How is American Idol's Phone System Configured?
April 23, 2006 3:45 AM Subscribe
For *cough* professional *cough* reasons (see profile) I'm interested in how a large scale "vote for your favorite" phone bank would be setup. Every year during American Idol seasons fans complain that they were unable to vote for their favorite - why might that be?
posted by dhacker to media & arts (28 answers total)
Now, the popular grassy knoll theory is that the show producers make certain lines unavailable for contestants that they no longer want to be on the show. To make that happen the phone system would have to be setup in such a way that a block of "lines" was actually reserved on a contestant by contestant basis. Now, I admittedly no very little about phone systems but this theory makes little sense to me. Wouldn't it make more sense for American Idol to by a "block" of lines - let's say 100,000 for arguments sake, and then accept calls for any voter on any line?
There is an increasingly popular website called Dial Idol
that claims to be able to predict show results based on a contestants "busy signal percentage". The site has been amazingly accurate recently - so perhaps I am wrong and AI does set aside "blocks" of phone lines per contestant. If the lines were configured according to my theory above then each contestant would have exactly the same chance of getting a busy signal.
Add to this the ability to "text vote" via cell phone which never receives any busy signals
I bring this to mefi as a longtime member looking for reasonable technical discussion and not fanboy "they cheated" chatter. What would be a reasonable way for a phone vote system of this magnitude to be configured?