May 22, 2009, - 12:03 am
By Debbie Schlussel
For the record, no, I do not watch that karaoke TV money machine otherwise known as “American Idol.” It’s a boring show complete with annoying profiles of people we’ll never ever see or hear from again and vapid, droning opinions by several judges, plus Simon. Yes, the only realist–Simon–was once worth watching, but even that is old and predictable. I watched the show the first season, when it debuted as summer filler, and frankly, that’s where it should have remained. It’s not any better than that. Once it became popular, it was no longer cool, just empty and trendy. Stick a fork in it. It’s done.
That said, the big controversy of the day over that show is ridiculous. I refer to the whining that Adam Lambert–the favorite to win the show–lost because he’s gay-esque and America is prejudiced against gays. I have to say “gay-esque” because even though he’s part of the Three Muthketeerth with George Michael and Elton John (and their guardian angels Liberace and Paul Lynde), we’re not allowed to admit we know he’s gay because he hasn’t come out officially (despite a gazillion photos of clearly gay activity).
Yes, the flamboyant, effeminate, eye-liner and shimmer wearing Lambert was by far the superior singer to Kris Allen, the next nobody-to-not-become-a-somebody who won “American Idol.” There is no comparison in the quality and range of singing voices.
But the reason Lambert didn’t win is not because he’s a girly-man. That is just so much manufactured fiction. “American Idol” voters–the kind of voter you want far away from your ballot box in real American elections–are a gay-friendly type of crowd. They tend to be younger and have been raised to appreciate the value of lavender and pink, RuPaul videos, and two guys doing the tango at their wedding.
Lambert lost because for weeks–even if, like me, you couldn’t care less about the show–you couldn’t avoid media declarations and the pronouncements of all the annoying AI judges that Lambert is the winner. He was already anointed.
And, as much as we are so often sheep, Americans don’t like being told what to do (unless the person doing it is a biracial guy from Chicago and Hawaii by way of Kenya). They don’t like to go with conventional wisdom and coronations. They like to rebel against that.
And they rebelled against being told this guy–fruity pebble or not–was already their king and they should bow down. And Americans like underdogs, like Allen.
That’s why the guy–Lambert–lost. Not because America rejects gays. If you’re a good singer, we really don’t care what you do behind closed doors and with whom you do it. And we don’t wanna know (although with Lambert, it’s kinda in your face).
Now if Adam Lambert was on “Arab Idol,” well, then that would be a different story. And he’d be dead . . . or someone’s pet camel replacement of the week.