I’ve been reticent to give VoteForTheWorst.com credit for keeping Sanjaya Malakar on American Idol, just because they seem like such an easy scapegoat. However, given Sanjaya’s recent rise in popularity (and his absence from the bottom three last week) we’re running out of culprits who deserve blame for Sanjaya remaining on the show. We have to begin looking for what is sparking this Sanjaya phenomenon. VoteForTheWorst can no longer be ignored.
These days, VoteForTheWorst is averaging around 6 million visitors a day, which is a ludicrous amount. If only half of those daily visitors vote for Sanjaya every Tuesday, that’s still three million votes, a significant number.
With American Idol receiving upwards of 30 million votes each week, having 10% of those coming from VoteForTheWorst is enough to skew the results. If we add to that all the media play Sanjaya is getting (and the anarchists who are voting for Sanjaya as a result) and just those people who legitimately like Sanjaya, you have a hell of a lot of votes.
Another way I think we have to look at it is this: what would this whole situation be like without VoteForTheWorst? The blogosphere would still be bashing Sanjaya, but there wouldn’t be a central voice that actively championed voting for him. Howard Stern picked up his Vote for Sanjaya campaign because of VoteForTheWorst. There wouldn’t be as many articles (like this one) discussing VoteForTheWorst and, in turn, less people would be exposed to the VFTW plan.
I really, truly hope that Sanjaya doesn’t end up winning. It would speak volumes about the importance of a product’s quality versus it’s packaging in our culture. I don’t want to make American Idol more important than it is (which is “not very”), but it’d be a shame to see someone with legit talent and charisma like Melinda Doolittle lose out to Sanjaya.
So, even though I may not hate (or even dislike) VoteForTheWorst.com, I might just have to blame them if Sanjaya wins American Idol.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer