By now, most of us know that Ruben beat Clay in the finals of American Idol. Or did he? Fox will not allow inquiry into its voting process without a Federal warrant, so it's unlikely that the details or methods of the votes will ever face legal scrutiny, but all available outside information indicates that Clay was the true intended choice of their viewership, and by an overwhelming margin. USA Today's independent poll, after the final competition but before the final results were announced, showed Clay with a 68% to 32% advantage. Two of the nation's largest phone carriers, Verizon and SBC, report that their call volume during American Idol's 3 hour voting period was 216 million calls more than normal. Fox says that both contestants got rougly 12 million votes each. It appears that over 90% of intended votes were not recorded by Fox. What Fox had to have known was that the one phone number each they set up to take the votes for the two candidates was not anywhere close to sufficient to handle the call volume. They knew this because fans of the show had been complaining for weeks that they couldn't get through... and most of those complaining fans were fans of Clay Aiken. What Fox also knew going in to the final vote was that if there was a 12 million vote cap per line on the number of calls they could take, then of the 146 million votes intended for Clay and 70 million votes intended for Ruben, that a statistical tie of 12 million votes each was guaranteed, giving Ruben a 50-50 chance at winning, when he had virtually zero chance of winning otherwise. American Idol is a giant scam. Under the Fox scheme, the winner depended on variations in local phone service and the speed of their connections to AT & T. Therefore the network lied to its viewership when it said that the winner would be determined by America. Also, in its contract with its contestants, Fox reserves the right to name the winner, regardless of vote, if the vote difference is less than 100,000. When Fox deliberately forces a virtual tie by manipulating the phone votes allowed, it can pick just about anyone it wants, almost every time. The evidence that seals the deal, that Clay was the true fans' choice, involved some misrouted calls to Cinergy Communications in Indiana. Some ID codes on keypads in a number of new cell phones erroneously routed calls to Cinergy instead of AT & T, and Cinergy reports that of those calls 169,000 were votes for Clay, and only 72,000 were votes for Ruben. It would be very difficult to imagine a more valid statistical sample. The question, then, is WHY would Fox want Ruben to win? IMO, it would have been a public relations disaster for Fox if he hadn't. Fox was still stinging from the early exit last year of Tamyra Gray, in favor of Kelly Clarkson. They were determined this time to have a black man follow up last year's white woman, to hang onto the black viewership who had cried racism at Tamyra's unexpected departure. In this nation of stolen IMPORTANT elections, the Fox producers must have surely thought that any furor over their rigged American Idol process would be short-lived, and in that respect they were correct. However, I don't believe that TV networks should be allowed to run this type of scam, because they garnered advertising and phone call profits under false pretenses, i.e. the guise of a fair contest.