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It was actually in season 5 (2 years ago), I voted for Katherine McPhee a lot. I had heard that many of the contestants would have their fans do the same thing - which is why it's difficult to get through the first hour after the show. I was trying to even out the stakes.
I had heard that because fans vote multiple times until they close the voting, that the people voted off only lose by a very small percentage most of the time. It's simply how many calls can be accepted during that post-show 2-hour voting period. Sometimes only a few hundred votes will make a difference between the contestant going home or not.