78 percent of surveyed people have not voted during American Idol 5; 44 percent don’t watch

Two weeks ago, Pursuant Research surveyed 1,045 adults about American Idol. The results were somewhat surprising, finding both that people tend to not vote despite the fact that they think their vote is important. Also intriguing: Those surveyed think judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul are pretty much equal. (Keep sharp objects away from Randy for the next few days.) Here are some of the survey’s highlights:

  • Of those surveyed, 78 percent of people have not voted; 44 percent hadn’t even watched the show. And 44 percent answered “don’t know” or “other” when asked why they don’t vote.
  • Of those who do vote, 73 percent are women.
  • Despite that lack of voting, on some level, 34 percent of those surveyed think that voting for an American Idol candidate has more impact than voting in a Presidential election, 18 percent think it’s the same, and 43 percent think their vote for President matters more.
  • Despite what the morons in the studio audience would have us believe, 24 percent value Simon’s opinion the most, 15 percent value Randy’s the most, and 14 percent like Paula’s best. 46 percent, however, answered don’t know/other. The people they surveyed aren’t very introspective, are they?
  • Zero percent admit to voting because they “dislike a specific person/Wanted to eliminate someone” or because they “Disagree with one or more of the judges/Wanted to prove one or more of the judges wrong.”
  • And in the least-surprising news, the show’s “viewers are more likely to be from the South (39 percent) versus viewers from the Northeast (21 percent), North Central (21 percent) or from the West (19 percent).”
Simon Says: Survey Indicates American Idol Voters Value His Tough Love and Pursuant’s American Idol Survey [PDF] [Pursuant, Inc.]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.