Ever since the premature elimination of superstar in the making Pia Toscano, American Idol has been criticized for what some say is an unfair voting policy. While fans demand a change to keep teenage girls from running the show with unlimited votes, executive producer Ken Warwick says a star will surface after Idol is over—and it won't necessarily be who wins.
So what how did Ken defend Idol's voting system and what recent winner does he admit hasn't quite made it?
Every reality show has a good dose of drama, and American Idol isn't immune to surprising upsets and public backlash. Since Pia's departure from the Idol stage, fingers have pointed to the dated policy of unlimited voting. While many think the show's producers are turning a blind eye to the quick elimination of female contestants, Ken says that's just not true.
"It's not a secret that most reality shows are female driven by mums or young girls, especially when you've got a group of boys like we've got this year," he told us. "It does mean we know we'll get a heftier amount of female votes and it's always been towards the boys. We are aware, very much of the fact, that the voting could quite possibly be skewed toward the boys. Case in point: losing Pia a couple of weeks ago. It is something we are going to have a long discussion about after we finish this series. We won't be in the process of changing anything at the moment. It's going to go the way it goes and that's the way it is."
Sorry Idol fans, looks like you'll have to wait until next season to see a fairer playing field, but if you think that means the judges will have a say in who stays and whose dream dies, Ken says not to hold your breath.
"I wouldn't put too much faith in anything," he said "That is just one of the solutions or ideas on the table. There are a number."
Despite upset fans who say they are done with Idol, Ken is embracing the bad publicity.
"Anything that makes people talk about the show is good for the show," he said. "Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, but as long as people are talking about it that's what it's about. I don't care what they say as long as they're talking about it. The texting and tweeting and kind of social glue [is what] we strive for. We want things that kids talk about at school the next day."
Losing Pia was a huge blow to the show's pool of competition, and with only five weeks left in the competition, many are wondering if this year's winner will amount to much post-Idol. Ken is pretty sure if it's not the winner, someone will make it big.
"Has the best person always won? Well we know from history, you could say Kris Allen hasn't really broken, but there is always a hell of a buzz around Adam Lambert," Ken said. "All it illustrates for me is, from the top five upwards there is usually a star in there somewhere. It's just a question of luck, who picks them up, where they go and what song they release. Not every Idol has become a star. There are lots of Idols that have become stars. I'm pretty sure that whoever comes out of this series is going to break. I'm pretty sure."
With The X Factor and The Voice hot on the heels of Idol, hoping to steal the singing competition spotlight, Ken isn't running scared or making rash decisions to keep Idol relevant in the eyes of reality-show junkies.
"I think our show is the best. I think it has the most integrity. I think it's got the best track record. I love the fact that it's young talent," he said. "It's one of those shows that has become part of America's fabric. I'm not worried. I'm not about to change something radically to try and keep up with something I haven't' even seen yet."
Do you think Idol's voting system needs to change? Who do you think will be a break out star after the season ends? Who are you excited to see perform? Let us know win the comments!