Posted by: mollyrossiter | May 21, 2009

American Idol’s tainted crown

Forgive my naivete, but I honestly thought American Idol was a singing contest.

I’m not a fan of Idol, never have been. I’m a fan of some of the musicians it’s turned out — Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson — but to watch the weekly melodrama leading up to the finale? No thanks.

I am surrounded by Idol fans, however, so have been following this year’s contest as closely as possible without actually watching the show.

Discussion around the watercooler today, though, prompted a few visits to Idol sites and postings and my perusal of various blogs through the day.

For those who haven’t heard or seen, Adam Lambert, thought to be America’s favorite from the beginning, lost to Kris Allen. On the surface one might think, “OK, it’s not the first time the favorite lost.”

Start peeling away the layers — and you don’t have to go very far — and the loss seems deeper, even sadder, in a way.

Jim David of The Huffington Post writes, “By anyone’s estimation, Lambert was the best vocalist of the entire Idol season and one of the best, if not the best, in the history of the program. He towered over every contestant, exposing them as the amateurs they are. Every Lambert performance was an event. If this competition were only about singing, he crushed everyone else the second he walked onstage.”

Why, then, the loss?

If you believe scores of bloggers, commentators and the voice of public opinion, Lambert’s lifestyle did him in.

From “Allen had the cute thing going on, whereas Lambert had guyliner and black nail polish on. Allen, the pride of Conway, Ark., is married to somebody who looks a little bit like Reese Witherspoon. The L.A. dude Lambert is, you know — flamboyant. Allen seems like the kind of guy who’d help your grandmother with her groceries. Lambert might scare the bejeez out of nana.”

Pictures of Lambert kissing another man went viral, raising the eyebrows of a populace that is still reeling over the recognition of gays and lesbians in the courts.

And there are theories that when Danny Gokey lost, his supporters — a mostly evangelical Christian crowd — moved to Allen.

So now I’m left to wonder, as a casual non-observer of the show: Isn’t it about the music?



  1. How did this happen people? I thought Adam had this in the bag….Oh….my heart hurts !

  2. I think he really lost mostly because so many people just assumed that he’d win, that they didn’t bother voting! 😦

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