America’s Choice leads to confusion and conspiracy theories

Less than 48 hours into America’s Choice, and we’re already a nation obsessed, apparently with returning Kaysar to the house.

Fans are rallying for Kaysar’s return, producing magnets and even an automatic Kaysar-voting script that, via a framed web page, apparently votes again and again for Kaysar (use at your own risk). It’s so easy, even Julie Chen could use it.

But there’s the issue of mixed messages coming from CBS about whether or not multiple votes are permitted. (Incidentally, my reporting was based on what a network rep told me). In its analysis, Reality TV Magazine notes that a CBS press release says, ambiguously, that “Other restrictions on voting may apply.”

In addition, there are some conspiracy theories already gathering steam.

While Kaysar’s popularity is almost three times higher than Eric’s, the main polls voting page allows votes for Eric in both the “Who’s Next” and “Grand Prize” polls–even though it’s impossible to vote for Kaysar, Ashlea, and Michael. Kaysar was just eliminated and he’s not an option, but Eric was booted 10 days ago, and it’s still possible to vote for him.

There’s also an apparent bug in Firefox that causes Eric’s radio button to be highlighted after one votes for Kaysar or Michael and then hits the back button on their browser. However, if you vote for Eric, Michael becomes highlighted.

On the other side of the table, fans of Eric are also upset that nearly the entire House Calls program on CBS.com was devoted to Marcellas (and, to a lesser degree, Gretchen) orgasming over Kaysar and insisting that he be voted back in. In its defense, House Calls is a) an Internet-based talk show whose hosts are free to make any sorts of comments they want, and b) no one watches it.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.