Are Female Voters Ousting Female American Idol Contestants?

After front-runner Pia Toscano was eliminated from American Idol Thursday night, people are drawing one simple conclusion: teen girls are responsible for this.

"The overwhelming skewing of the males lasting much longer than the females over the past couple of seasons is definitely there, and not just with the teen girls, but the older women who get really wrapped up in the show, too," said Jim Cantiello, who covers 'Idol' for MTV.

"A lot of fans and 'Idol' bloggers have done their own independent research and have noted that once texting became a big thing on 'Idol,' a lot of the females were going earlier."

Well, women do love their texting! And the only thing they love more than texting is apparently backbiting, so when you combine the two, someone's getting eliminated!

According to the article, all five of the contestants who have been voted off this season have been women, leaving only two females in the Top 8 and six males.

Richard Rushfield, author of "American Idol: The Untold Story", interpreted these numbers like so:

"Every piece of evidence says that the 'Idol' electorate is overwhelmingly female, and women don't seem to vote for women on 'American Idol," he said. "This season has been enormous, but it's been the case every year for about four years now that the 'Idol' voting has turned into this sort of popularity contest of your favorite cute boy."

Adedapo addressed that phenomena after she and Megia were cut last week during a double elimination resulting from the judges using their save the week before for contestant Abrams.
"When it comes down to it, the reality is that more than 50 percent of the audience is little teenage girls, and once they get a crush, we're done," Adedapo told The Hollywood Reporter.

It's fairly easy to make statements like, "Teen girls are so boy crazy that they don't care about talent, they just love watching cute guys! Hooray!", because almost no one will disagree with you. It's an easy straw to reach for.

Fortunately, people like Brian Mansfield, who blogs about the show for USA Today, doesn't see this as the only available straw:

Mansfield said he doesn't buy into the lack of women voting for Toscano as the reason for her shocking exit, which elicited boos from the audience and a social-networking explosion of disbelief. He said he believes it is more complex than simply a lack of girl power.

"As I think back to what my readers typically said about Pia, I saw a lot of respect for her, but I didn't necessarily see a lot love for her," Mansfield said. "I think everybody pretty much assumed that she would be in the Top 3, but most of them had another favorite."

Cantiello, Rushfield and Mansfield all pointed out the judges are also culpable in Toscano being sent home as they praised her stellar singing voice each week without hammering home her lack of stage presence until it was too late.

Mansfield also blamed a lack of strong opinions formerly offered by judge Simon Cowell, saying that the current judges "are trying to nurture everybody and give that constructive criticism that a lot of the hard-core viewers of the show have said that they wanted," leaving the audience with little guidance as to who to keep and who to eliminate.

Several former American Idol contestants have also spoken out (via Twitter) in Toscano's defense saying:

"I can not believe they just eliminated Pia! ReAlly..????," Tweeted Jennifer Hudson whose seventh-place finish the third season still has fans crying foul. "Long as she walked away with that voice she will be alright !! Just hate to see talent like that go!"

Rocker Chris Daughtry finished fourth in season five despite being favored to win and Tweeted "What the crap!!?? I thought Pia was THE best singer on the show this year!"

Hmm. It seems odd that Hudson and Daughtry would fail to mention that this was definitely the work of maniacal teen girls, when it so obviously was.

That said, Toscano is certainly more than "alright". She signed a record deal this morning. I guess those teens will have to cook up a new scheme to stop this girl in her tracks.

Does 'American Idol' have lady problems? [CNN]