Thursday, April 29, 2004

The electoral college of American Idol...

Elton John: 'American Idol' Is Racist
Singing legend Elton John this week joined the chorus of voices decrying “American Idol” as racist. John criticized the talent show’s voting process, carried out not by the trio of on-air judges but by the American viewing public. “The three people I was really impressed with — and they just happened to be black, young female singers — all seem to be landing in the bottom three,” the British singer said Tuesday during a promotional appearance for his concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. …“They have great voices. The fact that they’re constantly in the bottom three — and I don’t want to set myself up here — but I find it incredibly racist.” The racism controversy first erupted last Wednesday when Jennifer Hudson, who scored super-high marks with the judges, was ousted from the competition. Hudson is African-American. She and two other female black singers all got the lowest number of phoned-in votes. “I don’t know what it was based on, but it wasn’t talent,” Hudson told Fox News. “Because if it was, all three of us wouldn’t have been in the bottom three. Maybe one, but not all three.” Her booting-off prompted host Ryan Seacrest to remind viewers that the program wasn’t a popularity contest — it was about finding a gifted singer. The “Idol” winner gets a record deal.
If the latest results of the voting process on American Idol indicate that the viewing public is racist, then what are we to make of the crowds of adoring fans that flock to support the innocent-until-proven-guilty Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant? The real issue here is that the likes of Ryan Seacrest and Co. actually consider the voting process used by American Idol to be - valid. We live in an age where who gets to stay and who gets booted can be decided, by the American viewing public, through instantaneous telephone voting. Well… America decided, and the “professionals” didn’t quite like the way it turned out, did they? Kind of puts the American Music Awards in a different light now doesn’t it? Be careful what you wish for.

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