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John Lamb, Published May 26 2010

Power outage at Fox leaves 'Idol', 'Glee' fans in the dark Tuesday night

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Area fans of FOX’s popular singing competition, “American Idol,” had to sit idle instead of watching Tuesday night’s semi-final.

A transformer blowout cut power to the local Fox affiliate KVRR leaving viewers in the dark about the second-to-last episode and the final time “Idol” judge Simon Cowell offered criticism on the popular show. Cowell is leaving the program after this season.

FOX News Director Jim Shaw said the main Xcel Energy transformer behind the TV station at 4015 9th Ave. S., Fargo, blew just before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Crews started working on the problem around 7 p.m., but in the meantime the station’s back-up generator burned out. The station went back on the air around 8:20 p.m. with the live feed of the show “Glee.”

Shaw said viewers weren’t the only ones in the dark. With no power in the building, the crew had to scramble to produce its 9 p.m. news program with reduced power and lights.

“If you saw our anchors it was definitely not the best lit show we’ve ever had,” he said. “It was nothing short of miraculous we got a newscast on last night.”

Shaw said because the power was out, the phone system wasn’t working. He estimates thousands of calls could have come in wondering why “American Idol,” which he said is the top show in America, wasn’t on. With the phones out many Fargo-Moorhead “Idol” fans took to Facebook to vent their complaints.

Shaw said KVRR would rebroadcast last night’s showdown between finalists Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze at 5 p.m. today. Advertisers would get a "special deal" for missing out on the prime time slot.

According to MSN.com, Bowersox bested her competition in all three songs performed. A recap of the show is available on www.americanidol.com. Tuesday’s full episode of “Glee” is available on www.fox.com/glee.

The “American Idol” finale starts at 7 tonight and Shaw said he’s 99.9 percent confident the show would go on.