Did Chick-fil-A Stop Adam Lambert From Winning ‘American Idol?’
Well, the fast food giant apparently bribed customers to vote with free food and coupons, according to Yahoo!
First, a little bit of backstory.
Chick-fil-A’s staunch, anti-gay marriage stance (and donations to anti-gay marriage organizations) have been making more than a few headlines in the past few weeks. Like-minded politicians showed their support of the fast food chain and its owner Dan Cathy, while others chided the corporation for its hate-promoting policies.
While one may disagree with the beliefs of the head honchos at Chick-fil-A, they still have the right to believe whatever they want. However, when their actions impact other people, like they may have when it comes to Lambert, who lost to Kris Allen despite being the favorite for the win, it’s beyond uncool. It’s implications are also far-reaching. What else can a stunt like this mess with?
Allen’s win over Lambert may not have been a simple case of American voters choosing who they preferred. In fact, many may not have cared who won or had any vested interest in the results.
According to Yahoo!, one particular Chick-fil-A franchise in Conway, Ark. worked diligently to prevent Lambert from winning by “stuffing the ballot” (aka having customers vote).
Allen Kiser — ironically, his first name is the same as the Season 8 winner’s surname — spent thousands to get customers to vote the other way. While Lambert did not come out on the show, his orientation was fairly obvious, and, at the end of the day, inconsequential to his talent. He was a star.
It is not clear if Kiser operated in rogue fashion by staging “Vote Parties” or if he had the blessing of Cathy, although we suspect that is entirely possible. For weeks, customers gathered at the Conway location and devised a voting campaign to change the outcome so Lambert wouldn’t win.
Voters were encouraged to vote thousands of times and were rewarded with free food and prizes. Take out bags included “Vote Party” fliers and late night voters received free sandwiches, coupons and toys. Gift prizes were awarded to the highest voters, with the possibility of free food for a year.
While you may be thinking, “How could a handful of people in a college town change the outcome of a national phenom show like ‘Idol,’” the simple arithmetic proves it’s entirely possible. For the finale, 3,000 people attended the Vote Party. If they all voted thousands of times, they certainly could affect the outcome.
Lambert didn’t win, but he is a way bigger success than Allen, who did win. So while Chick-fil-A may have won the battle, they didn’t win the war. It is a scary thought, though, that such a campaign could have consequences on someone’s life and career.
Watch the Adam Lambert ‘Whataya Want From Me’ Video