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But tampering with the votes is hardly an ethical or effective solution; why allow viewers to vote at all unless you're going to heed their voices?

"The X Factor" certainly courted controversy by allowing the judge-mentors to eliminate or save contestants every week after the public vote, but that system apparently works, since the judges had no input into the final results, and Melanie Amaro still wound up beating two WGWGs, Chris Rene and Josh Krajcik.

Individuality and originality didn't help Crystal Bowersox, and powerhouse vocals didn't sway voters towards Jessica Sanchez, so what does a woman (or gay man, or person of color) have to do to wrest the title away from the crooning pretty boys?

It is perhaps more telling that "Idol's" nearest rivals, Simon Cowell's "The X Factor" and NBC's "Voice," don't seem to have the WGWG problem.

Scotty's doing well on the country side, with ACM and ACA wins, but the rest are lucky to have scraped up a Teen Choice surfboard on their way up the ladder.Learn more, including about available controls: Cookies Policy.Last night, America crowned Phillip Phillips, the 21-year-old pawn shop worker from Georgia, as the latest "American Idol." This should've come as a surprise to exactly no one, given that Phillip is now the fifth in an uninterrupted line of "White Guys With Guitars" who have snagged the coveted crown over the past few seasons.But female empowerment falls by the wayside when there's eye-candy to admire, apparently.It's common knowledge that "Idol" voters only have themselves to blame for their baffling (and sometimes tone-deaf) voting habits, but what sort of messages are we, as a society, sending to that core demographic to have these patterns so deeply embedded?

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