Did American Idol Just Skip Austin, Texas in Season 5 and Pretend That Other Cities Were Austin?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: In Season 5, American Idol skipped Austin, Texas and just pretended that auditions in other cities were their Austin auditions.

One thing you have to get out of the way right off the bat is how, exactly, American Idol auditions work.

Often, the audition process has to be arranged around the schedules of the judges (presumably mostly Simon Cowell’s schedule, as he seems to be a bit busier than the other judges), so when you see the judges judging contestants, it is not even necessarily the same day as when the big group shots happen outside.

The way auditions work is that the main judges don’t even get to see contestants until they have been seen by a group of 10-12 American Idol producers. Simon, Randy and Paula only see about 100 or so contestants any given time.

A nice aspect about this system is that it is easy to break things up that way. If the judges are not available, you can screen out the 100 or so contestants and have them return the next week when the judges are available and have them audition in front of the judges then. On television, with editing, there’s no way of telling the difference.

Of course, sometimes, when you do this, things get in the way – stuff like, oh, I don’t know, a massive hurricane?
Continue reading “Did American Idol Just Skip Austin, Texas in Season 5 and Pretend That Other Cities Were Austin?”

Did Season 8 of American Idol Have a Problem With a Phone Sex Company Owning Similar Phone Numbers to Their Show?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: When Season 8 went to a Final 13 instead of a Final 12, that caused trouble due to a porn company owning all American Idol phone numbers beyond #1-12.

When Simon Cowell claimed that he and the American Idol producers huddled up and determined at the last moment (during the “Wild Card” round, where the judges got to pick an additional 3 contestants to join the 9 contestants that had been voted in by the public) that American Idol Season 8 would have 13 final contestants instead of the typical 12, a lot of people doubted him, figuring that it was something they had planned in advance.

That might be true, it might not be true, but one thing going in Cowell’s favor is the situation with American Idol’s phone numbers.

On American Idol, they use the same phone numbers every year for the Top 12.

1-866-IDOLS-01, 1-866-IDOLS-02, etc.

All the way to 1-866-IDOLS-12, as seen here on Adam Lambert earlier this season…

However, they never used past 12, because American Idol did not have OWN the phone number for 1-866-
43657(IDOLS)-13. Nor do they own 1-800-43657-00.

Who does?

Continue reading “Did Season 8 of American Idol Have a Problem With a Phone Sex Company Owning Similar Phone Numbers to Their Show?”

Did Clay Aiken Learn That He Lost American Idol Before The Results Were Revealed?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Clay Aiken learned of the results of American Idol Season 2 before they were revealed.

The finale of American Idol Season 2 was mostly likely the closest finale the show will ever see, with Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken separated by 130,000 votes out of 24 million votes cast.

The final result, though, was not a surprise to one of the contestants, for Clay Aiken actually knew that he did not win!
Continue reading “Did Clay Aiken Learn That He Lost American Idol Before The Results Were Revealed?”