American Idol will accept Twitter votes

This satirical, fictional story is part of the April 1, 2009, edition of reality blurred.

Starting next week, Twitter users will be able to vote for their favorite American Idol contestants by including #idolsxx in their tweets, where xx are the last two digits in the contestant’s phone number. Tweets will be accepted from the end of the show until 0.5 seconds after the show concludes, because Twitter focuses only on what’s happening right now.

“It’s hard for people to stop Twittering and texting about Twittering and texting, and so instead of having to actually dial a number, they can just vote at the same time they’re sharing critical parts of their day with other people who are now spending their days monitoring Twitter,” the network executive responsible for the deal said. “What’s better than combining America’s favorite waste of time with America’s newest favorite waste of time?”

The source denied that the show would make it more difficult to vote by only allowing Twitter and AT&T text messages next season, but did admit that “voting really gets in the way of the stories we want to tell.” She also said, “We considered allowing votes via Facebook, but got too busy taking the ‘What Shape Are You?’ quiz and sharing that information with our friends, who all clicked ‘I Like This’ after learning that I’m EXACTLY like a triangle. It’s really uncanny how much like a triangle I am!”

Twitter will also be used to conduct the weekly American Idol conference calls with eliminated contestants from now on. “We know that many journalists are too busy plagiarizing from blogs and lamenting the death of their industry to have time to learn how to use new technologies like Twitter, so they won’t be able to ask dumb questions, like what kind of hair product a contestant uses,” a source said. In addition, posting questions on Twitter will make it easier for certain contestants–those who blame journalists for the effect their own words have on their own lives–to track down journalists, because they’ll be able to find out what that journalist is doing in real time, at least when that journalist isn’t Twittering or blogging about Twittering or masturbating over how cool it is that they know how to use Twitter.

A Twitter executive said in a press release, “We’re proud to be associated with American Idol, whose hundreds of contestants over seven seasons have nearly all proven as ephemeral as a tweet. Just as American Idol finally gave people the power to choose artists whose records they won’t buy, Twitter makes it possible–for the first time in the history of the world–for people to be able to communicate directly with each other in real-time.”

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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.