January 25th, 2010
05:10 PM ET

'Idol' scoops up 'Pants' site months before show

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(Editor's Note, Tuesday, January 26, 6:10 p.m. ET: FremantleMedia has responded to this blog post. See the company's statement at the bottom of the entry.)

It appears that “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell wasn’t the only one who suspected “Pants on the Ground” would become a hit.

According to information on GoDaddy.com, the domain name pantsontheground.com was snapped up in November and registered to Patrick Lynn.

Lynn is a supervising producer for “American Idol” - and the URL now links to “Memorable Auditions” on “Idol’s” official Web site.

The timing of the registration of the domain name is interesting given that the performance of the song did not hit the airwaves until January, when it promptly went viral.

A receptionist at the “Idol” offices confirmed that Lynn is indeed a producer on the show, but referred all other questions to FremantleMedia, "Idol's" production company. The company's Manfred Westphal responded to CNN's questions Tuesday.

FremantleMedia responds:

"Since the start of AMERICAN IDOL, contestants have tried to register their name, original song or website, only to find out its been registered by someone else, who then tries to sell it back to them for a huge profit.  It happens to contestants who go to the Top 24 all the time,” said Manfred Westphal, SVP of marketing and communications for the show’s production company, FremantleMedia North America.

“Knowing this - and not sure whether or not Mr. Platt had the resources to register the song title - Mr. Lynn used his own account on godaddy.com to registered 'Pantsontheground.com' and protect the domain for Mr. Platt.  He’s been trying to reach him ever since his episode aired but his voicemail message box is currently full.  Regardless, it is there for Mr. Platt, and as soon as Mr. Lynn hears from him, he will transfer the rights accordingly ... and at no cost to Mr. Platt.”

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Raven

    I hope the General doesn't get screwed either. Yes, this show is definitely "staged". Those 8,000 people that show up don't get to see the judges. They have to go through several screening processes in front of producers and the like. Then, if they are found to be good or just good for ratings they get in to see the judges. Even then, the judges are informed before hand of what to expect from the next person coming in. Simon and the others knew before the General walked in that he was over age, but that his audition was going to get the high ratings. I still love watching it though.

    January 26, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ellen

    Idol definately did let Mr. Pratt go through obviously because of the song and because of his charming personality, how can you not love "The General"! They did that so the song would become a hit and people would just adore hearing it. It is a catchy sond and my girls and I sing it all the time. My 9 year old even remembers Renaldo Lapuz with his You Are My Brother, adults cannot even remember that one. He will get compensated just like Mr. Lapuz and William Hung. He deserves it. The producers let people go through that apparently have no talent whatsoever, but it makes watching the auditions fun. Idol is not staged, but they do put people on the show that they want, but they do not control the people who come and audition. No matter how they do it tens of millions of people watch!!!!!!!!! We have not seen the last of "The General"!

    January 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Trish

    Unfortunately, if he signed a waiver or he didn't copyright his song they can take it and not give him a dime, but that hung kid didn't get screwed so hopefully Mr. Platt doesn't either.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    I agree ... Isnt the cutoff age 27? Does he look 27? Don't think so... and yea, for a video to go viral and a domain name to be scooped up prior to air is pretty bad. I agree with Debbie. I hope Mr. Platt gets something for his efforts, however he may have been compensated already with this nice little charade.

    January 26, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Debra R

    Just goes to show you how fake Idol really is...letting a man they knew was overage perform...and snagging the domain name....

    January 26, 2010 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Debbie

    I think it is a shame if General Larry Platt does not receive any compensation for his song. I have always believed that American Idol is staged and some of the performers are not truly "amateurs," I guess its what the audience wants and some believe anything that is aired of TV.

    January 26, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike H.

    Weren't the tryouts held a few months ago? I don't see why it would be odd that the domain name was scooped up in November.

    January 26, 2010 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |

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