Saturday, March 06, 2010

No Social Media for American Idol Contestants

No Social Media for American Idol Contestants

If you were following any of the American Idol contestants on Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace, you're probably not anymore. That's because the show forced all of the contestants to ditch their individual accounts in favor of one consolidated account created by the show, that features all of the 24 contestants. The show initially pushed the contestants' individual accounts. Earlier this week, all of the contestants' individual twitter accounts posted the message, "Thanks so much for following me! All my updates from now on will be on our Official Ai9 Twitter Page, please follow me there @AI9Contestants." Similar messages were posted on their Facebook and MySpace accounts.

No one knows for sure why the show's producers decided to make the change but several media outlets, including USA Today and the Wall Street Journal have a few speculations. Many believe that seeing how many fans or followers a particular contestant had would take away some of the mystery about who would be kicked off and who would stay on the show each week. They even argued that seeing their online popularity could affect how people vote.

Most members of the media who have reported the story say they agree with the show's decision. The mystery behind the show's voting results is one thing that keeps fans coming back week after week. However, if you ever jump on Twitter on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, you can already pretty much figure out which contestants are fan faves. Just take a look at the trending topics or the stream of peope you follow. No matter how many people you're following, at any given time, you'll probably see someone's positive or negative comments about a performance.

With that in mind, one man claims he's trying to "ruin" the mystery. Philip Kaplan of Blippy has created the website, where he explains how he will predict each week which contestant will be voted off based on the number of social media mentions.

So far, tweets from American Idol contestants have been relatively boring. They talk about how excited they are to be on the show and thank everyone for their support. Crystal Bowersox, who was hospitalized last week, causing the show the show to switch which days the girls would perform, assured everyone her diabetes was under control. And Lilly Scott, an alumni of the Colorado high school where a shooting took place last week, sent out an inspirational message about the tragedy.

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