Colorful Idols

About 100 million of us voted for the newest American Idol (crowned last night on the Fox Broadcasting show).   “We” chose Kris Allen, a college student from Conway, AR, who likes to “pray and stretch” before he performs and whose proudest moment was when he married his wife.  Allen beat Adam Lambert, a musical theater actor from Hollywood, CA, who is obsessed with astrology and whose proudest moment was “falling in love.”

I must confess that I didn’t watch any of this  season — or of any others — but my daughters have been keeping me informed.  My professional interest was piqued by comments about whether Kris Allen’s victory is the “latest red state/blue state battle.”   Allen has served as a church worship leader, and Lambert wore black nail polish on stage.  On Huffington Post, Jim David argues that:  “Allen’s Christianity, church roots and corn-fed wife were exploited, as were Lambert’s musical theatre roots (i.e. his ‘theatre fag’ history); “ Michael Glitz, who supported Allen, takes a longer view of American Idol, suggesting that if you “look at seasons past and where there’s a clear Christian vs secular showdown, the Christians have been winning handily.”   Empiricists will certainly use the “Gokey/third contestant” theory which suggests that, once Danny Gokey (the third of the final three contestants) and a church music director, dropped out, his votes had to go to one of the final two.

I look forward to your vote on whether this is a red/blue issue.

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4 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    I suppose it’s not an entirely surprising conclusion to come to. Everyone votes for the person they most readily identify with, don’t they? Not the person who is actually the most talented.

  2. Naomi Cahn says:

    Hmmm — I guess that’s why it’s called American IDOL??

  3. A.J. Sutter says:

    BTW, I’m not so sure that ‘secular’ is the right opposition. You can find YouTube excerpts of Adam Lambert singing at a service in memory of Yitzhak Rabin, and he also sang on the West Coast Chabad telethon a few years back, produced by the Lubavitcher Hasidim; apparently he even more recently sang the Kol Nidre service at L.A.’s Temple of the Arts. Perhaps his loss was a blessing in disguise, what might be rabbinically termed a “fence” against idolatry.

    Since you didn’t watch AI, you might not be aware that the two finalists’ musical tastes are also entirely different. The third-place finisher’s preferred style was much closer to the ultimate winner’s — very middle-of-the-road. That may be a sufficient explanatory variable.