While I generally believe Reality TV will be the downfall of civilization, I have become hopelessly addicted to "American Idol." Even though it seems annoyingly overrun with uber-Christian contestants, I always chalked that up to A) them trying to be a 'family show' and in America, that means Christian, and B) it's true that church choirs are one of the most common, cost-free ways a singer can hone his/her craft.
Anyway, I come across the Wikipedia page and this little blurb in the Season 2 Overview
The show caused controversy when contestant Frenchie Davis was disqualified from the competition after topless photos of her surfaced on the Internet. Shortly afterwards, she landed a role in the Broadway musical Rent, and continues to work on Broadway. The producers of the show added a Christian marketing team to protect and build faith viewers with faith guru Rick Hendrix after the Frenchie Davis incident.
Granted, the page notes that this bit 'needs clarification' and I've not yet found any other major 'American Idol had Christian promoters' type articles. But Rick Hendrix's home page
states that he promotes for the show.
Begs the question: Since when does an infusion of Christianity prevent rather than guarantee you'll have drug/sex/hooker/violence/abuse scandal on your show?
That aside, now I'm wondering: It's no secret that singing songs about Jesus and America will get a contestant the much coveted Bible Belt vote. But are the producers also stacking the deck with the god squad? It was painful enough to hear Zac Efron Tim Urban do that horrid "Hallelujah" song. But then to have Simon pick it for Lee? In '08 one of the group sings was a gospel song, "Shout to the Lord."
Call me an idealist but I've always been in denial about that, even though it makes perfect sense. In the initial audition process, you know they're turing away thousands of decent singers as they select the 200 or so who will perform for the celeb judges. That's in addition to every good singer they have to turn away in order to bring in someone horrifically bad (and therefore good for ratings). But it's sickening to think that religion might be one of the criteria.
Sad to think how many Adam Lamberts have been turned away because they can only have so many token gays/Jews on the show.