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"Idol" Voters: What You See, Not What You Get

3/19/2008 2:43 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If you voted for "American Idol's" Michael Johns last night, you could have been influenced by a performance that was never even in the show.


At the end of the show, just before the voting began, Ryan Seacrest threw to a tape with highlights from the contestants. Michael Johns actually seemed better than when he sang earlier in the show. Fact is, it was better, because producers used Johns performance from his rehearsal earlier in the day.

Interestingly, after Johns performed live on the air, Paula remarked that she heard Johns during rehearsal and he had been a lot better then. So voters were left with the impression Johns was better than he actually was.

Ditto David Archuleta the week before, when he forgot the lyrics to "We Can Work it Out." When "A.I." played the highlight tape at the end of the show, David was seen during his rehearsal, when he was much better.

"Idol" tells us the entire montage at the end of the show is of rehearsal footage -- they simply don't have the time to turn around that video using live performances.

Watch the video clips of the actual performances and the highlight tapes of Johns and Archuleta. What do you think -- ok or deceptive?

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