The Biggest Scandals in ‘American Idol’ History

Every actuality show that lasts 20 seasons may have had its justifiable share of scandals in its historical past, and ABC’s “American Idol” isn’t any totally different.

“American Idol” is about to return for season 20 in early 2022. The show is at the moment holding digital auditions in addition to getting ready for “Idol Across America,” according to the audition website.

Read on to study scandals all through “American Idol” historical past.


Season One: Allegations of Unfair Voting

During season one among “American Idol,” when the show was run by Fox and FremantleMedia, the show had a phone-in voting system. According to USA Today, round 100 folks used auto-dialing software program and reportedly positioned practically 10,000 votes an evening for contestants.

Fox and Fremantle media claimed that the votes represented a “statistically insignificant” proportion of the votes for every episode and that the system was honest, according to Digital Spy.

Afterward, according to Reality TV Magazine, the show’s government producer stated that there was know-how in place to maintain the auto-dialing from taking place once more.

Kelly Clarkson was the winner of “American Idol” season one.


Season Two: Fans Upset About Runner-Up and Winner

Ruben Studdard was topped the winner of “American Idol” season two, however the star solely gained the vote by about 130,000, according to Reality TV World. The quantity was initially quoted to be round 1,300 or 13,000 votes, which followers thought was too shut.

The outlet reported that there was a chance that the telephone service had been overloaded, that means that as many as 230 million calls had been dropped on the time of call-in voting.

In an interview years later, the then-showrunner admitted that Clay Aiken, the runner-up, had been main in every of the votes as much as the finale.


Season Eight: “Textgate”

In one other voting-based scandal, one of many principal sponsors for “American Idol,” AT&T, admitted to offering free telephones for individuals who wished to vote for Kris Allen, according to Rolling Stone.

The report, which was obtained by the outlet, claims that representations for AT&T taught viewers easy methods to cast “Power Texts,” which allowed them to ship 10 messages at a time.

“In Arkansas, we had been invited to attend the native watch events organized by the group. Just a few native workers introduced a small variety of demo telephones with them and supplied texting tutorials to those that had been ,” an announcement supplied to the outlet acknowledged.

Fox advised Rolling Stone that they had been “completely sure that the outcomes of this competitors are honest, correct, and verified. Kris Allen is, no doubt, the ‘American Idol.'”

They added, “We have an unbiased third-party monitoring process in place to make sure the integrity of the voting course of. In no method did any people unfairly affect the result of the competitors.”


Phillip Phillips “American Idol” Court Case

Phillip Phillips was topped the winner of “American Idol” season 11. After his time on the show, nevertheless, he challenged the contracts he acquired, which he known as “oppressive.” In 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Phillips claimed he was “manipulated” to just accept jobs that will assist the show and never his personal profession.

The Hollywood Reporter report says that 19 Entertainment, which is affiliated with the show, declared chapter following Fox’s cancellation of “American Idol” and that the corporate sued Phillips for $6 million.

The instances had been settled with out offering particulars to the general public.


Wyatt Pike’s Exit & Alleged Fight With Luke Bryan, Luke Bryan’s COVID Absence

Season 19, which was the primary season again following the all-remote season, noticed its personal slew of scandals.

The season had two contestants depart unexpectedly. The first was Wyatt Pike, who left the show “as a result of private causes,” as Ryan Seacrest stated on-air on the time. There had been later allegations that Pike fought with Luke Bryan behind the scenes, which was one thing tied to Bryan’s absence from the next episode.

Bryan’s spouse, Caroline Boyer, refuted the rumors, asserting that Bryan and Pike didn’t struggle and that Bryan did have coronavirus, which is why he needed to quarantine.

According to E Online, Caroline Bryan took to TikTok to inform followers that no struggle occurred.

“Trust me, he has Covid,” Bryan wrote on TikTok. “I kinda want there was a struggle. I’m sick of taking good care of children alone and sanitizing. I’m peeing Lysol!”

“I needed to depart the @AmericanIdol competitors for private causes however am so grateful I get to play music for the remainder of my life,”Pike wrote on Instagram. “Fellow contestants – miss you all, good luck! Thank you to everybody on your assist… do stick round for extra musical issues quickly!”


Arthur Gunn’s Comeback and Skipping the Season 19 Finale

Later within the season, “American Idol” featured the “comeback” twist, which allowed one contestant from a earlier season again onto the show. Arthur Gunn, the season 18 runner-up, ended up profitable the comeback spot solely to be voted off two votes later.

Then, Gunn was invited to carry out subsequent to Sheryl Crow on the finale and skipped out on the efficiency. Graham DeFranco, a top-24 contestant who was on the finale to cheer on his mates, ended up stepping in as a substitute to carry out simply two minutes earlier than getting on the stage.


Caleb Kennedy’s Unexpected Exit

Caleb Kennedy, one of many high 5 contestants on “American Idol” season 19 left the show following a KKK-themed video that he was in when he was 12 years old surfacing, according to TMZ.

“Hey y’all, this gonna be a little bit of a shock, however I’m now not gonna be on ‘American Idol,'” he wrote. “There was a video that surfaced on the web and it displayed actions that had been to not be taken in that method.”

He added, “I used to be youthful and didn’t take into consideration the actions, however that is not an excuse. I wanna make an apology to all my followers and everybody who I’ve let down. I’ll be taking slightly day without work social media to raised myself, however saying that, I do know this has damage and upset lots of people and made folks lose respect for me.”

Fans had been upset in regards to the resolution for Kennedy to depart the show, and a few vowed to boycott the rest of the season.


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