'American Idol' adding online voting for new season, producer says
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/22/2011
American Idol viewers will have a new way of voting this season, according to executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
While he didn't offer any specifics and a show publicist subsequently cautioned the decision wasn't final yet, Lythgoe has revealed American Idol is planning to change its voting process to enable viewers to cast their votes online in addition to via phone calls and text messages.
"We are going to introduce online voting, but the process is going to be the same," Lythgoe told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Monday, adding that the system's voting limitations are still being determined.
"I think they're looking at that as it fares on -- what makes it fair -- what doesn't make it fair," Lythgoe explained.
However, unlike some other reality competition shows which limit the number of votes a viewer can cast, Lythgoe suggested American Idol is unlikely to feature any online voting restrictions.
"I don't know. We started like that. We're not going to sort of stop 10 years on and say, 'Okay, we're going to restrict you to one vote when everyone's had the privilege of voting as long as they like. I think that would be wrong," Lythgoe said.
"And besides that, the press would come down on you in a ton of bricks and say, 'Oh they only got a million votes this year when they got 90 million last year.' It's not worth it. Besides that, people seem to enjoy voting. It's free -- what the hell."