Sat, 26 Jan 2013 21:30:00 GMT | By Emma Jones
American Idol History X

Season 11: The one with the gender debate

Pia Toscano (© WireImage/Getty Images)
  • Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, American Idol (© Getty Images/Getty Images)
  • Sanjaya Malakar, American Idol (© WireImage/Getty Images)
  • Michael Johns and Carly Smithson (© MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters)
  • Adam Lambert and Kris Allen (© PHIL McCARTEN/Newscom/RTR)
  • Ellen DeGeneres (© MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters)
  • The judges of American Idol season 10 (© MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters)
  • Pia Toscano (© WireImage/Getty Images)
  • Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Ryan Seacrest, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson, American Idol, season 12 (© Getty Images Entertainment/Getty)
WireImage/Getty ImagesShow Thumbnails
Previous14 of 15Next
Share this Gallery

Though the judging lineup for season 11 remained constant, the show was beginning to gain a rep for gender bias after previous season favourite, Pia Toscano, was eliminated in a move so unexpected that even Tom Hanks became outraged in that genteel way that he does, tweeting: "Don't have an 'Idol' habit, but how could the USA vote Pia off? I may be done for the season!". This gender debate was later elevated when Phillip Phillips became the fifth consecutive male and white person to win the show, a phenomena now dubbed the "white guy with guitar" (WGWG) preference.

This concept was neither helped by Jermaine Jones' disqualification from 12th place for concealing arrests and outstanding warrants. He steadfastly denied hiding his criminal record, which led critics to accuse the show of staging the disqualification to boost ratings.