I have a theory. (Anybody who knows me can attest to the fact that I have a theory about a lot of things.) Today, I have a theory about American Idol. Ready for it? Despite what the show’s producers think, the show is actually about the virtue and wholesomeness of the average American.
Last night, Lee DeWyze was crowned the ninth American Idol winner. The shy, former-paint salesman has a raspy voice that works perfectly with his pop/rocker edge. He seemed genuinely unaware of his talent and was convinced week after week that he was going home. But he stayed through more than a dozen cuts. In the audience week after week sat his mother and father. They cheered along with everyone else, and always had a smile on their lips and a tear in their eyes. Is he the most amazing singing talent to ever come out of the competition? No, he doesn’t come close. Is he good? Yes. Will I buy his album? Probably.
Lee’s competition was an endearing single-mother who seemed to have Bob Marley and Janis Joplin simultaneously inside her. She has facial piercings, a huge sunflower tattoo on her back, and dreadlocks that reached the middle of her back. She has talent and the confidence needed to back her ability. And yet, she didn’t win. In my opinion, her loss was due in part to her non-traditional look and what many would perceive as an immoral lifestyle.
Last year – same story. The final competition was between boy next-door Kris Allen and the flamboyant Adam Lambert. No one watching the show would deny the fact that Adam was the more talented of the two; but he lost. He paraded around the stage in heels, wearing makeup. Rumors that he was gay surfaced almost immediately. Videos of him dancing at local bars were rampant on YouTube. Kris, on the other hand, was recently married. He occasionally sang to his wife and when judge Simon Cowell told him he shouldn’t put his wife in such a prominent place so early in the competition so as not to lose votes, Kris looked at him in all sincerity and said “but she’s my wife.” America voted for Kris.
As further proof that this show is really about wholesome middle-class America, this season drew in far less viewers than expected and less than previous years. And while no one has come out and said it, I think the declining numbers are due in large part to the appearance of Ellen DeGeneres as a judge. Sure, she’s funny and has a huge following. No, she has absolutely nothing constructive to say but that’s ok. But, it’s her subtle comments that support the gay agenda have turned people off. Viewers don’t want to hear her say at the end of a soulful duet of ‘Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” that yes, in fact she has.
Next year Simon Cowell will be gone. With his departure viewers will lose his honest and unfiltered appraisal of contestants. As Dane Cook said last night in a tribute song, Simon “has the honesty of Abe Lincoln and the charm of the man who shot him.” The producers are scrambling to find his replacement. I think they would do well to remember the results of the last two seasons and chose a judge that will bond with the true audience of the show – virtuous middle-class America.