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Is this, too, considered a form of grifting?

October 11, 2008

It has come to my attention that Ms. Kristy Lee Cook, aka the blond who came to Idol with a killer body, no horse, terrible fashion sense, terminated recording contract and credits including a Skinamax-inspired dental commercial, was shilling for “gifts” during the AI Tour, even offering a prize for the fan who came up with the best present.

Here is her MySpace post dated 8/23:

I HAVE ON MY PERSONAL MYSPACE A SCRAP BOOK COMPETITION.!!!!
BEST SCRAPBOOK WINS A AUTOGRAPHED 8X10, A SIGNED HAT, AND A GIFT CARD.
SO IF YOU WANT TO BE IN IT, THEY HAVE TO BE IN BY SEPT 13TH, THE END OF TOUR YOU CAN EITHER GIVE THEM TO ME WITH ALL YOUR CONTACT INFO, MAILING ADDRESS AT THE SHOWS..

****ALSO THIS IS NEW BUT I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING FUN AND KEEP YOU GUYS BUSY ! SO I AM GOING TO HAVE A BEST GIFT CONTEST. I AM GOING TO KEEP A BOOK WITH THE GIFTS I GET AND WRITE DOWN WHAT IT WAS AND THE CONTACT INFO (MAILING ADDRESS) AND WHOEVER GETS THE BEST GIFT GETS A PRIZE.!
SO HAVE FUN AND HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE SHOWS! I JUST FIGURE IM GETTING ALL THESE GIFTS WE MIGHT AS WELL DO SOMETHING FUN IN RETURN RIGHT?
SO THERES A FEW THINGS TO KEEP YA’ALL BUSY HOPE YOU HAVE FUN AND HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON..!!
THANKS GUYS AND GALS!

KLC

Ok…she was asking for scrapbooks. At some point in my postings about the various gifts Idol fans give their favorites, I think I pointed out that little homemade things aren’t even in the same category as Kindles, laptops, video cameras, et al…

She also promises a prize in return…but she was asking for scrapbooks, right? Is this considered “begging for gifts”?

But wait, as Stoner S pointed out in the comments thread, she starts a new paragraph regarding the BEST GIFT competition. So this is separate from the scrapbooks? Hmmm, very interesting.

I’m not sure what the prize was, and as of 9/22, it does not seem that anything had been awarded, judging from a comment on her MySpace blog:

Kristy did you forget about the competition

Did Kristy ever award the scrapbook competition prize to the winning scrapbooker? And was she out of line in asking for such things? Since we’ve spent so much time concentrating on those illustrious Castros and Castrofans, I would like to bring up some other instances of Idol gift-giving.

And what sort of prize was she going to give to the winner of this BEST GIFT competition?

While I have made it clear I have always wanted to dislike Kristy Lee more than I actually do, I have little knowledge about how the things Idol contestants are given from their fans. I have heard Carly Smithson received a video camera from some of her fans, and Ramiele was rather blatent in asking for a guitar at one point in the tour. I’m not sure what Brooke White received, although I’m hoping someone had the good sense to buy her a muzzle.

What I will say in semi-defense to some of these female Idol contestants, it must kind of suck to see their male counterparts take home bags and bags full of goodies, gift cards, guitars and other items from their almost entirely female fan groups at every stop on the Idol tour. Male Idol contestants develop much larger cult-like followings than the females. While it is definitely in the poorest taste to even request gifts, a scrapbook seems a bit different, perhaps. Yes? No?

If anyone has any information regarding the illustrious gift giving drives that may or may not take place during the Idol tour, of any season, PLEASE let me know. Even if this is a trivial matter, it is a discussion about ethical behavior from (pseudo) celebrities. Can people make the same defense that these gifts are no different from the expensive gift bags give out at red carpet events? Or are they different since they are purchased by individual fans?

What do YOU think?

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. SPOON! permalink
    October 12, 2008 9:11 pm

    What the heck? I wrote in the coding style with spaces and it didn’t show up? LMAO! πŸ˜€

  2. SPOON! permalink
    October 12, 2008 9:09 pm

    This is the full link without coding:

    http://www.mindfully.org/Technology/2005/Cookies-Spyware-Definition14jul05.htm

    I used the style of coding. What works with WordPress?

  3. TopIdol permalink
    October 12, 2008 9:00 pm

    Shall I link to http://www.mindfully.org?

  4. SPOON! permalink
    October 12, 2008 8:55 pm

    The link didn’t show at all. The source for my quote is from mindfully.org. If TopIdol fixes it, you can read the full article if you are inclined.

  5. SPOON! permalink
    October 12, 2008 8:47 pm

    These are not just benign cookies. They are spy-ware tracking cookies that my spy-ware programs have defined at medium to high risk. It happened every time I would go there even just to view one page on a link.

    Quote: “Cookies are small text files that Web-site operators β€” and third-party companies that insert ads into Web sites β€” place on a user’s computer. Many types of cookies are harmless or even helpful. For instance, a cookie might help a Web site remember your preferences for what news topics you chose to see. With your permission, it might store your login information, so you don’t have to type it in each time you visit a particular site. Antispyware programs aren’t designed to detect or remove these helpful cookies.

    Tracking cookies shouldn’t be confused with these other cookies. They have no user benefit except the vague promise that the ads you get as a result may be better tailored to your interests.

    What is spyware? There are many definitions, but here is mine, in two sentences. Spyware β€” and a related category called adware β€” is computer code placed on a user’s computer without his or her permission and without notification, or with notification so obscure it hardly merits the term. Once installed, spyware and adware alter the PC’s behavior to suit the interests of outside parties rather than those of the owner or user.

    “Examples of spyware and adware include programs called “browser hijackers,” which reset the home page or search engine used by your browser so the user is diverted to the sites of the spyware and adware companies or their clients. Others record your activities and report them to outside parties. Still others push ads in your face, even when you aren’t using the Web.”

    Source

    Websites that insert these type of malicious cookies get paid to do so.

    TopIdol, please be a love and fix my link if I didn’t write the coding correctly would you? TYIA

  6. A fan permalink
    October 12, 2008 7:52 pm

    Spoon, all sites leave cookies on your PC. They are benign. However Idolforums is riddled with trojans and worms and should be treated cautiously because of that. A cookie will not harm your computer. It’s a tiny text file, that’s all.

  7. SPOON! permalink
    October 12, 2008 1:50 pm

    Heather, if you lurk on idolforums a lot you will need to run a good anti-spyware scan afterwards. I quit going there after I found out the site would install a tracking cookie everytime I was there.

    If you do not have this software there are several good programs available on line for free. SUPERAnti Spyware, Ad-Aware, and a-squared Free are all good programs. You can google the names and find them easy.

  8. Heather permalink
    October 12, 2008 11:51 am

    i am a frequent idolforums lurker and i was there when the idea to get carly a video camera came about. she never asked for it. the fans thought that if they got her a camera she would make vlogs like the other girls. judging from the lack of vlogs from her…i don’t think she wanted it that bad. if someone would have asked for a camera, they would have put it to use by now. i can’t speak for anyone else but carly never asked for gifts.

  9. Rachel permalink
    October 12, 2008 9:31 am

    Hahaha! Who the fuck would ever be jealous of Sherry? She’s a pathetic old bag (in need of a serious eye lift) who is stalking a young boy. She shows up everywhere with her orphanage poster, and then she worries that her orphans will be in jeopardy because of the talk about her on the Internet…which SHE caused! She’s a lunatic. No one is jealous of her, unless they need a straight-jacket.

  10. lmao permalink
    October 12, 2008 1:11 am

    Hahaha from the horses mouth to the horses ass, makes no difference all of YOU are obsessive. You can only fixate on one thing… Jason Castro. Doesn’t matter what your BLOG title is, some how you all go back to Jason and obsessing what his fans do for him or what he does for them or what they want to do to him. Your BLOGS are obsessive about them being obsessive. I find it all very strange and laughable that everything you claim they do, you do, but from the opposite end. this must be the glass is half empty focal group right.

    Oh and then for good measure you throw in some foul mouth wacko to make everyone’s hair stand on end. Why are you all so obsessed with this Sherry chick really? Heads up to an outsider looks a little like jealousy.

  11. HAA HAA permalink
    October 12, 2008 12:14 am

    Funny how there’s only one Cashtro tard relentlessly ‘defending’ his Godness to us haterz. Sorry, not funny. Pathetic.

    He’s not going to fuck you, Sherry.

  12. toeachhisown permalink
    October 12, 2008 12:12 am

    I agree the female idols didn’t get the attention or the amount of gifts the male idols got. If you want humor you should read Syesha’s blogs. I think the girls got a little jealous of the boys.
    I actually don’t understand the gift thing either, but some fans really want to show their appreciation to their idol.

  13. TopIdol permalink
    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm

    Ha ha ha LMAO. It was her HORSE…not her house!

    I think you missed my point…there would have been a much larger donation pool and maybe even those “prayer threads”, much like those used for domain names, had it been Castro, or any other male contestants’ horse. They would have been more persistent in their pressure to buy back that damn horse.

    Female Idol contestants do not get the same type of ultra-devoted fan bases as their male counterparts do. Period. I even said it was a poor example to use. And any sort of gift requests are downright tacky, regardless of who the person may be.

    I never said I was clever. But I do have decent spelling skills.

  14. lmao permalink
    October 11, 2008 11:40 pm

    All your stories are “non-stories” you take snippets of things and think you are clever enough to fill in the blanks. Yet all you still come up with is yours and 10 others “opinions”, you know what they say about opinions don’t you? yeah there like assholes, everyone has one. A little more investigating and you might actually come up with the fact KLC fans were trying to buy her house back for her. In fact what you want isn’t even that hard to find. 1+1 is 2, 2+3 is 5

  15. TopIdol permalink
    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm

    As I said above, it must get rather annoying being a female on the Idol tour. Hell, how many men are hanging out at the shows in the hopes of banging you, even?

    If Castro would have sold his horse to get to the audition (a lame story, anyway, but I’m trying to make a point), many of his fans would have banded together to buy it back for an offer the current owner would have been hard pressed not to take.

    Should I post the link again where Babbling Brooke looks on in disgust as Castro receives a video camera? All of its stupid, but I guarantee, the female fan devotion to male contestants gets pretty damn old.

    Hee hee. I think I need to go watch KKKristy’s pre-Idol music video again. It always makes me giggle.

  16. SPOON! permalink
    October 11, 2008 9:31 pm

    KKKristy released a video prior to her appearance on AI7 that featured a rebel flag displayed prominently on the wall behind the bed she was lip syncing on. I’m just thinking she doesn’t have the pointiest hat at the meeting if you git my drift? πŸ˜‰

    Does this gift competition take KKKristy to the level of the Cashtro band of “Travelers?” It was tacky yes, but I wonder about her intention.

    After all of the ‘fans at the fence’ YouTube videos I have viewed from the arch-gackers, crock-heads, and cashtroll enablers… I don’t think I have seen one that showed a glimpse of her. Have you?

    I’m thinking: sad bid for attention that didn’t pan out. After all, didn’t crock get so disgusted with the rudeness of the Cashtro fans that he left and didn’t come back? Could this be KKKristy’s way of dealing with it? Isn’t that line-up at the fence just a gift train?

    I wonder what I would do if I were in her position and came out to sign autographs and I was bombarded with ‘where is, go get, go ask…’ What bid would you make to find out if anyone cared?

    I’m asking because the only reason this could have flown under the radar is that she is ultimately irrelevant and no one was paying attention. You know there have been several outrageous scandals by the AI Travelers (aka the cashtros) this past summer. I see this as a non-story, just like the DDB fans. Well, until they needed to tattle and act like cornered children. “KKKristy did it and you didn’t say nothing about her!”

  17. zeldasdobi permalink
    October 11, 2008 4:45 pm

    Stoner you are right. But, given KLC compared to the other AI who has a major PR problem with this, I am inclined to give her a pass. One goof up is nothing compared to those who continually hold out their hands for more more more!

  18. Stoner s permalink
    October 11, 2008 3:40 pm

    Zelda said-I suspect, in light of this, that she just wanted to keep fans involved and gave them something to do. How about planning release night parties, planning street teams. I really think she could have involved her fans in a way that did not have them competing with each other to give her the best gift.

  19. TopIdol permalink
    October 11, 2008 2:43 pm

    Stopping these people would be the logical thing to do, right? But I don’t see how they could actually enforce such a rule. Hell, as we’ve now seen, some contestants’ families are willing to take handouts.

  20. Stoner s permalink
    October 11, 2008 2:39 pm

    Actually, maybe American Idol should just put a stop to contestants recieving gifts by fans. It’s a win win. I’ve actually tried to find more info such as Carly’s video camera and others I’ve heard of most of the forums are private. My only point in this as that other idols we’re doing the samething even more blatently and not catching near the shit as JC. I have repeated over and over again that I believe his family is totally scandalous. But his family is not on the line here, they’re just bitches

  21. TopIdol permalink
    October 11, 2008 2:30 pm

    That’s another problem with this show — because these kids are supposed “plucked from obscurity”, people feel as if they “know them” and SHOULD give them things. I doubt anyone would consider buying say, George Clooney a gift. Hell, or even George Wendt. So why buy expensive gifts for American Idol contestants? I don’t get it. Why should they be gifted with such things when they can afford many of these things themselves — especially during and immediately following the tour (not to mention the freebies given by Idol sponsors during the show and subsequent tour). That’s just stupid. But ENCOURAGING gifts? Whether its is the contestants themselves or family members, it is absolutely pathetic and deplorable.

  22. zelda permalink
    October 11, 2008 2:24 pm

    Absolutely these are not about gifts (swag) that are given to celebrities by companies who get way more in return than the value of the gifts themselves. These gifts come out of the marketing department budget, for heaven sakes! This is to promote the company!

    KLC? As far as I know this is the only possible misstep regarding gifts that I have seen. I suspect, in light of this, that she just wanted to keep fans involved and gave them something to do.

    I have never seen her on the make with her fans by accepting increasing gift amounts over and over. Nor have I seen any news about her family and friends being gifted.

    Companies do not give up coffee or cut back on other things in order to donate money to a celebrity. Individuals definitely have done this.
    This IS taking advantage of people. Not everyone is balanced about things like this. Some will do anything to please the object of their devotion. A celebrity has an ethical duty to shut this behavior down by making a statement about gifts of a certain amount not being accepted (sent to charity, perhaps) and all cash should be donated.

    This would protect the fans AND the reputation of the celebrity. It is a win win situation.

    These things would stop the unbalanced from giving more than they can afford due to frequently unhealthy motives. (You cannot BUY a celebrity, no matter how much money you have).

  23. Rachel permalink
    October 11, 2008 2:19 pm

    I wasn’t aware of this. I’ve only followed Jason, although I had heard about the camera for MJ and the expensive boots for Cook.

    It’s pretty blatant holding a “best gift contest”. IMO KLC qualifies as a grifter for doing this.

  24. aego permalink
    October 11, 2008 1:09 pm

    After the extensive discussion of gifts given Castro, I’m glad to see the acknowledgement of the others not just receiving, but of requesting them. Some of the pics I’ve seen of the David’s hauls are shocking verging on discusting. Yeah castrotards have issues but SERIOUS looking at some of the others is a real eye-opener!

  25. Stoner s permalink
    October 11, 2008 11:48 am

    Well if she never gave the prize, the way I see that it just makes her a liar, because she had already set in motion a plan to get people to buy, bigger, more expensive gifts to win this illustrious prize, that now we find out they may never have even recieved.

  26. TopIdol permalink
    October 11, 2008 11:40 am

    Interesting…let me amend my original post. Heh heh…I love digging into this crap. I must be a sad, sad individual.

  27. Stoner s permalink
    October 11, 2008 11:35 am

    personally I think the scrapbooks we’re a seperate issue. She starts a new paragraph talking about prizes for the best gift.

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