Tuesday, November 27, 2007

dial idol

Jordin Sparks didn't win the sixth season of "American Idol" because she was the most consistent performer - that was pro ace Melinda Doolittle - or the showiest entertainer - hello busy beat-boxing runner-up Blake Lewis. The 17-year-old won, in part, because she lived up to her surname by applying the kind of bright-eyed "why not?" enthusiasm that only an overachieving teenager could to everything from moldy, aged melodramatic ballads to spunky contemporary rock songs. Even as she floundered through Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" she was obviously having fun and the most dial-happy viewers of "Idol" - teens likely doing a little vicarious living - rewarded her moxie.

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more stories like thisOn her self-titled debut, out today, Sparks and a cast of au courant pop producers combine that sense of sparkle, striving, and her powerful pipes for an age-appropriate, uniformly pleasant release that shouldn't disappoint those voters.

Unlike many of her "Idol" predeces sors, Sparks eschews the all-things-to-all-people approach. Instead her handlers wisely have her rotating on a dance-pop-soul axis in the vein of Beyonce, Nelly Furtado, and Christina Aguilera. It's going to take Sparks a little while longer to establish a creative identity in a way those women have - she's a little too formless vocally here - but the potential is obvious.

As has been the case for a few years, the Norwegian songwriting/production team billed as StarGate shows a real flair for wedding analog instrumentation to digital cool on "Just for the Record," which should be a ubiquitous smash on the order of "Irreplaceable." The songs share a formula: a sing-song melody that adheres instantly to the brain, a leisurely groove punctuated by clap-beats and twitchy percussion, and an almost country-style guitar riff. "Record" has the added bonus of a winding whistle in the background that adds to the sunny day, forward momentum. It may be a template, and one they use to less shiny effect on first single "Tattoo," but it's a cookie cutter that offers reliably pleasing shapes.

Considering the magic wielded by Bloodshy and Avant on Britney Spears's latest album, it's no surprise that the duo's work sounds even more buoyant here with a gifted vocalist working the lite funk-disco numbers - copping swagger and stomp from Prince and Giorgio Moroder - that is their trademark. The only gripe is they could've allowed Sparks the vocal room Moroder afforded Donna Summer because, although a certain chill is necessary for these synth-driven tracks, she skews to the robotic side on songs like "See My Side."

The Underdogs provide Sparks and duet partner Chris Brown a polished platform for the wistful ode to teen heartache "No Air," and "High School Musical" songsmith Robbie Nevil offers the curlicue pep of "One Step at a Time."

The album deflates quickly at the tail end as two sore thumb ballads, the cringe-inducing "empowerment" anthem "God Loves Ugly" and her mediocre "Idol" song "This Is My Now," offer vocal gymnastics and nothing else.

On "Just for the Record" Sparks declares that she's "smart enough to stay right where I belong." This debut backs up that statement.

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Screen shot of DialIdol software
Author: James Hellriegel Jr.
Latest release: v3.4.0.0
OS: Windows ME/2000/XP/2003/Vista
Website: http://www.dialidol.com

DialIdol is both the name of a computer program for Microsoft Windows and its associated website that tracks voting trends for American Idol contestants. The program allows users to automatically vote for the American Idol contestants of their choice using their PC's modem. The program then reports back to the main website, which keeps track of the results based on the percentage of calls for each contestant that result in a busy signal. DialIdol assumes that more busy signals means more callers are attempting to vote for that contestant.[1] DialIdol was created during the fourth season of American Idol and was released to the public at the start of the fifth season.

Users can choose to vote equally for their chosen contestants, choose to keep certain contestants "safe" (by voting for their chosen contestant who is ranked the lowest), or choose to keep certain contestants "unsafe" (by voting for the lowest-ranked contestant who is not on their list).

In addition to American Idol, the software may also be used to vote for Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. In 2006, DialIdol also supported Celebrity Duets and Canadian Idol.

1 American Idol predictions
1.1 Season 4 predictions
1.2 Season 5 predictions
1.3 Season 6 predictions
2 Controversy
2.1 Legal challenge
2.2 Contestant rankings
2.3 Power dialing
3 References and notes
4 External links

[edit] American Idol predictions

[edit] Season 4 predictions
With a limited number of callers in Season 4, DialIdol claimed an accuracy rate of 65%.[2] Contestants Constantine Maroulis, Scott Savol, and Anthony Fedorov each were listed second to last in the weeks that each was eliminated. DialIdol correctly predicted that Vonzell Solomon would be eliminated in the week with 3 Idols, and also correctly predicted in the final week of the season that Carrie Underwood would win over Bo Bice.[3]

[edit] Season 5 predictions
DialIdol was 87% accurate for Season 5 of American Idol. The accuracy climbed substantially when the formula for weighting the busy signal ratio was altered to reflect the U.S. population distribution (higher weight for the results from the Eastern and Central time zones than for the rest of the country).[4] This formula was first put to the test on April 6, 2006; as a result, the newly-weighted results correctly listed the bottom three contestants, in order, hours before the official results show. The correct prediction spawned national attention as a result.[5][6]

By the middle of the season, the show's producers added additional phone lines for each contestant sooner than ever before in the show's history (final six). DialIdol successfully incorporated the additional lines into the overall calculations and released a new version of the software with a refined formula on May 9, 2006. Following these changes, the site correctly predicted Chris Daughtry's elimination on May 10, 2006[7][8] as well as Elliott Yamin's elimination on May 17, 2006.[9] In the final week of American Idol Season 5, DialIdol also predicted that Taylor Hicks would win over Katharine McPhee.[10]

Below is a table of DialIdol's predictions for season 5:[11]


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