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Should 'American Idol' change its voting system?

Randy12 In the wake of all the what-went-wrong, post-Pia Toscano hand-wringing (not to mention the Casey Abrams near ouster) in recent weeks, there's been a lot of talk about a need to revisit the way voting works on "American Idol." And the people doing the talking aren't just fans bereft of their favorite singers.

"Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe recently said the show might consider adopting a system in which "Idol" voters determined the bottom three, and then the judges decided which contestant would be sent home.

And now judge Randy Jackson has said that he too thinks a few changes to the elimination process might be in order, in part because  the voting is biased against women. "There's a lot of young girls and young women voting.... They really vote more for guys than girls," Jackson told Ryan Seacrest on Friday in an E! News interview. Jackson predicted that this season, "at the end of the day, two boys will be left standing. Two boys."

Jackson's proposed solution? A second judges' save, like the one that pulled Abrams back from the brink.

"We might need to have, in the top 13, one save, and then in the top 10 — up to the top five, another save, because I felt that Pia was starting to hit her stride," he said. "I think we have to come up with some sort of system, because what we want, ultimately ... is a duel to the finish. The two best ones to be there at the end, duking it out."

Season 4 second-place "Idol" finisher Bo Bice, meanwhile, has expressed wariness about "Idol" voting changes that could disenfranchise the show's fans. "The format has to change a little each year to keep things fresh, but 'American Idol' is built on fan response and interaction," he told the New York Post. "It has always relied on the American public to help build a superstar.... I can tell you right now, America will always have a say in the end."

What do you think? Should "Idol" change the way it determines who gets sent home? And if so, how? Should fans or judges have the final say?

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: "Idol" judge Randy Jackson. Credit: Tony Duran / Fox

Comments () | Archives (46)

I think there should be some kind of vetoing power that the judges have throughout, otherwise, after they select the top 12 or 13 or whatever, they're just sitting there to make comments. And clearly, it's not fair that people who can actually use all the 50 votes they get per week get to decide the fate of the contestants. People who may love the show and may love to watch TV, might not have the time to vote so many times once the show's over!

Why are people allowed to vote so many times? I can see why a person gets to vote by phone and by computer, because you really couldn't control that -- but why be able to vote over and over again? I know that makes the numbers bigger and they sound more impressive to advertisers. But wouldn't it be fair for each person to get one vote -- or, even, say 5 votes until the contestant count drops to five, then get one.

Also -- the judges should not only get saves. They should have a 'bottom three' - or two, maybe -- and if they public doesn't agree, they should get to reorder based on their thoughts. This is a contest for musical ability - not popularity or pretty faces.

The judges need to be the only ones that vote. They are the experts!

Why not just alternate a guy/girl going home each week until a top 4. That would have the added benefit of allowing half the contestants a relaxed performance every other week (at least relative to a week they would go home) - the kids always seem to nail it in the performance after they are voted off because there is no pressure other than just singing.

Each person should only be allowed a small number of votes and not as many as their little tween fingers can poke out before mommy tells them to go to bed. I don't have a problem with what has happened so far this year because I was not a Pia fan - pretty boring pretty girl with a good voice....so what? BUT, last year, Crystal was head and shoulders above the competition and a kinda cute guy won the hearts of the girls and beat her ONLY BECAUSE THEY WERE ALLOWED SO MANY VOTES PER PERSON. She's fine and doing oh so much better than Lee Dwyze. Disallow the bazillion votes per person/household. Idol will lose $$ with AT&T - and that's probably why they won't change the system. But, they need to to legitimize the competition.

PLEASE PLEASE CHANGE THE VOTING SYSTEM. Let the judges determine from the bottom 3 who should be kicked off. We were considering not watching it anymore as everyyear we cant get a vote in for the last two standing and the winner is the one who was not favored because lines were always busy!!! Adam Lambert in my opinion should have won by a landslide. But there again, only busy signals for us. To me, next to Fantasia, Adam Lambert is the most talented of all former contestants. (Wish he would get his act together!!) Lets give him another chance! : )

The voting is rigged.
Anyone that believes the producers actually counts the votes is nuts!

In my opinion i think the voting system should be revisited, it should be in a way that every week the judges pick the bottom three and then the viewers are made to vote out who they feel is not strong enough. this gives the judges and viewers a balanced power.
This system would fair better because the judges being professionals in the music industry would be able to tell from the performances of the contestants who should be in the bottom three; almost like what you have on US Master Chef.
I oppose for the judges to be the ones to vote out a contestant, because lets not forget that the Music industry is quite sensitive and we know that the power of any artist lies in the hands of their fans, so any decision that doesnt go down well with the viewers might invariably affect the judges career or fanbase.
So let the judges pick the bottom three each week and let America vote off, with that you still maintain the best of talents. by the way is sad that we outside America cant vote.

I'm an American Idol junkie and I'm very disappointed. Personally, I love Randy, Jennifer and Steven, but they don't do anyone any favors by being so nice to the contestants. Let's take Haley as an example. Early in the season they made the mistake of telling her that her growl is great. Since that time, she growls in every song. People -- growling isn't singing.

When the judges gush over almost everyone, it doesn't guide the voters at all. Jennifer Lopez doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, and that makes me like her more as a person, but the show misses Simon desperately. He was the only one you could count on to be honest. Come on, Randy, J-Lo and Steven -- step up.

I like how Randy's show American Best Dance crew eliminates. America votes for the bottom 2 and then the judges let both of them perform before deciding who goes home. At the Final it is all up to America though and they pick the winner. American Idol should def. look into that.

I do not feel like we should change the voting system because, i do not feel like the girls that went home especially Pia, I cant believe they said that she would win there are very talented singers more then Pia, although she does have talent, its what people will listen to, its not up the judges its up to the people who will listen to the music and that is for the voters.

They need to change something. Everyone thinks they should limit the number of votes you can make. I know it's against Idol's desire to brag about how many votes they have received. But how important is that if one person votes 1,000 times? I don't like the judges having more saves. It seems intrusive. I like either limiting the number of votes, or having the judges pick from the bottom 3. But what happens when it comes down to 3 or 4 contestants? it is still stacked against the girls unless you limit the number of votes!

You should add the songs that are downloaded as part of the voting. Because is not that the real test

Leave the voting as it is. It's never really been about who the best was, because very talented people keep getting eliminated and we end up with champions like Taylor Hicks. It is what it is, a popularity contest where the viewers determine the winner. It is more interesting to me to see who the viewing public thinks is worthy of winning versus what a panel of judges thinks. The viewing public and I may not agree, but at least I know in the end the champion is who the people picked. Besides, the best talent will always find a way shine through post-Idol, ie - non-winners Jennifer Hudson and Daughtry.

Well, let's just consider how Mr. Lythgoe has unethically changed this show from its beginning roots and beg to ponder and wonder the what if's that would have occured to equally talented winning American Idols like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood if they had been subjected to this years anti-singer popularity voting fiasco. Potentially Carrie and Kelly would never have made it all the way - tween would have voted a thousand times (each tween) each week for a lesser talent - and thems the facts.

Did Lythgoe do the once relevant American Idol show a favor by prostituting the voting out to benefit AT&T profiteering from this voting fiasco? No way. Go back to the roots of this show - and reclaim some integrity. One vote per phone number. ONLY.

How about it Nigel? You should care that you defamed and defiled THE very best/Pia Toscano this year. You and your show very really did. Do something about it!

(1) I don't think these judges would do well if asked to pick who is eliminated when presented with the bottom three. (2) The "save" format isn't great because it means eliminating two the next week. What if the judges use two saves in a row? What if the public keeps eliminating the same person?

Instead, how about having the judges pick one "save" out of the bottom three presented each week. Then the bottom of the two that remain is the one who is eliminated. There is a chance that the person they saved was safe anyway, so more often then not it is not a save, but simply insurance against eliminating someone really good. The judges get to do a "positive action" instead of asking them to do the negative.

One vote per household!!! The only reason they let you vote so many times is so they can tell you 55 million plus voted and everyone thinks so many people really watch this show.

I think the "judges" should have unlimited saves; however, after the use of a "save," it is always followed by a double-elimination week.

Randy saying the voting favors guys is a bit ridiculous dawg--America *tried* to send a guy home this year, but NOOOOOO, you used the *save*--big oops on you, Dawg! Yo,

The problem is mass text voting. One female on another blog said she put up 18,000 text votes last week, all for guys. Yet online is limited to 50. Dialup is limited by the time it takes to dial and connect. Limiting text voting is technically very easy, so they should just do it.

Pia is a different story. All indicators before and after her elimination said she was very popular and getting lots of votes. Did you notice how Jimmy Iovine told Lauren to go after Pia's votes? Why would he do that unless he knew that Pia was getting a lot of votes.

Been a really weird season with a whole lot of non-talented males. They are terrible! Paul, Casey, Jacob, Stefano?? Does no one hear the weak singing? and the equally horrible stage presence?? Something is up cuz the judges keep over-praising the weak talent. Just horrible season so far.

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