American Idol Launching 'Google Voting' Tonight, and 'Facebook Voting Trends' Next Week

American-Idol-Top-13-Season-13Speed-dialers, rest your fingers.

As American Idol‘s search for a Season 13 champ gets under way in earnest with tonight’s Top 13 performance episode (8/7c on Fox), the show is debuting a new voting methodology via Google Search.

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“Google Voting” will pop up on the Google search page whenever fans search Idol-related terms,  allowing them to place up to 50 votes with the click of a mouse — prior to the voting period ending at 10am PT on Thursdays. (Check out the sample screengrab below to see the format/layout of the Google Voting interface.)


Google Voting is one of five ways fans can stuff the ballot box — along with voting online at; via the American Idol App; via text messaging; and via toll-free calling — for Season 13.

What’s more, with the voting window beginning right at the start of performance shows this season, Idol will also be teaming up with Facebook to present “on-air visualizations” that will show real-time East Coast voting developments — including live “demographic voting trends and relative contestant rankings” — starting with the March 5 Top 12 performance episode. Fox reports that viewers will get a taste of the Facebook elemements during the “Save Me” performance on this Thursday’s results telecast.

Will you vote via Google? Do you like the idea of copping early looks at voting trends during the actual performance show? Hit the comments and share your thoughts! And for all my Idol-related news, interviews, recaps and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. deedee says:

    Oooh, I don’t like the relative contestant rankings aspect of this. It kills all the mystery.

    • ben says:

      I agree. Is the Facebook trends thing saying you can know who is coming last at any given time and react to it? It seems like this could really influence the outcome.

    • Fern says:

      Seconded. Bad singers usually get a boost in votes after they visit the Bottom 3, now they might get it before the show’s even over.

  2. linda says:

    The show is tanking and they r looking for ways to get ratings since la Lopez is eating all their money.

    • Var says:

      I don’t like seeing the early voting results but I’ll give it a chance. I read that Idol sunk 5-7 million into a new set design, are still paying two terminated producers, and the advertising revenue might be down. Supposedly the show will lose money this year but I’m not sure I believe that. It’s a much stronger year than last year due to production improvements and the quality of the singers, so I hope that viewers come back. Plus the Olympics are over.

      • Name That Tune says:

        We’ll learn more about how the viewers are responding to all these changes tonight. Idol was sitting at over 9 million viewers during the Olympics, which isn’t bad. If the ratings rise this week, there is still hope that the show may recover.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Yes, except one thing I would ad is that advertising revenue IS down, not might be down. Some are saying it’s just the Olympics, but the ratings numbers are showing some disturbing trends even pre-Olympics. The show is in freefall.. It’s too bad because I really like this year’s judging panel. Harry was a brilliant addition.

        • tealeaves says:

          Define freefall, please.

          • Angie_overrated says:

            Sure. Free fall defined as a premiere of 37 million viewers at its peak to 15 million now and dropping like a rock as I type this sentence. Check the ratings trends on Wikipedia. It’s ugly!

          • Tom22 says:

            Yes.. Prime Time singing competitions will very unlikely capture that Fad sort of mega fad focus Idol had for a few years.

            That doesn’t mean they can’t be on successfully for decades like Jay Leno or David Letterman etc. They are successful if people watch them and they draw more than the networks get most of their other nights of the week.

            When the shows end up being the lowest ranking product for a network druing and the think they have better alternatives it will be time for them to move on.

            Quitting just because of an eye on the past instead of an assessment of the present is just plain negative thinking.

          • Angie_overrated says:

            I’m basing my own judgment not with an eye on the past, but rather an honest assessment of the present. Despite the upgrade of the judging panel, the talent is abysmal. I haven’t watched last nights idol but from what I hear, it was worse than last week’s episodes and last week’s were painful. The ratings don’t lie. This season is a lost cause already, and I do sincerely hope they figure out how to fix it for 2015.

    • Timmah says:

      Yeah, I can’t believe they pay her all that money, especially when she didn’t help the ratings the last time she was on.

    • ben says:

      Yeah, that J Lo. Why can’t she just put her money in the bank like everyone else instead of eating it.

  3. Name This Tune says:

    Very interesting. I will be interested to see how this plays out for those of us who live west of the Mississippi River. I already catch most of the performances on Daily Motion before it airs in my time zone. Hopefully this means I can start voting before the show actually airs here.

  4. Paris says:

    If I had my way they would only allow phone voting and limit it to 10x per phone number. The results will be skewed again. Thanks for the info, now I can drop Idol from the must see list, again.

  5. Midori4 says:

    Starting next week the loser will be lit on fire and knifes thrown at them by a blindfolded clown.

    Fox I think has realized maybe one more year and that’s it and their comedies are dead, their new shows have fizzled and the network is in serious trouble.

    • ben says:

      People have been saying Fox thinks they have one more year of Idol since about season 9. It still rates perfectly well for them, frankly.

      • Angie_Overrated says:

        Not given the budget, it doesn’t rate well for Fox. If this were any other show, it would have been pulled from the lineup by now. They have to figure out how to align their expenses (i.e., J-Lo and Seacrest’s salaries) with the new reality that lower viewership means lower ad dollars.

        • ben says:

          I’m clearly not as familiar as you with how expensive the show was – but I would have felt that the amount it costs to produce is likely well lower than your average high rating scripted TV show. Not to mention the fact that it still has sponsors pumping in money.

        • ben says:

          But honestly, the world of American TV mystifies me lol. So I don’t really know.

  6. Thea says:

    With it working like this, people are going to vote for whoever they like based on previous performances before they even sing a note tonight. It’s going to come back and bite us smh…

    • Sugar says:

      I think you are right – at least tonight. We all feel strongly about at least one contestant at this point, but if that person doesn’t deliver and someone we did not expect to do well kills it…that could change the dynamics of how we vote in the coming weeks.

  7. Tiff says:

    A couple of thoughts:
    1) I like the idea of Google Voting – makes it easier for the average viewer to vote. I’ll be trying this tonight. I also like the idea that I can distribute my votes to a few of my favorites, not just one person.
    2) I do NOT like the idea of voting before people get a chance to sing – it’s unfair to the contestants. They deserve to at least get the chance to impress us.
    3) I REALLY don’t like the idea of seeing how the votes are going. I don’t think that’s fair to the contestants, either – if they see the votes, the contestants could be totally disheartened. Also, it skews things so that people can get their friends to power vote if their fave is behind.
    4) That said, because the votes are limited…this all might be moot anyway.

    • HT says:

      I disagree with you on number two. People vote for their favorites anyway and it eliminates the cons of performing first and the advantages of performing last.

  8. Lisa says:

    Google voting sounds like an easy target for hackers/bots/scripts….wonder who will benefit. Also the real time stats could get ugly. Imagine Lazaro Arbos’ fanbase if they saw how many votes he was getting. It sunk the X Factor when they revealed Tate Stevens has the most votes.

    • Name That Tune says:

      But again, you are limited to 50 votes per contestant. So your real-time vote is limited. If you really like a performance you can vote for it. And you can continue to vote for more than one contestant. It’s a great idea.

  9. darcy's evil twin says:

    I personally like the Google Voting idea!

  10. Danny says:

    This is another case where I feel technology is passing me by. I don’t get how to get to Google to vote. I mean I know how to get to Google, but do I google “American Idol” and the voting comes up? I spent 12 hours on Google Plus last night that I got to by accident. My YouTube wouldn’t work unless I filled out this form.

    I haven’t voted for anyone since Haley. This year if it’s as easy as going to Google I’ll give it a try. It’ll be interesting to see the totals. My votes will change from week to week. Right now I’ve got about a top 7 talent wise, with 2 Michigan girls making it a top 9. I’ll be voting for who I feel sang the best, even if it’s not my personal favorite.
    With all these ways to vote, they list them while the singers are performing. There’s like 1001 ways to vote for the person. I hope they don’t have those windows while they’re singing. I hope they keep that stuff for after the song.

    • Name That Tune says:

      From the picture I see, it looks much like the Facebook page and the page I have on the AI app I have on my cell phone. I would type in Google into whatever search engine you use (and so often you are forced into using Bing because Microsoft wants you to) and bookmark that page. When the show is actually on the air, google American Idol and see what happens. I don’t think you can access it until the show is airing.
      It should be fun!

  11. marie says:

    Whatever makes for easier, more convenient – bit still limited – voting is fine with me; that it’s being offered by Google suggests you may not need to sign in via Facebook to do so, which is also fine with me. Up to now, I haven’t been able to find a non-Facebook online or app voting method, which is a potential problem if you’re a resolute non-Facebook user like me (never get me started on how much I dislike Facebook). Happily, for as long as online/app voting has been available (did it start only last season?), my wife, who watches but is not interested in voting, has allowed me to masquerade as her and use her Facebook account to vote.
    Not sure I’ll like the real-time on-air voting-trend updates – sounds like that could get annoying/distracting, and after all, this is a TV reality-show singing competition, not a Presidential election! – but I’ll reserve judgment until I see how it goes.

  12. denise says:

    Do you have to pay to vote on this google idol? Even from a cel?

  13. gayle wyroba says:

    it is impossible to make a comment on american idol site, google site..I am tired of spending as i just did 40 min to fine a place to comment Contact us is a joke it answers with questions and no where to comment.
    Comment Majesty has Kristen’s Photo when you push to vote.
    I like the google vote set up it is easy and simple. Tonight was the first time I could get a vote in, but you need a comment area

  14. susan montoya says:

    Please explain exactly how to vote via google…..I CANT FIND IT

  15. Lissa james says:

    please help me I have been on the phone trying to figure out how to get on your Facebook page to vote and I just can’t do it could you please tell me step by step how to do it I love this show so much and you got the right to judge is this year keep them forever

  16. Robert says:

    Where is Jena Irene’s song…. Elvis’s, Falling in Love? Please don’t tell me his daughter is not gonna allow this to be purchased… Elvis would have been proud and honored to have someone sing such a beautiful, heart felt rendition of his song!