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Speculation varied from on-air substance abuse to accusations that the producers were fixing the contest. Cell Phone Gate Since Clay Aiken's defeat, nothing has sparked as many conspiracies theories as Adam Lambert’s season 8 loss to Kris Allen.
Paula later explained that a last-second change of format had led to the confusion. Lambert’s fanatical following believed that "Idol" sponsor AT&T had handed out special phones at "Kris-boosting" parties in Arkansas that allowed recipents to place huge numbers of calls.
Clark was given a chance to explain on the air before he was sent home to face the music (he ultimately pleaded no contest and was sentenced to six months probation).
Getting one last moment on the Idol stage did little, however, to assuage Clark’s sense of injustice at being disqualified. Accusations of voter fraud would become the permanent part of all "American Idol" finales, but a rare Seacrest flub in season two got the ball rolling.
But in many cases "Idol"’s audiences are more Catholic than the pope—so to speak—and have expectations of the singers above the formal requirements.
For many years, the scandals and controversies of the entertainment juggernaut were everywhere and everyone cared.
But in the last five years, "Idol" has fallen from the limelight, overtaken by it's many successors: "The Voice," "The X Factor," "America's Got Talent," etc.
January 2003 - May 2003"American Idol" contestant Corey Clark claimed to have had an affair with Abdul while he was competing in the second season of the show.
Abdul mostly refused to comment on the allegations, but Fox later announced that they'd launched an investigation and found "insufficient evidence" to back up claims that they were romantic.