Did 'Idol' Use Pia and Mark to Mess With 'The Voice'? If So, It Didn't Work
By Rob Shuter Posted Apr 27th 2011 02:15PM
Head-scratching TV insiders are wondering today, did 'American Idol,' which controls every appearance of every finalist with an iron fist, deliberately allow kicked-off Pia Toscano to appear on 'Dancing With the Stars' last night to mess with a competing talent show? We're of course talking about NBC's 'The Voice,' which debuted the same hour as 'Dancing' on ABC.
"Of course they did," one NBC producer not directly tied to 'The Voice' tells me. "'Idol' has not allowed any of its talent from the present season appear on 'Dancing,' and all of a sudden they book Pia!"
My industry source believes FOX may have been worried about another singing competition "stealing their thunder, so they did everything they could to sabotage it."
More importantly, 'The Voice' bested 'Dancing' -- which saw the departure of Chris Jericho -- in the 9-10 p.m. time-slot. Ouch!
Sabotage theories aside, Pia's performance was also great due to the rumors that she is dating professional dancer Mark Ballas, who performed while she sang. At the end of her number, host Tom Bergeron slighly asked Pia about her status with Mark. "He's a wonderful person," she replied.
"This was too good an opportunity to miss," a past 'Idol' winner who asked to remain anonymous tells me. "The connection between Mark and Pia was perfect to ensure great ratings for 'Dancing With the Stars' at the expense of the new show."
The former 'Idol' likens the show's efforts to take on its competition as a war game, adding, "If you think for one minute that the producers of 'Idol' are not thinking everything through like a chess game, then you don't understand why this show is such a monster success."
We only wish Simon Cowell's new competition, 'The X-Factor,' was debuting during an 'Idol' season. Now THAT would be war!
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