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Quit Your Whining and Shut Up - May 12

When I was growing up, I was the student representative for the High School for the Board of Education. Every year, we had the same exact pattern – a campaign to vote for the referendum, the referendum failing by less than 10 votes, and then the people who came out of the woodwork to complain on why the budget failed. These are the same people, by the way, who didn’t vote at all because they assumed that the budget was going to pass.

Fast Forward to 2000…and 2004. The Democrats cried foul because of the whole dimpled chad situation in Florida and again because of another controversy in Ohio 4 years later. Although I am a staunch Democrat, George Bush didn’t win because of a dimpled chad. He won because you Democrats out in Florida didn’t vote – and as over 50% of the registered Democrats in Florida DIDN’T vote in the 2000 elections, once again, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

Now let’s fast forward to this past week. Chris Daughtry got eliminated last week. Boo frigging hoo. I called it on this week’s American Idol recap that he was leaving, because according to the Chaos Theory, you people don’t go out and vote because you assume that people are going to be safe. Lo and behold, I was right. Now people are crying foul or want a revote. Guess what? It’s not going to happen.

There was not a phone problem – A T and T would have caught it. It wasn’t a Ryan Seacreast issue, either – he said the numbers properly, and in past screwups, American Idol has spent an extra day to redo the voting, like they did last year when the chyron people posted up the wrong numbers in the graphics. Quite frankly, FOX would love nothing more to air up another episode of Idol and pick up another set of monster ratings. Also quite frankly, the reason why Chris Daughtry is out is very, very clear.

You people did not vote enough for him and you are not nearly as devoted as you say that you are.

Let’s break American Idol down. There is one cold hard fact about American Idol’s purpose. It’s not to find the best singer. It’s not to find the most charismatic person. It’s not even, as the most jaded websites suggest, to see who the most popular contestant is. The bottom line is…

The Purpose of American Idol is to find the person with the most loyal and devoted fan base.

The winner of American Idol doesn’t even have to be the best singer or the prettiest. That person will win because they have a fan base that will dial for 2 straight hours, regardless of how they sounded. Great performance? No problem. Bad performance? We better call in to save him. Mediocre effort? Doesn’t matter – all the more reason to vote in and call. The fan base that calls in the most, wins. And the reason why FOX loves this is because if you are devoted enough to spend 2 hours a week dialing in until your fingers fall off, or spending $20 a week on text messaging, then you will have no problems plunking down 5 bucks for the first single and $14.95 when the album comes out.

The bottom line is that American Idol has always been about, and will always be about, money. The person who is the best off to make that money is that person that gets the most rabid fan base to vote for him or her every single week. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

So let’s look at you, the so called ‘Chris Daughtry Fan’. Did you vote for him more than once a week? Probably not. My friends that liked Chris only voted for him once – maybe twice. Did you slack off when he was singing ok? Some of you did, because he wound up in the bottom two once before. The Rock base as a whole has always been a fickle bunch, and in this competition, you can not afford to be fickle. Did you only vote once or twice this past week? Maybe you did and you consider yourself a fan, but my Soul Patrol friends must have called at least 30 times during the night. So maybe you think that you did your job, but you really didn’t. You are not a Chris Daughtry fan, and it’s an embarrassment to call yourself a Chris Daughtry fan.

That’s why Chris Daughtry is eliminated this week. That’s also why Taylor Hicks is going to win American Idol. Pepper out.

So you all know who I think is going to win. Now who do I think is going to lose?

I’ll spare you another rehash of what I’ve been saying all week. Taylor = Great, Elliott = Great. Katherine = Bad, but the voters called in. In American Idol, the only thing worse than awful is mediocre and unmemorable, and that’s what you were. That leads to the Chaos Theory upset.

So who does this help?

He is the favorite to win, and he sang like it last week. He needs to be very very careful about giving us the same old, same old, though. Now is the time to go out of his comfort zone, select a smack-bang song, and solidify the victory.

You got bailed out thanks to Chris and your rotten singing. This may be the only time that singing bad was an advantage. You can’t possibly do that this Wednesday and get away with it.

I am suspecting that she doesn’t do that though, which means that it’s time for you to go. You have been great, but you are no match for the powerhouses. In addition, people are blaming YOU for Chris’s departure, and anytime that happens, people will not vote for you.

So I think that Elliott is leaving, though Katharine may replace him if we get an encore of last week. Join in on Wednesday to see who gets their final encore.

Gordon Pepper can win New York, Florida, and New Jersey, but Massachusetts and Wyoming may be a problem. E-mail him at


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