Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adam and the Idol

Last night, I was supremely disappointed (and a little po'ed) with the choice of Kris Allen over Adam Lambert on American Idol. While I am very happy for any talented person who is recognized and feted by the general public (and Kris seems like a super nice guy), I honestly felt that the wrong person had won.

This morning, I realized my disappointment was not in Adam's loss but in America's voters. I had wanted Adam to win for a much bigger purpose than I had previously admitted: I wanted him to represent America's progressive youth. I wanted the momentum that began with the country voting in an African American president to continue. But when the people of California, a supposedly liberal state, allow same sex marriage rights to be taken away by conservatives in another state, what should I expect from the rest of the country? States like Iowa and Maine and Connecticut and Vermont - not exactly bastions of free-thinking left-wingers - have same sex marriage but not California? Whaaaa?

All season long, I ignored what people were hinting at: that Adam is gay and that America won't vote for a gay Idol. But I strongly disagreed. I kept saying it's about the music, about the show, about the performances. Adam was/is so clearly the most versatile performer, the most comfortable on stage - the most professional - that his talent would win out over politics. I'm sure, in the wake of America's decision, there will be numerous articles and opinion essays floating around the Net that prove or disprove the influence of Adam's sexuality (and btw, we still don't know for sure) on the voters. Only FOX and the Idol producers know where the votes came from, how many from each state and city, but we will never truly know the demographics of those votes.

As a fellow Idol fan said, the fact that a presumed gay singer received so many millions of votes from a broadcast audience is proof positive that the country is at least moving in the right direction. I hope so but to me it just seems like we're trying to make lemonade out of a particularly sorrowful batch of lemons.