popularity contest
On Fox's idolonfox.com message boards, nearly 3,500 people had responded to a message asking fans to "sign here if you think Jennifer was robbed." But did these 3500 people actually vote for her?
TV entertainment newsmagazine Extra broke the news that Hudson may have Mother Nature to thank for a lack of votes as a storm that caused a power outage in the Midwest may have been a factor. More than 15,000 people in Hudson's hometown of Chicago were unable to watch the show or dial in Tuesday night, when the vote turned out to be the closest in the show's three-year history.
Regardless of why or how Hudson was ousted, the fact remains that she is indeed gone--at least from American Idol. Don't forget many of AI's final ten from past seasons have turned up on the charts with albums anyways (Clay Aiken anyone??).
In the meantime, I think Ryan Seacrest summed it up best when he said, "America, don't forget you have to vote for the talent. You have to keep your favorites in the competition. You cannot let talent like this slip through the cracks."
Tune in next week to hear the Idol finalists wrap their voices around classics from Gloria Estefan, who will guest-judge on a special Latin-themed night, Tuesday, April 27. Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine will also perform on the results show airing Wednesday, April 28.