Facebook will show real-time American Idol voting results

American Idol will reveal voting results in real-time for the first time ever, and do so via Facebook. In addition, the show has added yet another way to vote for contestants: people can vote while they’re searching Google, in addition to voting on the show’s web site, via its app, via text messaging, and via the telephone, whatever that is.

First, starting Feb. 26, which is the first performance show with finalists, Fox announced that “fans will be able to vote via Google … by searching for Idol-related terms. Any of these searches will reveal a voting platform where fans can cast their votes for their favorite performers.” In other words, Google will suggest you vote and give you away to vote.

Meanwhile, Facebook will reveal live “demographic voting trends and relative contestant rankings” for the east coast broadcast only. It’s not exactly clear yet what that means or how much will be shown, but it’s more information than the show has ever provided before, and would presumably have the ability to impact voting, if one contestant’s fans realize their favorite isn’t doing well.

Also, the network said that “as voters and supporters of the American Idol XIII hopefuls chime in and back their favorite performer, they will have an opportunity to become part of the show — and see their actual Facebook profile picture featured in the telecast.”

That’s oddly similar to ABC’s plans for Rising Star, a live singing competition which show voters’ faces on a large screen in front of the contestant, who doesn’t get to move on unless they receive enough yes votes. So, Idol is getting on the real-time bandwagon, and it makes sense to take advantage of the liveness of its shows rather than conceal results until Ryan Seacrest can reveal them in the most grating way possible.

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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.