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‘Idol’ bits: ‘Vote for the Worst’ closing after season 12

Sanjaya Malakar helped bring "Vote for the Worst" into the spotlight in 2006. CREDIT: Vote For the Worst

Sanjaya Malakar helped bring "Vote for the Worst" into the spotlight in 2006. CREDIT: Vote For the Worst

“Vote for the Worst” began in 2004 as a bit of lark to make fun of “American Idol.”He would encourage people to vote for the most ridiculous or entertaining (or both) contestant that given week.

But nine  years later, the founder Dave Della Terza has decided to end the site after season 12. (My “Idol” blog, which began in 2005, closed its doors in October, 2011 but I have continued to report about “Idol” here.)

Vote For The Worst’s spotlight peaked season 6 with the big push for Sanjaya Malakar, who lasted much longer than anybody expected. Howard Stern and numerous press sites tracked him. He also supported Scott Savol season four and Taylor Hicks (winner) season five.  Later on, he pushed Kristy Lee Cook (season seven), Megan (coo!!!) Joy (season eight), Tim Urban (season nine) and winners Scotty McCreery (season 10) and Phillip Phillips (season 11.).

I emailed him comment. Here’s part of what Terza wrote:

I decided I’d be closing VFTW last year, I just wanted to wait until now to announce it so that people would see it. I figured I owed everyone one farewell season instead of the site just disappearing overnight. It’s bittersweet for me – I have a lot of fun with the site, but it’s about that time.

When Nicki Minaj was announced as a judge, that was probably the only thing that kept me motivated to see what happens. So at least there’s something to look forward to and keep me in high spirits!

Here’s his part of his snarky explanation on his site. (You can read the entire note here.)

Why did I make this decision? Well, American Idol is really no longer relevant, so VFTW has accomplished our one true goal: making sure that America stops taking American Idol and other singing reality shows seriously. American Idol has become a shell of its former self. It used to produce stars and it used to be must-see TV. Now, you can count on a bunch of bland finalists singing the same 10 songs over and over with maybe one contestant becoming a one hit wonder. We helped kill American Idol, but even more so, American Idol helped kill itself by refusing to stay relevant. The show will be lucky to last a few more unmemorable seasons.

And more here:

They say when your critics stop talking about you, you’re finished. We’ve been American Idol’s biggest critic, but we’re leaving before we get completely bored with a show that really should’ve bowed out gracefully a few years ago. But of course, I wouldn’t leave you hanging without one last hurrah. American Idol season 12 will be Vote for the Worst’s last season, so let’s enjoy it for all it’s worth and make sure to get the contestants America hates one step closer to winning a meaningless prize. And then when our fun contestants go home, let’s make sure we crown White Guy With Guitar #6.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter. Oh, and Google +, too!

46 comments Add your comment

JTesla

January 14th, 2013
8:06 pm

Yawn. It was never that effective and he failed at his stated goal, kind of the same failure he has with every contestant selection.

Lil Red

January 14th, 2013
8:49 pm

So, if it was vote for the worst, why did they support three winners? Seems that they were at odds with their own purpose.

Mercedes S.

January 14th, 2013
9:01 pm

What’s the fun in trying to kill a popular TV-show?

Seth T

January 14th, 2013
9:34 pm

I trolled that site from time to time, as I do a few others; to see what the perceptions are when the shows are going– my take from what I seen is:

1. There are more people posting on the site — to bash the site, than there are in supporting the proprietor’s picks.

2. They sometimes do reviews that are somewhat accurate of what’s going on, or sometimes just a searing comical parody —- just that you wouldn’t want to say it on most sites, that need a kinder, gentler explanation of what the stage managers, show producers and Judges are selling.

3. They have no real influence on the total vote count. Only a few people even claim to be voting for the VFTW cause, on their own site. They do make a lot of noise by claiming to vote hundreds of times and claim victory if someone who was borderline, got through that week. So some other sources gave them way, way, way too much credit in terms of influencing the vote. Like hearing a hundred drummers advancing in front of an Army, seeming to be a big deal, and finding only 10 soldiers behind.

4. Like some other sites, they attract some well informed, astute posters – along with some good comedians — some very P’d off people attacking the site, some crazies and the few faithful who will at least claim — that they support the most wild, or disobedient, or flamboyant or comical contestant — that the site has chosen for that week.

This is what the Judges gave us to choose from,as we remember ——- what the producers and Judges gave you — for a top 12/13 —- out of thousands — tens of thousands — so even the “worst” should be an incredible singer and performer, right? —- unless —- unless — they are putting some “set-to-fails’ into the mix on purpose. Otherwise, they are all great, even the “worst” is a Judge’s hand-picked superstar in the making.

Anyway, the developing fan clubs, facebook friend networks, twitter big-hitters, etc. — have way more influence than VFTW ever did. There are a lot of people who watch the show and vote for who entertains them, rather than who sang a Whitney song the best. My uncle said that VFTW was kinda like the “Mad Magazine” of his day, good for a laugh or an outrage over something, but no good for the real news.

Deirdre

January 14th, 2013
9:35 pm

Self-satisfied smugness only works when something actually has been accomplished. Just saying.

JTesla

January 14th, 2013
10:58 pm

He should have set out with a goal to get America to stop taking some other shows from 2004 seriously and make them irrelevant. Shows like Lost, 24, Extreme Home Makeover, CSI Miami, Smallville, American Dreams (never heard of that one), The OC, Desperate Housewives, or Friends.

Now there are some shows where he could have claimed success for getting people to stop taking them seriously. Instead he is going to bow out when there are now three major “other singing reality shows” being produced. His ship has sunk and he’s clinging to the flotsam… soon to be jetsam.

Deirdre

January 15th, 2013
7:51 am

Morning!

Tomorrow!!!!!

Re VFTW: I’ve always thought of this site as the home for schoolyard bullies. Y’all remember the kids at recess whose main ambition was to ruin someone else’s fun. VFTW is a place for people who resent others being entertained by something they don’t find entertaining. So what? Instead of jumping up and down trying to get our attention with mean-spirited comments, why not just go look for something else to do? It’s attention-seeking that drives them, not the quality of whatever it is they are complaining about.

Sam-A

January 15th, 2013
8:55 am

Ditto Deirdre 9:35 pm – his head must resemble a hot air balloon, and even though Idol’s audience has fallen, they still had nearly twice as many viewers last season as the two “johnny come lately’s”.

And, ditto Deirdre @ 7:51 am – I’ve always felt like having a bunch of “bullies” voting for the joke contenders, essentially taking votes from much better singers, may have cost some pretty good contestants their spots on the show, and who knows, maybe even a win and record contract!

I sure do miss Rick’s countdown – he must really be busy, or so disgusted with the Nikki M thing, he’s maybe just given up(?).

Woodpappy

January 15th, 2013
9:09 am

This VFTW guy seems to be a real loser. Glad he’s disappearing.

Mercedes S.

January 15th, 2013
9:14 am

Morning!

Agree with posts from Deirdre and Seth. And what has the VFTW guy accomplished? Huge interest in song contests, “Glee”, “Smash” and “Nashville” – and high schoolers flocking to glee clubs. So take a bow, DDT!

Mercedes S.

January 15th, 2013
9:17 am

And I don’t mean the pesticide.

Wink

January 15th, 2013
9:32 am

The thing I don’t like about any of these “talent” shows is it’s just karaoke on TV. I would rather watch a show that had people doing original songs so I could see their “art”.

Mercedes S.

January 15th, 2013
10:03 am

Wink, that show wouldn’t draw much of an audience… people want the tried and true. At least that’s what the producers and advertisers believe.

Deirdre

January 15th, 2013
10:18 am

One of the reasons I like Idol is that the singers perform songs that are familiar to me. I like hearing some of my favorite music sung by new voices.

Also, some of the best singers in the world don’t write their own songs. I would rather not narrow down the available singers to singer/songwriters.

Sam-A

January 15th, 2013
10:25 am

I like to hear familiar songs as well, and it’s easier to recognize a good performance if you know what the song is supposed to sound like, at least for me. Also can tell if the singer respects the song.

JTesla

January 15th, 2013
10:31 am

Idol stinks, they will cancel it after season 4.

G

January 15th, 2013
11:52 am

Interesting comment by Dierdre @ 10:18am. Just curious if you have a lot of favorite / familiar songs that are current hits vs classic oldies.

Idol has a lot of “oldschool” themed shows. It’s good if you believe most of the best music is at least 20 years old. But it can get stale when some of the same songs season after season pop up. Music has changed a lot in 20-40 years, and not all of the hits today are bad. That affects keeping a fresh and younger viewership too. I could be wrong in my assessment, but jmo.

Pitchy

January 15th, 2013
12:06 pm

Ummm, I’ve never heard of the site. So, with that being said, proof that it’s not even relevant since lovely me hasn’t heard of it…I kid, I kid, but I’ve never heard of it.

I like to hear familiar songs as well, and it’s easier to recognize a good performance if you know what the song is supposed to sound like, at least for me. Also can tell if the singer respects the song.

I AGREE!!!!

Good afternoon!

Sam-A

January 15th, 2013
12:39 pm

G: Old School for me, or “when music was actually music”, ie Beatles, Stones, Clapton, early Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond, Chicago, Blood/Sweat&Tears, Eric Burden, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Buddy Holly, Creedence, Aretha, Gladys, Tina T, Spinners, 4 Tops, Temps, lots of others. However, I am finding I like a lot of the newer “boppy” songs on the radio now, ie Train & Neon Trees; some Maroon 5, Adele, and of course, the great Ms Kelly Clarkson.

Deirdre

January 15th, 2013
12:51 pm

G, I have a number of current songs that I like very much but yes, many of my favorites classify as oldies. But then, music from the ’90’s is qualified as oldies now so it would be difficult for anyone to assume that I stick only with a certain era. I also am quite diverse in what I like. I don’t dismiss a genre because it isn’t my style…..it’s obviously somebody’s style or it wouldn’t exist. I come from a time when music was played on radios in an almost haphazard way. a 50’s song sung by Andy Williams might be played just before a Motown hit by the Supremes and directly after Cash’s I Walk the Line.

We didn’t worry about the genre or the time period the song was from. I don’t grumble about today’s music(at least not much) anymore that I label people who don’t listen to today’s music as old fogies or even “mainstream”

Idol gives it’s audience what it wants to hear. When the audience stops wanting to hear it then they will either change or congratulate themselves on a successful 12 year run and skip happily off to the bank.

My point is, whether the music is current or not, there’s no denying Idol’s success and it OBVIOUSLY has nothing to do(and maybe Everything to do)with the choice of music.

Harm

January 15th, 2013
12:55 pm

Idfol is still on?

Deirdre

January 15th, 2013
12:55 pm

Actually, let me just make one more point. When Idol first started, ALL the music was Old School. It is only in recent years that Idol has introduced some newer stuff to their repertoire….and yet, Idol is STILL going downhill. Not because of the music choices, not because of the talent level but because it has been around a LONG time and people have moved on.

Harm

January 15th, 2013
12:56 pm

Or Idol even.

Pitchy

January 15th, 2013
1:34 pm

Mercedes S.

January 15th, 2013
2:29 pm

Sam-A – you like Neon Trees.. what about their felloe Utahans, The Killers?

Willie Lump Lump

January 15th, 2013
2:53 pm

Just get all worked over it already. Neon Trees suck btw….as do one hit wonder album killers.

Po' Diddly

January 15th, 2013
2:54 pm

Goodness!

Seth T has REALLY thought about this.

Sam-A

January 15th, 2013
2:56 pm

Don’t know The Killers, but cannot get that song “Animal” off my mind – walk around all day singing “Here we go again” and “Uh oh….”. Also loves “Everybody Talks”. And both are along the same lines as Train’s “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” and “Drive By” – catchy tunes, fast, cool lyrics. Forgot to add The Fray to my list of ones with some songs I love (”How To Save A Life” – still love it).

That said, I’m thinking maybe it was The Killers who were on Ellen a couple months ago, that I thought sounded pretty good. More like old time Rock and Roll! I’ll have to go to Ellen page and see if they’ve been on the show recently.

JaimeK

January 15th, 2013
3:22 pm

Rodney will you do the 4th installment of your list of the ‘most successful Idols’ thru 2012? Seems you did it around this time last year. Curious…..

Woodpappy

January 15th, 2013
3:42 pm

Hey Harm…..Welcome back.

Sam-A

January 15th, 2013
3:46 pm

Aren’t there 2 different “Harm”’s or am I confusing that with someone else?

Sam-A

January 15th, 2013
3:55 pm

Mercedes: The Killers Perform ‘Runaways’ – Published on Sep 28, 2012 by TheEllenShow. One of Ellen’s favorite bands were here for the first time and performed their new ……

I remember liking that band.

Sam-A

January 15th, 2013
4:49 pm

Well, guys, we’re down to 27 hours! Good night all.

Harm

January 15th, 2013
8:35 pm

I think I’m the only Harm.

Mercedes S.

January 15th, 2013
10:35 pm

Sam-A, The Killers have a whole album, “Battle Born”, full of great songs. “Runaways”, “Flesh and Bone”, “Here With me”, and my favorite, “Miss Atomic Bomb”.

Sam-A

January 16th, 2013
8:52 am

And, finally – here we are just a few hours from the show. NM was on Ellen yesterday, and acted a little bit “civilized” – but she does a whole lot of giggling and silly stuff, and whines in a little-girl nasally voice, so I’m expecting very little from her. She did say if “anyone” said something “stupid”, she might have to get nuts with them. She kept saying “it’s about the talent, not the judges” – Uh huh!

Keith U was on Monday – he said he thinks everyone will get along ok. Hope he’s right.

Pitchy and K&CF: Man, “PLL” is getting really good! I hope the preview means Spencer catches her creepy boyfriend – I’m tired of looking at his ugly face! And hope Aria tells her Mom about her Dad!

Deirdre

January 16th, 2013
9:05 am

Morning!

“Everyone will get along ok” as long as the ratings are good.

Idol 2013! The Year of the Snark! Bring it on!

Woodpappy

January 16th, 2013
9:11 am

Alright….Now we get started. Bring it on.

Mercedes S.

January 16th, 2013
9:14 am

Competing with Idol tonight – the first episode of “Big and Rich in Atlanta”… one of the mother-daughter couples has been installed next door to me in a spec house the builder can’t sell.

Sam-A

January 16th, 2013
9:17 am

Mercedes: Lucky you! Wonder just how much disturbance you’ll find from the camera crews, etc. Crazy that this duo apparently doesn’t have a home “nice” enough to film – and just shows how fake most of the “reality” shows really are.

G

January 16th, 2013
10:29 am

@Sam-A and Deirdre. Excellent feedback to my inquiry. I have some of the same oldies as you too. Mix in a little of The Platters, Moonglows, James Brown and Chicago……I’m all over the place.

As long as Idol keeps old familiar tunes around with a healthy mix of current songs, I’ll stick around. Even for me, I’m not as in tuned with the current music as I used to be. Auto-tune is killing the industry.

Mercedes S.

January 16th, 2013
10:47 am

Sam-A “just shows how fake most of the ‘reality’ shows are – you said it. They do have their own home, the only use the empty house next door to pretend they are “big and rich”.

Sam-A

January 16th, 2013
11:31 am

I find myself getting excited as the day moves on – just setting myself up for bitter disappointment, I fear. I’ve always liked the auditions (at least the first couple weeks – then seems never-ending), both the little gems that pop up (lovely Michael Johns case in point), and some of the crazies, like Tameka from first season – Simon kept calling her Tam-aka, and she kept correcting him. When she was shown the door, said (to the effect) “Paula is ok, that Simon don’t know what he’s talking about, and that fat black bas-t-ard at the end is crazy” -I laughed so hard I was crying. Poor Randy.

Sam-A

January 16th, 2013
12:34 pm

new thread up

G(c)

January 18th, 2013
4:37 pm

Where’s everybody?

Rodney Ho

January 18th, 2013
4:39 pm