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 section:

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. 

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How much thinking do you think the average viewer of that show is doing while consuming that "mind-numbing drug"?

Dystopian? No. Blissfully ignorant of reality? I think yes.
How much thinking do you think the average viewer of that show is doing while consuming that "mind-numbing drug"?

Well, I for one see someone like Adam Lambert and am thinking "Too bad it takes a cheesy show like this to get talent like that into the spotlight. But at least he's getting there."

Can't wait for him to get out from under his "Idol" contracts. I'm betting that on his own his style will only get better.
That show sucks anyways.
To the credit of church-choir-background, like I said in the OP it is a fantastic and free way to hone one's craft. I used to have neighbors who would do their revival-gospel choir practice up the street from me. I was in that (pardon the expression) heavenly spot where I could hear the music but not the lyrics.

Plus, this is America. The kind of people who go for vanilla, sounds-like-everyone-else-on-the-radio, clean-cut Xian boys and girls tend to be the people most likely to watch a talent show like American Idol. Those of us who dig alternative, racy, original, or indie-radio type artists, are less likely to watch the show. I still watch as the rise of people like Adam Lambert and Crystal Bowersox** give me hope that not all of America is brain dead.

**(Even though Crystal is potential god-squad, she has an amazing enough voice and sound that I'd put up with some of that).
American Idol ~ the Gong Show REDUX ~ the bread and circuses for the 21st century American masses of generally declining income.

Not my cup of tea! To its credit, it is an outlet for the genuinely talented where none other exists, where otherwise corporate accountants choose goo goo ga ga ladies to hard sell to the rest of us. But what you have to suffer through to watch any genuine talent. Ugh!

I am surprised there is not more hard core Christian hymn/rock/folk there since the shark skinned huckster accountants have found so much big bucks in the Christian contemporary market.




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