American Idol . . . oops!

American Idol is the most important contest in the history of the universe. At least to my kids. Samantha is 13. She has her own room and often heads there after dinner. When the American Idol theme song hits my ear, the next thing that hits is Patrick’s excited shouts.

“Sam! Sam! American Idol’s on! Jordan, go get Sam!”

“I knoooow,” Samantha yells coming down the stares in a voice modulated by her rolling eyes. “I had it on in my room.”

Then the questions begin to flow.

“Who’s your favorite boy? Who’s your favorite girl?”

Next comes the idolatry of Nikko Smith, son of Cardinal Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. Nikko got a second shot at stardom when Mario Vazquez quit.

With about 5 minutes left in the hour, they come to me or Angela.

“Dad, can I vote for someone?”

I say nothing.

“Angela, can we vote?”

Last night, no one asked. I don’t know why. Perhaps they intuited that something was going to go wrong with the voting. According to FoxNews

Phone numbers that allowed viewers to pick their favorite contestant were incorrectly displayed during Tuesday’s show, prompting a re-vote during the show scheduled to air Wednesday, the network said in a statement.

Phone lines will remain open for two hours following the episode, when another singer will be booted off this week by viewers. The contestant with the fewest votes goes home.

So, guess what. Tonight we get to decide whether the kids will vote for hometown hero, Nikko, all over again. Maybe next time Fox will choose someone other than the Miami-Dade Election Commission to run the voting machines. I hope this glitch doesn’t change the results. It seems completely unfair, to tell you the truth. What if someone’s performance last night was kick ass, and tonight he’s only so-so?

Anyway, if you’re into AI, please make my kids happy and vote for Nikko.

(BTW, any fairminded human will vote for Nikko Smith as a consolation prize for Cardinal fans distraught over the 2004 World Series.)

UPDATE: Was the phone number switch planned? Hollywood reporter Mike Evans, appearing on KTRS radio in St. Louis, says Fox had an incentive to air a dramatic episode of Idol tonight. With the NCAA Tournament pre-empting the Thursday night line-ups, Fox faced stiff competition tonight.

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