Last night’s ‘American Idol’ finale is under fire after host Ryan Seacrest told viewers the show’s winner Ruben Studdard won by only 1,335 votes out of 24 million total were cast. After the show, they claim it was actually 130,000 votes. “Listen, I’ve been around Hollywood for a long, long time, and this reeks of a contrived, phony ending,” a top executive from a rival network charged Thursday morning. “No one here believes for one second the votes landed just 1,300 apart. It’s a disgrace… in fact, I think we are looking at a modern day version of the $64,000 question!”
‘American Idol’ Finalists Grateful For Program
May 22, 2003 – ‘American Idol’ finalist Carmen Rasmusen tells Launch.com being part of the show was something she will never forget. “Well, I was always happy when I kept on making it,” Rasmusen said. “You know you always have in the back of your mind, What if I was the next ‘American Idol’? But I couldn’t have asked for more. This has opened so many doors for me. I mean what a great way to start out my future career being on a show like this that I’m on national television every Tuesday and Wednesday. I really couldn’t have asked for more.”
Ruben Studdard Wins Questionable ‘Idol’ Finale
May 21, 2003 – Tonight Ruben Studdard was named ‘American Idol’, beating Clay Aiken by only 1,335 votes according to host Ryan Seacrest. With 24 million votes cast, the difference was statistically insignificant, and likely doesn’t paint a true picture of the true winning margin. During the 3-hour voting period coast-to-coast both lines were jammed to capacity. If the both lines were able to process 2 million phone calls an hour, it wouldn’t matter if voters dialed Ruben or Clay’s toll-free number 4 million times or 10 million times during the hour, it would still only process 2 million calls. No matter who was named the winner, because of this jammed phone situation, the losing side is going to feel cheated. ‘Idol’ producers need to come up with a way to handle a much heavier call-load next season so this doesn’t happen again.
‘American Idol’ Star R.J. Helton Goes Gospel
May 21, 2003 – R.J. Helton, a finalist in the first season of ‘American Idol,’ has signed a recording contract with gospel label Gospocentric/B-Rite Music, he announced Tuesday. “My faith is the one thing that has forever and will forever remain constant,” Helton, 21, said in a statement.
This Year’s ‘Idol’ Not About Looks, But Talent
May 20, 2003 – Tonight, Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard waged a duel of talents on ‘American Idol’, not hairdos. “It’s just sweet justice that I’m still here, in a way,” Clay tells TV Guide Online. “It’s justice that the top three of us were there, because last year, none of us would’ve made the top 32, based on the big image thing. Last year, they let people through based on how they looked.”
‘Idol’ Frontrunner In Weight Related Health Fears
May 18, 2003 – With recording legend Luther Vandross still hospitalized after a severe stroke, concern over ‘American Idol’ finalist Ruben Studdard’s health and well-being has become a priority with recording executive Clive Davis, sources tell the Drudge Report. Pound-progressive Studdard is often captured on TV sweating profusely after only a few notes. “He sometimes can be terribly lethargic, he moves slow,” one top insider explains.