Viewer votes may be adjusted to correct for Idol voters’ bias toward singers with penises

Paul McDonald’s exit last week on American Idol marked the first exit of a male from the finals this season, unless you count Casey Abrams, who was saved by the judges. But considering that and the fact that a woman hasn’t won in three seasons, the show’s producers are considering adjusting the vote somehow to compensate for a bias against penis-wielding contestants, giving those with vaginas a chance to win.

“We are aware very much that the voting could quite possibly be skewed toward the boys. It is something we are going to have a long discussion about after we finish this season. We won’t be in the process of changing anything at the moment. It is going to go the way it goes,” executive producer Ken Warwick told reporters, according to Reuters, which notes that competition series “traditionally attract predominantly female viewers, who then tend to drive telephone, text and online votes toward male contestants.”

That is because, of course, women are incapable of voting for anyone except those who society assumes they are attracted to, because how can a woman not be attracted to someone with a penis?

Seriously, this seems like a terrible idea. For one, the producers have enough trouble convincing conspiracy theorists that the voting is fair and untainted, and screwing with the results to account for an ultimately unprovable bias seems like a bad way to go. Sure, some teenage girls might vote for boys they think are cute, but I hope that the majority of voters aren’t calling or texting just because they want to explore the contents of Jacob Lusk’s pants.

Second, isn’t the real problem that the women are very indistinguishable this year, at least compared to the men, who have much more distinct personalities and voices? Maybe start with stocking the top 12 with people who would get votes from people regardless of their genital configuration.

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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.