13th finalist will get a different, non-sex number; Fox exec: “we knew” IDOLS-13 wasn’t available

American Idol 8 will introduce a special phone number for whoever performs last tonight, according to a show producer and the network’s chairman, who said that Fox knew 866-IDOLS-13, which belongs to a phone sex operator, wasn’t available before unveiling the top 13 twist.

On his radio show this morning, Ryan Seacrest–who Twittered once he learned about the sex line–played the “hot horny girls” recording for Fox chair Peter Liguori, who said that “We knew the number 13 wasn’t available,” although he said he had no idea it was a phone sex line.

As a result, Liguori said that “tonight during the show, we’ll announce a different number,” “we’ll make sure that the audience is aware of it.”

Earlier during his show, Ryan called that number–and 866-IDOLS-00, which is owned by the same adult entertainment company and plays the same recording. So he talked to American Idol producer Megan Michaels, who said there will be a “special Idol number tonight” and said “so we have to make sure people dial carefully tonight.” She also said “we’re not going to talk about that,” referring to the phone sex part.

She called it a “special IDOL number,” but said that it’s a different number just for that one contestant, who’s likely screwed if they have dumb people for fans.

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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.