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Thread: USA Today:Simon "We had to have Fantasia win.If she hadn't, we would have had a prob

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    USA Today:Simon "We had to have Fantasia win.If she hadn't, we would have had a prob

    http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/...er-party_x.htm

    HOLLYWOOD — There was no joy in Snellville Wednesday night. Mighty DeGarmo had struck out.

    But on the opposite side of America, far removed from the dejected Georgia hometown of defeated American Idol contender Diana DeGarmo, the stars came out to welcome the newest American Idol, Fantasia Barrino, to their exclusive superstar set.

    On the red carpet outside the Kodak Theatre — two hours before Ryan Seacrest declared Barrino the winner — Hollywood elite made it known that Fantasia was their only acceptable champ. The chances of finding a famous DeGarmo supporter were slimmer than landing a celeb endorsement for President Bush. Among the stars pledging their allegiance to Fantasia: Ray Romano, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lea Thompson and Henry Winkler.

    Backstage, just moments after being named American Idol, Barrino received a hug from inaugural Idol Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson told Barrino that she'd fought with security to help get Barrino's family onstage after the big announcement, but security stopped her.

    Clarkson is now recording a new album and believes Haunted will be the breakout song. "It's about suicide," she chirped.

    At Fox's Hollywood & Highland after-party, Barrino's mother, Diane — a dead ringer for her daughter, and grandmother Addie — still hadn't seen Fantasia.

    In fact, no one at the party saw Barrino, which may have accounted for the party's paltry celeb turnout.

    The real party —Idol producers' exclusive soiree at the Sky Bar on Sunset — started up around 10, and USA TODAY was the only invited media.

    Judge Simon Cowell conceded there was much concern over the possibility that DeGarmo might win the title.

    "We had to have Fantasia win. If she hadn't, we would have had a problem,"
    Cowell said. "It would have been the first time that popularity won out over talent."

    Sitting at a table near her mother and Idol fan Nicole Richie, DeGarmo said she suspected at the start of the show that she'd lost when producers told the girls, " 'Fantasia, you'll be singing Dreams, and Diana, you'll sing I Believe.' " Realizing they wouldn't have the winner sing I Believe (the first single to be released this summer) twice, DeGarmo put the pieces together. "I was sitting there going, 'Well, you just told me who won,' because they wanted I Believe to be the (final) song for the winner."

    Although last year's runner-up Clay Aiken was beamed in from North Carolina, first year runner-up and persona non grata Justin Guarini was conspicuously absent from the festivities. Explaining his absence, show producer Nigel Lythgoe said, "Justin got really upset with his career going nowhere."

    Barrino finally arrived just after 11 p.m., her eyes still swollen with tears. More than her new 2005 Ford Focus and recording contract, it was her daughter, Zion, who filled her thoughts. Said Barrino, "Mommy can take care of her now."

    Idol's ratings were strong enough to win the night — and the week — though they don't match last year's Ruben-vs.-Clay finale peak. Preliminary results for the final hour of Wednesday's show averaged 32.5 million viewers, down from 38.1 million in 2003.

    Contributing: Bill Keveney
    Last edited by Justafan1; 05-28-2004 at 06:50 PM.

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    J/J for the win! DJeterFan's Avatar
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    Must be hard to read if you were a fan of Diana's, but obviously the majority of people realized who had more talent. It was blatantly obvious to me, and that's why I think a lot of us just kind of roll our eyes when some fans insist there must be some conspiracy against Diana or something because how could she possibly not win? Well, because she's not that good. You might disagree, but the majority of people weren't that into her. Doesn't make either group right or wrong, but that's the way it is.

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    Big Blue - Tayshaun! superfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJeterFan
    Well, because she's not that good. You might disagree, but the majority of people weren't that into her. Doesn't make either group right or wrong, but that's the way it is.
    Obviously a lot of people are into her considering she placed second.

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    see below caliqueen16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justafan1
    Idol's ratings were strong enough to win the night — and the week — though they don't match last year's Ruben-vs.-Clay finale peak. Preliminary results for the final hour of Wednesday's show averaged 32.5 million viewers, down from 38.1 million in 2003.
    Not surprised at all. In my opinion, Ruben and Clay's finale had people so much more hyped up than this one, including me. Last year, everywhere I'd turn, I'd see a newspaper or Internet article about the finale..this year, it was a small blurb here or there but nothing big. I mean, 32.5 million people is no small feat, but it's still quite a fall from the near 40 million of AI2. Hopefully American Idol won't continue at this rate, and I really hope the 4th season isn't completely awful.
    *Lacey

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    Foster Your Inner Kacey BobDobolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJeterFan
    Must be hard to read if you were a fan of Diana's, but obviously the majority of people realized who had more talent. It was blatantly obvious to me, and that's why I think a lot of us just kind of roll our eyes when some fans insist there must be some conspiracy against Diana or something because how could she possibly not win? Well, because she's not that good. You might disagree, but the majority of people weren't that into her. Doesn't make either group right or wrong, but that's the way it is.
    Feeling that someone has more talent than another person does not necessarily imply that the other person is "not that good" as you said. MJ had more talent the Pip, but that doesn't mean Pip was not that good. They were both great, but one had some things the other didn't. (I saw your avatar, so I wanted to use a sports metaphor, but I don't know squat about baseball.)

    Personally, I think Tasia winning was the right outcome. Fantasia really does have something unique and her winning, IMO, gives the AI title more credibility. The show has once again made a very interesting and unique find. Diana has oodles of talent, and I wouldn't have a single qualm with her winning. But, I do know if she had won, she would have done it as an underdog. An upset of that sort would certainly lead to endless theorizing about the reason. And, unfortunately, most of those debates would probably revolves around unfair issues like age, race, the voting system, etc., rather than justifiably crediting her talent. IMO, the negativity of that situation would probably outweight the increased exposure she would have gotten with the title, especially if people perceive the title as less credible. Right now, she came within 1% of winning, lost to a great performer, and is in good company with people like Latoya London.

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    Foster Your Inner Kacey BobDobolina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justafan1
    Idol's ratings were strong enough to win the night — and the week — though they don't match last year's Ruben-vs.-Clay finale peak. Preliminary results for the final hour of Wednesday's show averaged 32.5 million viewers, down from 38.1 million in 2003.
    Yeah, but the number of votes placed each week is almost twice as many as last year. And though the finale's numbers are down, the ratings for the previous 17 weeks of shows are up from last year. I've also heard that the last year's finale was three weeks earlier in the month which is a time period that usually has more viewers, but I don't know much about that sort of thing (weather thing? school related?).

    I think a big reason for the decrease has to do with anticipation. Last year there was a big a gap in talent from the best 4 to the weaker 8. As a result, people were fairly certain who the final contestants would be much earlier in the season. People debated and were fixated on the Clay-Reuben matchup for a long time. It's no wonder that it was widely anticipated. This year with all the great talent and some of the crazy results, it was nearly impossible to determine the final matchup. If Fantasia had been eliminated last week, I don't think most people would have batted an eyebrow. For this season, a surprise like that would have par for the course. In any case, I don't think people can get hyped up to the same level for a showdown they've only envisioned for a week or so.

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    J/J for the win! DJeterFan's Avatar
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    Obviously a lot of people are into her considering she placed second.
    Of course, and that's great. I was just making the point that a lot more people were into Fantasia seeing as she won by 1.6 million votes and almost all the celebrities and people asked choose her as their favorite. Like I said, anyone can be a fan of anyone and it's not right or wrong. Just an opinion. I liked Camille's voice and a lot of people hated her.
    Just don't get mad at articles that discuss how much more support Fantasia had from the judges and fans.

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    Ruben is "Soulful" pillbeam's Avatar
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    I think the problem for AI--if Diana had won--would have been credibility with the press and the music industry. Diana is very talented for a 16-year-old, but Fantasia is the mature, unique artist. Fantasia's win--happily for Simon and the producers--blows away the critics who claim that the AI contest is only a trivial exercise in mass marketing. I'm happy that Fantasia won not only because she deserved to, but because she lends credibility to a TV show I really like.

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    Fantasia won by 1.3 million votes out of 65 million, which means the percentage breakdown is approximately Fantasia 51% and Diana 49%, so apparently a lot of people like her or her mom has a lot of phones and more than thirty-five arms.

    Anyway, finding a celebrity outside the Kodak Theater was hard enough, it's not surprising that all six of them said Fantasia, and since when was 6 celebrities representative of the rest of America? I guess it's not since the final percentages weren't Fantasia 99% and Diana 1%...then maybe Diana fans would concede that they're really in the minority.

    and the Simon comment isn't surprising considering he hasn't liked her since her audition..he says nice things about her once in awhile but they almost always come with a "but.."

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    Big Blue - Tayshaun! superfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJeterFan
    Of course, and that's great. I was just making the point that a lot more people were into Fantasia seeing as she won by 1.6 million votes and almost all the celebrities and people asked choose her as their favorite. Like I said, anyone can be a fan of anyone and it's not right or wrong. Just an opinion. I liked Camille's voice and a lot of people hated her.
    Just don't get mad at articles that discuss how much more support Fantasia had from the judges and fans.
    Well, actually your exact quote was "she's not that good" and "the majority of people weren't into her." Obviously this is not true since she placed second. Yes, Fantasia won by 1.3M votes but it was still only a 51-49% win margin so that doesn't mean Diana is not good or she doesn't have a lot of fans.

    P.S. As far as the celebrity picks go, I honestly doubt many of them even follow the show much (I'm sure some do, but I doubt a lot) and probably just said they thought Fantasia was their pick on national TV to look smart since that's what they judges have all been saying. Just my speculation.

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