Tuesday, May 27, 2003

American Idol: Election 2000 edition?

'Idol' voting strained nerves, nation's telephone systems:

Many people received busy signals during the final three hours of voting on Tuesday, causing some to suspect that, in shades of the 2000 Bush vs. Gore presidential contest, the lost votes might have produced a different result.

But like a radio call-in contest, phone networks can handle only so many calls at one time. The Idol finale was like a local radio contest magnified many times, featuring two popular contestants, millions of fans and two phone numbers with equal capacity. All this adds up to a virtual deadlock.

"My daughter dialed more than a hundred times and couldn't get through," says Cynthia McGinnes of Chestertown, Md. "This is a show we all watch as a family, and I guarantee you we will never watch again. My daughter was in tears."

I know I cried.


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