VotefortheWorst.com and American Idol
While everyone loves to think that the show is only impacted by those viewers with the most honorable intentions each year it becomes more obvious that grassroots efforts from websites such as VotefortheWorst.com are making a substantial impact on the show. Consider just a few short years ago when Sanjaya managed to hang around for so long. Despite his best efforts to be kicked off he managed to stay around for weeks after he seemingly gave up trying to win. In order to keep people around who are best for entertainment value and much less for their singing entertainment groups like VotefortheWorst.com have sprung up.
While there are quite likely more than a single group acting, VotefortheWorst.com has certainly drawn the greatest amount of attention. While contestants try their hearts out each week to acquire the votes needed to stay on based on a great performances, the websites like Vote for the Worst are out to ensure that the worst performer stays around. Each week the site selects a new contestant that they support. This support is intended to both upset the producers of the show, but also sacrifice someone on the show who is extremely talented and otherwise would be able to stay around.
The show typically has to deal with outside sources such as this for a long time, with Vote for the Worst selecting a new contestant to support each week starting when the viewers are able to begin voting. Typically, they will select a single contestant to support as long as they are around. However, once that contestant goes home it is time to move onto someone else to support. Sanjaya was one of the biggest contestants that drew the most attention and therefore also brought VotefortheWorst.com into the spotlight.
Operated as only a grassroots effort they simply request people to vote for the contestant that they select. Typically, they also offer up a few reason why it will be fun to keep them around, but they also acknowledge that someone else with more talent will have to leave in order to keep their selected singer around. If you find yourself in this position of being the chosen contestant of theirs then you could find your stay on the show extended by several weeks if not longer. It is rather unfortunate that sites such as Vote for the Worst exist, but they do manage to provide a bit of entertainment.
We have to admit that as viewers you do not always want the most talented singers, these are not always the most entertaining contestants to watch and since we ourselves are not actually financing the recording contracts we want to watch someone that is interesting. In order to maintain the entertainment value Vote for the Worst could be argued to be doing a service to the viewers. By ensuring that the value of the show is about so much more than just selecting the best singer it requires the contestants to reach outside their comfort zones and look for new ways to connect with the audience in order to secure their place on the show for the subsequent week. Contestants who fail to connect with the audience or win the support of VotefortheWorst.com quickly find themselves heading home to return to their normal lives quickly forgotten by the glittering lights and fame that American Idol brings.
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