Surprise upset on American Idol

Aug 21, 2002 by Ian Evans

Viewers of Fox’s summer hit American Idol were shocked Wednesday night when Tamyra Gray was eliminated from the show.

Tamyra’s singing is usually perfect, but on Tuesday she faltered a little with her first of two songs. Nikki McKibbin usually falters, but hit two homers last night in what many believed was a “bottom of the ninth” situation for her. You would think that Tamyra’s track record would have kept her in the final three. Can Idol fans’ tastes really be that fickle?

It may have nothing to do with taste at all. The answer may lie in the “wardialers” who use computer-aided techniques to log tens of thousands of calls an hour to the toll-free numbers Fox has set up for each contestant. These speed-voters either a) love Nikki or b) want to show up Fox’s easily manipulated voting system.

Tamyra may not have won the $1 million contract, but based on the judges’ comments, a much larger contract will surely be in her future.