For the past nine years, West suburban resident Dave Della Terza has mocked "American Idol" contestants on his popular but maligned website, VoteForTheWorst.com.
On Sunday night, Della Terza announced plans to shut down "VFTW" in June, at the end of this season of American Idol. The season of the still top-rated show begins Wednesday night on FOX.
In a post on his website, Della Terza said his decision was "bittersweet."
"American Idol is really no longer relevant, so VFTW has accomplished our one true goal: making sure that America stops taking American Idol and other singing reality shows seriously," wrote Della Terza, who does not reveal what suburb he lives in because of death threats and other harassment over the years. "We're leaving before we get completely bored with a show that really should have bowed out gracefully a few years ago."
VFTW was an instant hit when it debuted in 2004, at one point drawing 10 million hits in the days following each "Idol" episode. Della Terza's snarky wit got him exposure everywhere from Newsweek to "The Late Show with David Letterman." The former College of DuPage teacher became a regular guest on the "The Howard Stern Show."
Over the years, Della Terza has encouraged his army of loyal followers to vote for dozens of contestants on Idol and other reality shows, including Mount Prospect's Lee DeWyze, who won Season 9 in 2010. This season of "Idol" will be VFTW's last hurrah, Della Terza wrote.
"Let's enjoy it for all it's worth, and make sure to get the contestants America hates one step closer to winning a meaningless prize," Della Terza posted. "And when our fun contestants go home, let's make sure we crown White Guy With Guitar #6."