American Idol voting controversy: AT&T helped Kris Allen voters

The outcome of American Idol 2009 has been questioned following the disclosure that AT&T employees helped Kris Allen voters.

According to the reports, AT&T employees in Allen's home town provided free phones and bulk text messaging assistance at two Allen parties. Allen was not expected to win Idol, with Adam Lambert entering the final week as the short priced favorite.

AT&T and Fox are both denying that anything untoward happened, although AT&T did confirm that employees did assist Allen voters.

It's difficult to see how two parties in Allen's home town could have influenced the national vote, but likewise the revelation does break two Idol rules: blocks of votes cast using ‘technical enhancements’ that unfairly influence the outcome of voting can be thrown out, and that text voting is open only to AT&T subscribers and is subject to normal rates, where as in this case voters were provided the ability for free.

Don't expect any change to the result, but likewise the failure of American Idol to enforce its own rules casts a serious shadow over any legitimacy the show might have had.