‘Idol’ Chatter: May 15, 2006

The controversy that Chris Daughtry has caused this week is insane.

Being the “Idol” insider I am and all, it’s no surprise that everyone is calling me or coming up to me and asking what happened. I have my theories on the show, that I always throw out there but ultimately what happens on the show, only a few “American Idol” producers know. Of course, tons of people are saying the show is rigged. But who hasn’t thought that, at least once, when their favorite was thrown off?

The big story coming out today is that Chris fans are claiming, when they called to vote for him, they were receiving a recorded message from Katherine McPhee, thanking callers for voting for her. According to Fox, there were no issues with the phone lines. I voted for Chris twice and had no problem getting through. I got a bunch of busy signals on the third attempt and then gave up. I’m sure that happened to a lot of his fans. Right now there is a website with a petition you can sign to get Chris back on the show. It’s up to over 35,000 signatures right now. Considering that an average of 27 million people watch the show though, 35,000 is a pretty paltry number. Maybe Chris just didn’t have as many fans as we thought?

I was looking forward to interviewing Chris this morning but our Nancy O’Dell was scheduled to do the interview instead. So, I accepted an offer from Ace Young for an exclusive interview about the rumors he is posing for Playgirl. (Check back next week for that interview). As it turns out, Nancy wasn’t feeling well, but it was too late to switch everything around, so, Tony Potts went instead.

Chris told Tony he thought he was being “Punk’d:” “I was expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the audience and say ‘Gotcha.’ I honestly thought he was about to say, ‘Chris, you can sit down.’” Though it was a shocking moment, Chris going home did get America talking: “Yeah, I mean, it’s overwhelming and I’m forever grateful for their support and the reaction I got was all I could ask for. I love my fans.”

Even the judges were in shock over Chris’ dismissal but it sounds like they offered up the same condolences they do everyone who is voted off when they all told Chris the same thing: “You know what, keep your head up. Keep going. You’re gonna be OK. And I hope they’re right. And I think they are; I’m gonna keep on doing what I do and you know what, I’ve seen in the past that you don’t have to win American Idol to have a successful music career. I’m just hanging on that that’s the case.”

Well, he’s already got that offer on the table to be the lead singer of Fuel.

“I’m flattered, but right now, I don’t want to make any rash decisions. I got a good team on my side helping me to figure out what’s best for my career and hopefully the offers are going to flood in. We’re gonna just see what the best thing is for me.”

Let’s face it. Right now, Fuel needs Chris more than Chris needs Fuel. I clearly doubt the typical “Idol” watcher even knew who they were before Chris. I give it to them for getting themselves some amazing publicity out of it though.

The hardest part of being voted off for Chris was feeling like he disappointed his family.

“My kids were pretty bummed out. They were, they were definitely upset, but you know, they’re obviously proud of me and I hope — you know, I don’t think I disappointed them. I think they were disappointed at the outcome, but my wife was very supportive. We got to talking and she was like, ‘You know what? There’s a reason for this, there’s a bigger picture here.’ Just remember that and I’ll be fine.”

On to the final three!

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