Duets : Is This Another Rigged TV Singing Contest With a Sabotage Gimmick?

Duets premiered on Thursday, May 24, 2012. Now that I understand the voting and elimination rules and procedures on Duets, it makes me wonder if Lionel Richie bowed out of the show when he realized it is based on a “sabotage” gimmick.

There are already signs that the judges’ vote is rigged to create controversy. Every time I write one of these pieces, someone is immediately skeptical. But the evidence is already mounting that the vote is rigged on purpose.

No, there is no concrete proof, and I don’t need to provide any as a fan. If people don’t believe the show is legitimate, they have every reason to stop watching. I personally watch TV singing contests because I appreciate the talented contestants. No games or gimmicks are needed to get me to tune in if you bring me some good singers.

But first, you need to understand how voting works on Duets. There are four celebrity duet partners. The three who are not singing on each performance give a score of 1 to 100 to the duet. Those scores are added together to get the total score. The duets are then ranked, and the non-celebrity contestant with the lowest score is eliminated if there is an elimination that night.

1. There were glowing comments for every contestant from every single judge. This made it impossible to see who was giving a higher score and who was giving a lower score.

Come on. Think about that. You have a blind scoring system with little to no negative comments. All this does is invite a couple of things to happen. First, a celebrity who wants to win can sabotage the better contestant on the other teams to give his own duet partners a better chance of winning. By the way, this doesn’t even have to be an intentional thing. Letting enemies in a contest vote against each other is something that would only happen on reality TV or a show that is trying way too hard to create controversy.

The lack of virtually any negative critique from the judges already shows a lack of honesty on the part of the show. And as stated above, it makes it impossible to know who is giving a higher or lower score to the contestants.

2. John Glosson got the biggest crowd reaction and judge reaction. Kelly Clarkson even cried after his performance with Jennifer. Sorry. Music is subjective, but if you are telling me John was legitimately 4th out of 8 with that performance of “Stay,” then you either have some stupid, biased, or rigged judging going on. It was also the ONLY score announcement that visibly got moans from the studio audience with the exception of a little for Jordan Meredith getting 7th. People sitting right there in the studio IMMEDIATELY knew something was up already.

Are the celebrity judges being told to give higher or lower scores to certain contestants? Well, we wouldn’t know that, would we? Keep reading to find out why.

3. They don’t announce the judges’ individual scores. Huh? There is absolutely no valid reason not to do this if you are running a legitimate contest. How is a contestant supposed to know which judge to approach to get advice on improving if we don’t know what each judge is scoring the contestants? This is related to the lack of negative comments, as well.

4. At the end of the show, Kelly Clarkson found out that both of her partners were in the bottom 2. With a smile on her face, she said that’s “a little suspect.” Another judge chimed in with “it wasn’t me.” Remember that this show is taped. They can edit out anything they want. Why make it sound like even Kelly thinks there may have been sabotage or rigging going on? Um, because you are more interested in drumming up controversy instead of letting the contestants’ and the celebrities’ talent win over the TV audience.

Is the Duets voting rigged? I don’t know for sure. But it sure lacks any credibility whatsoever.

Note to Duets Producers: American Idol is the most successful music show on TV. It has the LEAST controversy. People might not agree with the public’s decision, but there is no hint of vote sabotage or rigging. Idol is the show that most heavily relies on the contestants’ actual talent to win the day. That formula works if you have engaging stories, an interesting presentation, and good talent. Gimmicks like sabotage and secret voting are not necessary. Idol proved that a long time ago. ABC is going to fail with another music show if these gimmicks cause the show to lose all credibility.


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Jimmy Boyd

I am Jimmy Boyd, a freelance writer and the owner of WritingShares.com. I have a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Join our site and share in the profits for life by writing SEO articles on the topics of your choice.

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