On wednesday night during LOST commercials I would change the channel over to FOX to see who won in American Idol. At this point it feels like the show has gone too far. Now when Taylor Hicks won it felt like a moment that centuries later would be described as the creation of some religious icon people created to worship. “Because this is what people did at the turn of the 21st century” some old grandfather would be telling his great grand kids, “they would use these devices called the telephone to decide every year on the person they wanted to worship most”.
When Ryan Seacrest told America “your new American Idol is…” everyone screamed and stood up applausing, and for a moment I thought everyone was going to get down on their knees and do the whole “we’re not worthy” wave. The camera shot over to David Hasselhoff who was literally in tears as if he had just witnessed a miracle.
But more importantly…
The most popular talent contest in America, if not the world, has crowned its latest victor after polling a record 63.4 million votes.
The host of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest, announced in considerable excitement that the figure was “more than any president in the history of our country has received”. [source]
Is that something people should say out loud, and proudly? Never mind that normally when you vote for a president you don’t call a toll free number or send an SMS, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…again. But the last 2004 U.S. elections, which I believe had the highest voter turnout in American history, saw 122,293,720 votes compared to American Idol’s 63.4 million. I don’t know if that’s accurate though, so someone correct me if I’m wrong. But hey, even Condoleezza Rice put the Middle East aside for a moment to tune in. Talk about soul patrol.
The movie “American Dreamz” that came out last month had commercials saying “imagine a country where more people vote for a pop idol than their next president”. Is that something which is supposed to be great? That more people are interested in voting for someone they’ll forget about in a few years as opposed to the “leader of the free world”? I think Bush gets more press coverage than all the American Idols put together.
Anyways, they should stop saying it. It’s one of those things a people should be embarrassed about. At least I would. But hey, that’s just me.