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May 21, 2009

So Kris Allen won American Idol. I can’t say that I am hugely surprised—I had kind of figured, after Simon Cowell had made a butt of himself wearing his full-fledged support of Adam Lambert plastered across his chest on the Oprah show a week or so prior to the finale, that the wave of public support might shift in favor of the underdog. While I have nothing but respect for Simon’s opinions and Adam’s talent, my support certainly did.

I didn’t think much of Kris to begin with. There was something about him that annoyed me—a hesitancy, an uncertainty, a lack of confidence in his own talent. His consistency, however, week to week, and his sheer creativity with his largely dead-on song choices won me over long before Simon’s (and the other judges, to be fair) pushiness regarding Adam’s certainty as the winner cost him the competition.

A fundamental problem with this show is that Simon and the others are cast not only in the role of judges, but also in the role of mentors and coaches, there to offer helpful and at times not so helpful criticism, to offer commentary on song choice and appearance, and advice for future weeks. While a judge casts a definitive vote (something you usually only see the Idol judges do in the early rounds of Hollywood week and before), a mentor and a coach has an obligation to be unbiased and fair with those they mentor, to not choose and publicly reveal favorites. This is especially critical when their voice has the potential to be as powerful and influential as Simon’s. Simon and the others did this with Adam. He was their Golden Boy. Kris, while not precisely chopped liver, couldn’t possibly measure up. He and the others were “just not in the same league,” the judges said, time and again. I don’t know about other viewers, but I grew increasingly tired of this refrain. At one point, I was torn between feeling sorry for Adam and feeling sorry for the other contestants. I’m sure it put Adam in an awkward position. Hard to be humble when you have the powers that be continually telling you that you’re a million times better than all that riffraff you’re hanging around.

I’ve run into a similar situation with Autumn and tumbling. Some of you may have noticed on my Twitter or Facebook updates that she SCORED at Regionals—took first on floor and trampoline, third on double-mini, and qualified and mobilized on all three. So we are definitely headed to California for the Junior Olympic National competition at the end of June—wish her luck.


This has been a season rife with drama. Dramadramadrama. We see the same kind of mentor/coach favorites game in the gym that plagued this season of American Idol. Whether intentional or not, some athletes always seemed to end up with more of the coach’s time, special favors when they didn’t quite make the cut, and a clearly outlined and communicated plan for the future, while others didn’t seem to require the same attention. It’s a type of politics that runs rampant through virtually every form of athletics, and unfortunately, I’m not good at playing those types of games.

But I’m feeling a wee bit vindicated right now, and all because Kris Allen won American Idol last night. You see, Autumn=Kris Allen, and Adam Lambert’s momma has just a smidgeon of pie on her face. And Simon, who has definitely been exhibiting some favoritism, would do well to change the t-shirt every now and then.

One Comment leave one →
  1. freedspace permalink
    May 21, 2009 11:16 pm

    then maybe they should change “American Idol” to “Americans Will Vote for Underdogs”…best of luck to Autumn 🙂

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