Sligh's Controversial American Idol Shoutout - Who is Dave?
Oh Chris, Oh Chris.  Is it really a good idea as an American Idol contestant to give a shout-out to Vote for the worst? Speculation is running rampant as to whether or not Chris's 'Hi Dave!' on last night's American Idol, which brought chills from the judging row, was the shout out webmaster Dave Della Terza has been asking for to indicate that a contestant is a VFTW reader! One thing is for sure, Simon didn't seem happy at all when he said 'We'll talk about this later.' 

What would it mean for an American Idol contestant's future on the show to openly plug sites like 'Vote For the Worst'?  The American Idol producers, judges, and most of the contestants try to downplay the influence of the site and have done everything they can to label it as irrelevant.  None the less, every season the site gets bigger and bigger.

When we spoke to Dela Terza in January (read 'Interview with the anti-idol') I was amazed by the amount of support the site gets from previous contestants.  One in particular, Brenna Gethers,  has gone out of her way to get coverage on Vote For the Worst.  When we ran the piece, and previous pieces on Idol's fragile voting system, fans went into a frenzied denial, but with reports of VFTW reaching as many as four million hits in a week, can you really discount that?  Add to it the fact that Howard Stern is now backing their contestant of choice, and the possibility is staggering. 

Probably the boon for VFTW was the infamous photo that adorns their homepage, a picture of last years winner, and VFTW pick, Taylor Hicks grinning sardonically with a VFTW t-shirt in his hands.

Despite refusing to make the vote tabulation process public, American Idol does not take kindly to attempts to tamper with it.  Fox lawyer's have taken big bites out of both VFTW and DialIdol in the past in failed attempts to bring the sites down.

If FOX is that serious about thwarting a couple of websites, what kind of repercussions could be in store for a contestant who, however surreptitiously, promotes them on air?  Only time will tell.

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
- Image from Fox