Televised Talent: On the Supervote

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

The folks at American Idol want you to know that their new voting method is SUPER easy. SUPER fast. SUPER fun. Oh, and did we mention SUPERficial?

Before the Top 13 came out to give us their performances, they reminded us of this new voting method. Voting lines, they said, would open at the TOP of the show and not, as Ryan Seacrest has intoned for over a decade, at the end.


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And they REALLY wanted us to vote for them RIGHT THEN. That minute. You know, before you had a chance to hear how much their performances sucked.

Last week, Ryan made a point of showing us the Facebook avatars of voters and for the first time, told us who was in the lead after each group of 6 performed. Not surprisingly, those who had performed first were in the lead.

And not surprisingly, those who had been groomed to have the highest fan base were safe, and people lamented the next day that M.K., and not Emily, should have gone home.

Tonight, expect them to make a similar pitch for your premature votes, based, no doubt, solely on who you think ought to be in pictures. Expect Malaya Watson and Alex Preston to be vulnerable.

Why this new voting method? My guess is that waiting until the entire two hour show is over is beyond the teen or tween block's bedtime. If you choose not to be superficial, you can still vote until early afternoon the next day, since voting is open until 10 am. Central Time.

The Voice, meanwhile, continues to audition stellar singer after stellar singer. Later in the week, Idol churns out amateurs who are hopelessly out of tune.

Like many people, I tend to like The Voice better than American Idol. The judges actually mentor the people on their team. Yes, they throw them under the bus, too. But at least we aren't subjected to months of untalented hacks wasting our time.

There's just one problem. Idol bills itself as the show that turns out superstars, and the producers have a point. Can you name the winner of the first and second seasons of The Voice, or one song they've recorded? Yeah, me neither.

But after 13 seasons of Idol, it's a mixed bag. For every Carrie Underwood, there are at least three like Taylor Hicks, David Cook and Lee DeWyze.

Sigh. It's looking more and more like a Taylor Hicks type of season.

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