Thursday, May 21, 2009

Idol vs. BCS: Once Again, Fans Know Best

Yes, I'm an Idol fan. 100 million votes in the finals can't be wrong. But there's a sports point to be made here...

For the second straight year, fans rejected the conventional wisdom of the "experts" and picked the so-called "underdog" as their Idol champ.

Last year, it was David Cook over David Archuleta. This year, it was Kris Allen over Adam Lambert. And, like last year, it was no shocker.

Lambert was insanely talented, but -- when it finally came down to a 1-on-1 battle -- the fact that he had no natural massive voting constituency was going to beat him.

For me, it reaffirms my faith in fans and offers a valuable lesson: When you give America the chance to pick their own champ, they seem to get it right, far better than the so-called "experts."

How does that tie back to sports? The notion that the BCS formula wouldn't have a significant component that allows fans to vote on the two finalists is ludicrous.

The coaches vote is a farce. The media vote is almost equally driven by partisan politics. The computers lack a soul and will never have credibility with many folks.

I have been banging this drum since 19-freaking-97: If you insist on a system that picks two teams at the end of the season to play for the national title, let the fans decide.

Kris Allen knows: The fans will get it right.

-- D.S.


McNater said...

Again, how are you defining "right"? You have not explained what "right" means. More record sales? What exactly. A very hallow argument in how you present it now.

The Mark Show said...

Until they come up with a system that lets fans vote once and only once, it will never work to let fans decide. But allowing people to vote multiple times skews the vote and invalidates the result.

PiccottFence said...

Not an Idol fan...but, 100 million votes, by how many voters is the question?

Just a total opinion here, but my guess is that the Adam Lambert fans felt secure leading up to the final. They knew he was good/great and that's how he faltered as the season went on. Allen NEEDED votes, and his fans knew that stuffing the ballot box. When it came to the finals, Allen had the growing audience, Lambert's just assuming he'd win. I'd like to see the tally of the one-time voters. I wouldn't be surprised if Lambert won that tally.

Switching to the BCS, you're obviously talking a One-vote system. So it wouldn't be like the foolish Pro Bowl, NHL All Star, etc. Still you coudl end up with the team in "need" of voters getting the best turnout...a la Kris Allen.

soundscene said...

The perceived "underdog" in both years was not the truth. David Cook was not an underdog-at least not going into the Top 12. And to say the judges favored Archuleta throughout the competition means you weren't paying attention. Cook got a LOT of love from the judges-tons of big production in his performances, flashy lights, big guitars. Cook admitted afterward he was never denied a song. Archuleta, on the other hand, had several of his songs refused by the producers (they could be cleared, they just didn't want him singing them), and they forced him to sing some of his songs straight (i.e., you can't change the arrangement). My point is that last year the "experts" wanted Cook to win. Nigel Lythgoe, exec producer, even admitted after he quit the show last year that he VOTED for Cook. It was all a big, huge manipulation to get people to vote against a 17-year-old kid in favor of a guy who had been playing professionally in a band for years. And the 17-year-old was the frontrunner? Please.

They didn't play the game as well this year. Initially, Gokey was the uber-pimped contestant that everybody turned against. And Adam was the one that was the unique alternative to Gokey. Problem was that people started hating on Gokey way too early, and the judges barely gave Adam any critiques (calling him a rock god, for pete's sake). So Adam was deemed a frontrunner because of the judges comments, the flashy spectacles that were his performances and all the media hype. Kris became the alternative at that point--the upstart. Had Kris been presented at the start as the cool, Jason-Mraz, creative frontrunner (with all the camera time to back up the pimping), and Adam as the unique underdog alternative, the votes would have gone the other way. The producers may have wanted Adam to win, but they didn't play their cards as perfectly as they did last year.

The American public is very easily manipulated. And they love to put somebody on a pedestal just so they can knock them down. That happened to Archuleta last year (the initial love for him in the media followed by extremely poor treatment when they determined it was uncool to love a really great singer in favor of a pitchy, big guitar post-grunge rocker). And it happened to Adam this year (the media loved him, but their overpraise for him plus the judges overpraise killed his momentum with the general public).