Published: Thursday February 27, 2014 MYT 3:50:00 PM
Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 MYT 3:53:15 PM

Idol adds more voting channels

'American Idol' judges (from left) Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr, with host Ryan Seacrest and mentor Randy Jackson. -- AFP

'American Idol' judges (from left) Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr, with host Ryan Seacrest and mentor Randy Jackson. -- AFP

Fans of the reality show in the US can now vote online via Google and check live stats on Facebook.

Fox’s American Idol is giving fans a whole new level of access with Google voting and live Facebook voting trends starting on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Idol’s first-of-its-kind partnerships with Google and Facebook will provide new ways for fans to engage. The search engine will automatically offer the option to vote to anyone who’s searching Idol-related terms. This means that Idol now offers five ways to vote – Google Search, online at AmericanIdol.com, via the show’s app, text messaging and toll-free calling.

After voting, viewers will also be able to share their votes on social media, including on Google+, the ability to follow contenders, join in on conversations and Google Hangouts on the show.

The following day (Thursday’s elimination episode), Facebook joins the party. With the vote opening at the beginning of episodes now, Idol will present live voting stats and trends for the first time in its 13 seasons. Facebook will share real-time analysis of the East Coast votes in the United States, such as voting age and contestant rankings. On-air, the producers can use the stats as part of the broadcast. It could even pull in participating fans’ Facebook profile pictures as part of the broadcast.

These new interactive deals are a part of the show’s renewed emphasis on its live shows. Fox and producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment targeted the competition’s live shows as its focus for drawing viewers back into the show and cut the amount of episodes that were pre-taped in order to reach the show’s live episodes earlier in the season.

Its new executive production team has strong live event roots. Between them, they have directed or produced the Emmy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and Divas Live, among their many other live event credits.

“Live TV is the most interesting TV nowadays,” new executive producer Per Blankens told TheWrap. “We have to do the auditions ... we have to do the Hollywood shows and we love them, but we’re all looking forward to the live shows, we all want the live shows and so does the audience.” Last week, it premiered a whole new set with 360-degree capabilities, two stages and countless abilities for both grandeur and intimacy as the show’s producers and performers see fit. — Reuters

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, American Idol, Harry Connick Jr, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Seacrest, TV, Music

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