Vote for the Worst
Template:Infobox Website VoteForTheWorst.com (VFTW) was a website devoted to voting for the worst, most entertaining, most hated or quirkiest contestants on the Fox Network television series American Idol as well as the NBC Network television series The Voice. Smaller campaigns have also been started on the site for CTV's Canadian Idol, Fox's On the Lot and The Next Great American Band, NBC's America's Got Talent, and ABC's Dancing with the Stars. The website was started in 2004 during the third season of American Idol. Vote for the Worst also had a weekly radio show that has featured guests such as Ayla Brown, Trenyce, Leslie Hunt, Steffi DiDomenicantonio, Alex Wagner-Trugman and Todrick Hall. The site closed down on May 31, 2013.
- 1 History
- 2 Expansion to other shows
- 3 Reaction
- 4 VFTW-supported contestants
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Template:Double image Since the site's debut, Most VFTW picks have been male contestants. In the Dave Della Terza version, the site had six Idol wins with Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCrerry, and Phillip Phillips, the latter of the three defeated then-competing web site Vote for the Girls.
Since Della Terza's version ended and the Ava Zinn version (with Vote for the Girls), Vote for the Worst picks have only been male contestants, which are never revealed until the end of the competition. Zinn's version bans gay males (as M2F picks), lesbian females (as F2M picks), and most notably transgender females, as Vote for the Girls and Zinn's version of Vote for the Worst picks are evident when the Ava Zinn version began.
Dave Della Terza era (2004-2013)
VFTW started at the Survivor Sucks message board and moved to a Geocities website during season three of American Idol. The very first VFTW pick during Season 3 was Jennifer Hudson, dubbed "Boomquisha Santiago" or just "Boomie," during the semi-finals, but the site never picked her again as she improved in further weeks. When Hudson sang "Circle of Life" during finals, the camera went to a shot of Hudson's family members, with a cousin who sat with her arms folded while the others cheered. This cousin was dubbed "Whatevia," the namesake of VFTW's annual awards. The site began to upset regular Idol viewers with their support of John Stevens and Jasmine Trias, but it was largely unknown to the general public at this time.
During American Idol's fourth season, the site moved to its own domain name. VFTW gained its first bit of notoriety when Scott Savol outlasted Constantine Maroulis in the top 6 of Idol's fourth season and again appeared in the news when young crooner Kevin Covais made it to the top 11 in season five.
Season six of American Idol became a turning point for the website due to its support of candidates Antonella Barba and Sanjaya Malakar. Vote for the Worst was one of the first websites to break the story about Antonella Barba's racy online pictures. The site then made headlines by proving that the raciest pictures that appeared online (involving a Barba lookalike performing a sexual act) were not of Barba. After Barba and Sundance Head were voted out of the competition, Vote for the Worst selected Sanjaya Malakar as their pick. Malakar went on to last 6 more weeks in the competition, becoming a cultural phenomenon while gaining momentum along the way with support from celebrities such as Howard Stern. Entertainment Weekly called Malakar "the most popular Vote for the Worst candidate ever" and Malakar helped make Vote for the Worst a household name.
Season seven of American Idol saw the site stir up some major controversies. As the season began, Vote for the Worst posted a blog that season seven was being stacked with contestants with prior music industry experience and the controversy was picked up by news sources, including MTV, who decided to ask American Idol producer Ken Warwick about the issue. The site went a step further to also prove that Randy Jackson, a judge on American Idol, was the vice president of A&R at MCA Records while Carly Smithson, a season 7 contestant, recorded an album there. The second controversy started by the site was exposing contestant David Hernandez as a former gay stripper. Outside all of the controversies, Vote for the Worst supported Kristy Lee Cook during the time that judge favorite Michael Johns was eliminated, as well as Brooke White when more popular Carly Smithson was eliminated.
During season eight of American Idol, Vote for the Worst's longest running contestant was Megan Joy, a quirky singer from Utah who made bird noises. The site also posted pictures of popular contestant Adam Lambert kissing another man, leading the general public to question Adam's sexuality due to the fact that he had not discussed this topic on the show. Bill O'Reilly ran Vote for the Worst's pictures of Adam during a news segment, but the show cropped the pictures to eliminate the actual kiss.
During season nine, Tim Urban broke the record for Vote for the Worst's longest-running American Idol pick ever, as well as tying for longest pick ever with Jaydee Bixby of Canadian Idol Season 3. He remained their pick for nine weeks: from the top 24 to the top seven. He was eliminated in 7th—the same week as Sanjaya Malakar in Season 6. Michael Lynche was originally selected for Top 5 week, but after the performances, the website switched to Casey James, marking the first time the website had changed its mind on which contestant to vote for based on performance alone. VFTW chose Lee DeWyze for the finale, and he won. This supported VFTW's theory that a female will never win the show again. According to bloggers at VFTW, the seasons have resulted in "3, white, male, brunette, soft-rockers" winners in a row. It was also during that particular season VFTW began having competition on April 28, 2010 after Ava Zinn launched rival Vote for the Girls.
In January 2013, the site's creator, Dave Della Terza, announced that the site would be shutting down, but not before covering one final season of American Idol. The shutdown was planned for June 2013, though it was not specified whether the site would simply be discontinuing all updates and left behind as an archive, or whether it would disappear entirely. The last VFTW pick was Kree Harrison. The site was unsuccessful during season twelve as Lazaro Arbos was the last male VFTW pick until the top 6 which saw an all-female top 5 and finale; this was the same all-female finale in the very first VFTW season, when they selected Janelle Arthur.
Ava Zinn era (2014-present)
In January 2013, Della Terza announced that he would close the site. In May 2013, following Angie Miller's elimination, Vote for the Girls webmaster Ava Zinn made the announcement on AvaZinn.com she was acquiring VFTW. But in February 2014, when the site's domain name was nearing expiration, the previous webmaster renewed the site for another year. Zinn has said that she would redirect votefortheworst.com to Zinn's existing site Vote for the Girls with a Vote for the Worst section.
However, starting with the 13th season of American Idol, the Ava Zinn version of VFTW began.
Expansion to other shows
Because of the success of their American Idol campaign, Vote for the Worst has expanded its site to sometimes include other shows. The site helped support Casey Leblanc's 6 week run during Canadian Idol 3, Jaydee Bixby's unprecedented 9 week "worst" run from the final 10 to the final 2 during Canadian Idol 5, and the infamous Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars.
Vote for the Worst's mixed bag extends to other shows. The site has had some success with a group like Light of Doom during The Next Great American Band, but was unable to help others such as Boy Shakira during America's Got Talent.
Not all of the shows mentioned on VFTW are in a bad way. The site was a big fan of America's Best Dance Crew and supported Fanny Pak in season 2. There was also an unofficial group that supported Dynamic Edition in season 3. There was also an unofficial group that supported Poreotix during season 5. Also there was an unofificial group that supported ICONic Boyz in the finale of season 6.
As of April 2, 2012, VFTW officially began including The Voice on their main page, along with American Idol. The Voice was given its own forum thread and the supported contestants were also given a place on the site's main banner, making it the only show that has received these honors since American Idol and the site's conception. When X Factor debuted in the U.S. in September 2011, Vote for the Worst expanded to it. The very first pick for them was teenage rapper Astro who they carried from the Top 12 to eliminate the entire year's groups category up until his elimination in the Top 7. After that they switched to Chris Rene during the Top 5 who they brought into the finale only to finish third place. In season 2 they started the live shows with Lyric145 from the Top 13 to their Top 12 elimination. Afterwards they started to vote for CeCe Frey from the Top 10 to the Top 6 where she was eliminated. Their final pick for the season was Tate Stevens who would carry on the WGWG tradition. They started voting in the Top 4 and put him through to the finale where he won.
Reaction from American Idol
American Idol producers rarely acknowledge the site, but Nigel Lythgoe, an executive producer, did issue a statement, calling Vote for the Worst "a fly buzzing around a cow" during season six of American Idol to play down any press the site had received about being influential. In later seasons, Lythgoe has had a more playful repartee with the website, sending the site's Twitter account humorous tweets. Legal action has been threatened against the website from fans of American Idol, but to date neither Fox nor the series have issued statements regarding any lawsuits. Della Terza claims that lawyers involved with the program have contacted him twice about filing a lawsuit, but nothing has yet been filed against the site.
While many American Idol fans claim Vote for the Worst promotes hate speech and bullying on their message boards and online comments, some lesser known contestants from American Idol, have embraced the site. Josiah Leming, a contestant from season 7, is a member of the website and gave an interview to their weekly radio show. Chris Sligh, a season 6 contestant, gave a shoutout to site creator Della Terza during the top 11 performance show by saying "Hi, Dave." Sligh and fellow contestant Phil Stacey have also posted on the site's message board, along with many other former contestants. Season 7 finalist Amanda Overmyer has also been vocal about her support of the website. Even season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox, ironically the first pick of rival Vote for the Girls, has posted on American Idol's Facebook and Twitter that she loves VFTW.
Reaction from Vote for the Girls
One of the initial critics to give the site negative reviews was Ava Zinn; Zinn has attacked the web site and Della Terza since launching then-competing Vote for the Girls. In April 2010, VFTG launched a successful effort with the aforemtioned Bowersox. 
Various supported contestants of VFTW have generated controversy from Vote for the Girls's debut from American Idol seasons nine through twelve as the winner was been given to a seemingly good-looking white boy who plays the guitar – a trend that Idol pundits call the “white guy with guitar” or “WGWG” factor. Idol viewers and critics accused American Idol of having gender and ethnic biases, with some complaining about the predictability of the likely winner. Just hours before the season eleven finale, where Phillip Phillips was named the winner, Richard Rushfield, author of the book American Idol: The Untold Story, said, “You have this alliance between young girls and grandmas and they see it, not necessarily as a contest to create a pop star competing on the contemporary radio, but as…who’s the nicest guy in a popularity contest,” he says, “And that has led to this dynasty of four, and possibly now five, consecutive, affable, very nice, good-looking white boys.”. The moderator panelists on Vote for the Girls reacted negatively to Vote for the Worst's supported contestants (later "VFTG villains" picks) from appearing on Vote for the Girls until the after the finale of each competition, which generally were supported on VFTW until Vote for the Girls added "flexible picks" in 2015. Holly Everman criticized the site calling VFTW's moderators "cruel, cold-hearted people."
On the Lot
America's Got Talent
The Next Great American Band
Clash of the Choirs
America's Best Dance Crew
Dancing With The Stars
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
X Factor (UK)
X Factor (US)