Vote For The Worst
May 7, 2005 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Vote For The Worst American Idol contestant and be a foot solider against cornball programming. In the battle between an Internet movement and television producers, so far the rouge site has the lead. But as we get closer to the show's finale, can the contrarians keep the worst contestants in the mix?
posted by herc (23 comments total)
Haven't you yanks been doing this in every election since last year?
posted by clevershark at 9:24 AM on May 7, 2005

Why does this smell of viral marketing to me? Not the intention behing herc's post, but the sites linked --- I don't watch garbage TV like American Idol, but I've seen enough promo spots where the producer's exploit the bad acts.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:29 AM on May 7, 2005

Err.."rouge site?" Me confused.

If you're doing a "The red and the black" thing, freeperland is definitely more noir than rouge, y'know?
posted by dersins at 9:42 AM on May 7, 2005

The ultimate question however, is who gives a shit about this stuff? Not meaning you herc, but...people actually watch this stuff?
posted by stenseng at 9:51 AM on May 7, 2005

I'm pretty sure herc meant "rogue site" rather than "rouge site".
posted by Justinian at 9:54 AM on May 7, 2005

Oh. Right. Sorry.

I'm clearly having a "slow" day today.
posted by dersins at 9:57 AM on May 7, 2005

posted by C17H19NO3 at 10:03 AM on May 7, 2005

Haven't you yanks been doing this in every election since last year?
posted by clevershark at 9:24 AM PST on May 7 [!]

Ah ha ha the canuckleheads sticking it to us again.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 10:04 AM on May 7, 2005 (NSF ANYONE)
posted by puke & cry at 10:06 AM on May 7, 2005

Rouge sites abound.

In particular, Mr. Savol seems to have struck a negative chord with many viewers.

That's only because he's fat.

Good question from a freeper.

Is it possible to make a mockery out of a joke?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:09 AM on May 7, 2005

be a foot solider against cornball programming

Actually, the site seems to be part of the illusion that this sort of show is relevant in the first place. Who gives a flying fuck who wins this kind of crap?
posted by signal at 10:30 AM on May 7, 2005

i fucked paula abdul.
posted by quonsar at 10:44 AM on May 7, 2005

That's only because he's fat.

He also beat up the mother of his child.
posted by unsupervised at 10:57 AM on May 7, 2005

the site seems to be part of the illusion that this sort of show is relevant in the first place

Not to mention the ads supporting the show. At first look, the site looked too crude to be an inside job, but I wouldn't put it past the viral marketers.

It seems like whatever steam the idea once had is nearly gone. No surprise if they resort to unusual measure to boost viewership and the total vote number.

He also beat up the mother of his child.

Non applicable. Appearance and performance are the key ingredients for success.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:00 AM on May 7, 2005

What signal said.
I can hardly imagine a more pointless enterprise than "subverting" this asinine show.
posted by Dr. Wu at 11:00 AM on May 7, 2005

American Idol is really big here in Asia. Star World, an Asia-wide cable channel that carries the show, flashes "Numbers not available in Asia" when it airs and has resorted to conducting its own AI poll system. It's a huge guilty pleasure across the board; one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't confess unabashed fascination with the song-and-dance and the dramatic artifice. I think a large part of the appeal is that the contestants are pretty much caricatures of themselves, prey to the character traits the audience attaches to them. It's the farm girl, the rocker, the miracle baby, the postal lady, the ubernice teacher, and the fat kid. Small talk about American Idol can be quite revelatory if you ask someone who their favorite contestant is and why they like them. :P

Personally, I started following it only after the whole William Hung hoopla. I had no idea who this guy was yet everyone was talking about him. I've been morbidly fascinated since. Now, in the current season, I had a favorite in Anwar Robinson. I was quite upset[self-link] when he got eliminated and that was when I found out about Vote For The Worst.

It would have been easy to cluck tongues and laugh the whole thing off thinking, "Oh, those darned Americans!" But it really is fascinating to wonder about what it really takes to be any sort of pop idol. Clearly, it isn't all about the talent. What, then? Being memorable? Choice of songs? How you package yourself? Pleasing the critics? Is it just a popularity contest? Why do some stars prevail over others? Why do people enjoy hearing judgemental, megalomanic Simon stomp on people's dreams? While the quality of such a show is debatable, I find that the thoughts and conversations it spurns to be of value.

That said, it's a little late to be pondering the how much of the longevity of the "worst" contestants is attributable to this website. Now that Scott Savol is gone, it is evident that a malice-spurned site like votefortheworst is only successful up to a point. The teeming masses always seem to prevail.
posted by Lush at 11:30 AM on May 7, 2005

I am "a foot solider against cornball programming" by not watching or participating in American Idol at all. Come to think of it, just posting to this thread might in some insignificant way be a measure of encouraging that program's existence. The only vote I would make would be to take it off television, and replace it with a reinvigorated series based on Joss Whedon's sourly treated Firefly. Viva la resistance!
posted by ZachsMind at 11:43 AM on May 7, 2005

I assumed herc was subtly calling FR "red" and invoking French at the same time.
posted by Joybooth at 1:16 PM on May 7, 2005

be a foot solider against cornball programming.

... because if American Idol makes it big, television executives may begin to replace their erudite, thoughtful programming with more crass and vulgar shows. We must fight to maintain the current high quality of content on our nation's airwaves!
posted by casu marzu at 3:11 PM on May 7, 2005

Yeah, it sure would suck if TV wasn't fantastic anymore -- like it used to be back in the day (?!)
posted by Kloryne at 6:02 PM on May 7, 2005


Having a Lurch moment.

Seriously, why all this hate for a "reality" show? How is it any worse than Queen for a Day, Ted Mack's Original Amatuer Hour, or such shows?

Some people like to sing Karoke and some like to watch it.

I'd be interested in hearing more about what causes people to rally against a show they have no interest in watching. Are the people who want to subvert American Idol really different from those who wanted to ban Soap or Hot L Baltimore?
posted by ?! at 8:10 PM on May 7, 2005

Recently at my online journal thingy [shameless plug] I rubbed a couple braincells together and determined what I considered to be good television this past season and what I hoped would get axed for next season. I came up with around a dozen programs I could mention by name which I actually want to see again. When I think back, that's about the same as it has always been, give or take. About 80% of what's out there sucks in my opinion, any given year.

Imagine yourself a network executive under this kind of pressure. There's literally millions of people considering the possibility of exposing themselves to your product, and you have to please as many of them as you can, so that you can convince your advertisers that people are actually watching your network. Imagine the wide and varied tastes of those millions of people. I can't stand Desperate Housewives for example, but apparently there's A LOT OF PEOPLE out there who think it's incredibly good. Contrariwise (is that even a word?), many programs over the years that I have enjoyed got pinched off because of low ratings. Frankly I'm surprised to find the few programs that I do on television which I actually like. Especially since I'm not much of a consumer and actively avoid commercials whenever possible. Television's not being made for my demographic; white thirty-something male who doesn't like commercials. If any given network executive had their way, I'd probably be considered an outlaw, stealing from their programs because I refuse to blindly buy anything they try to stuff down the viewers' throats. In their eyes, I'm a thief. So come to think of it, I think most of us come out ahead. At least it's not against the law to watch free programs and not buy the crap advertised. At least not yet.

Unless YOU actually DO blindly buy anything they try to stuff down the viewers' throats, or actually pay for cable tv, you're getting most televison programs for free. What should we expect for free? Shakespeare? It makes me appreciate shows like Mutant X and She Spies all the more. I still won't watch them, but I appreciate the effort. Making network television, especially for syndication on noncable channels, must feel like the most thankless task on the face of this planet. Next to teaching, of course.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:10 AM on May 8, 2005

No, I fucked Paula Abdul. But she had quonsar bed hair after.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 7:54 AM on May 8, 2005

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