Migrant group asks for exact votes cast in ‘AI’
LOS ANGELES—Exactly how many votes were cast for each “American Idol” finalist?
A nonprofit group promoting migrant rights asked the producer of the popular reality singing competition on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to reveal how many votes were cast for each of the top two finalists this season “in the spirit of transparency and public trust.”
“We deserve to know the entire process, including the information as to how the board of auditors conducted the tallying of scores,” said the Washington, DC-based Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC) in a letter to “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe.
The show has never revealed vote tallies, not even at the end of the season.
MHC, a nonprofit organization that promotes cultural diversity, actively campaigned for Sanchez.
MHC demanded a tally of the record-breaking 132 million votes cast by phone, text and online for Jessica Sanchez of California and Phillip Phillips from Georgia.
The letter, dated May 25, was signed by MHC executive directors Arnedo Valera, Grace Valera-Jaramillo and Jesse Gatchalian.
Phillips was named season 11 “Idol” winner, becoming the fifth male singer in a row to take the title and a guaranteed recording contract. The 21-year-old husky-voiced troubadour beat powerhouse singer Sanchez, a popular finalist who dominated social media and Twitter mentions in the last few days.
Sixteen-year-old Sanchez is a high school student from San Diego, California, with Mexican and Filipino heritage. Her mother, Editha Bugay, is a Filipino who hails from Samal, Bataan province.
In the Philippines, Rep. Anthony Golez Jr. has filed House Resolution No. 2446 congratulating and commending Sanchez for landing second in this year’s season of the competition.
Saved by the judges
Sanchez’s rise to the finals of the popular American talent show stirred up a frenzy among Filipinos, who rooted for her.
Golez noted that Sanchez received positive comments from “Idol” judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson throughout the competition and was even “saved” by the judges when she was voted off by viewers.
“Sanchez caught the attention and support of millions of Filipinos here in the Philippines and abroad because of her superb voice and amazing performances in the 11th season of ‘American Idol,’” he said.
“I am truly proud of Jessica Sanchez. I hope that her second-place win will propel her to even higher heights in the entertainment industry. The entire Philippines should be proud that a future superstar who will conquer the international music scene has Filipino heritage,” Golez added. With a report from Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas