Thursday, March 6, 2008

Which America's Idol?  

So I'm not gonna talk about this a ton, but I do watch American Idol

I admit it.

I never thought I'd like it, but I got hooked on it last year when they were going through the bizarre freak-show auditions. Some of those people were so insane, so unbelievably grotesque... I just couldn't imagine that there were people like that walking around unsupervised, but there they were... on camera.

I kept watching after that just to see what would happen and before we knew it, the wife and I became regular viewers. Sad but true.

With this year's "good" contestants being whittled down to the final 12 (out of the roughly 100,000 that auditioned) on tonight's episode, we were both particularly struck that one contestant was leaving not because he couldn't sing well enough, but because he was flamingly effeminate and likely destined to be a star on the drag queen circuit.

Danny Norriega has a great voice and is quite entertaining to watch; he's fabulous, he knows it, and he brings it. Unfortunately we were absolutely correct in guessing that he had gone as far as he was going to simply because America wouldn't embrace someone who's obviously homosexual. Based on talent alone, he deserved to make it to the final rounds but my money says that a thick swath of red states had an adverse reaction -- and now he's history. 

Being a white-ish, straight guy with a job, it's not like I'm speaking for alternative America here, but I'm all for acceptance and taking people for what they are. Or in this case, what they can do. I can't help but feel that there were more great performances ahead for Danny, and I'm disappointed that we won't get to see them. 

Maybe it'll all work out. Very few of Idol's "stars" go on to real fame, so maybe Danny's best shot is to go to the nearest metropolis, get some high heels and a sequined dress, and carve himself out a niche in some swanky cabaret instead of battling for the chance to make a weak pop record that will fizzle on the charts.

So long, Danny. If you come to Seattle, the wife and I will buy tickets.  

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