Skip to comments.Everything I Need to Know About 2012 I Learned From American Idol
Posted on 06/01/2011 7:17:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Country won. Honesty won. Decency won. And good ol' American values won. They beat hypocrisy and hyperbole, snark and snicker, and the jaw-dropping arrogance of the experts and elites. No, I'm not talking about the Republican sweep of the House last year. Rather, I'm talking about last week's American Idol, where viewers disregarded the exhortations of entertainment and media elites and chose instead down-home over Hollywood, and country over anything and everything our cultural elites pushed at them.
It became clear as the confetti rained down on this year's American Idol -- a teenager with white picket fence sensibilities and country voice who, as the Los Angeles Times noted in an oh-so-culturally-attuned tone, lacks "dignity" and real artistry -- that all I need to know about the 2012 elections I had just learned from this FOX network show.
The bottom line: if enough people are exposed to the truth, they will ignore the experts and go with their hearts. And so the amateur singing competition offers hope that in 2012 decency might carry the day and life may, in fact, imitate American Idol. In the run-up to the next presidential elections the political, media, and cultural elites will push Obamanomics, ObamaCare, and Obama government, while the Republican elites will push their favorite why-can't-we-all-just-get-along-and-pass-the-pork-please candidates, but the voters -- like Idol viewers -- may very well have a different idea. Yes, we can.
During the season and especially in the weeks leading to the final two shows, Idol judges were visibly stunned by the choices of viewers. The audience watched the performances and then called or texted the show with their votes. Although the judges comment after each performance, it is left to the viewers to choose the winners. In past seasons, voters have regularly ignored the preferences of judges and assorted other entertainment and media experts, who largely view the tens of millions in the audience as lacking sophistication and knowledge of "the true art form of music." And again this past week, viewers let the experts know: We're different, we make different choices. And so we had the spectacle of country music in the running, country in the final, and, again, country winning, despite the best efforts of the judges to push more sophisticated (read: elite sleaze) fare. The two teenagers in the final were sweet, respectful, and wholesome -- all that mainstream media and Hollywood detest. The pair, called the "Terrible Twos" by one media outlet, has solid middle-class families, parents who care, and underscore the "American" in American Idol.
And so the folks who made Lady Gaga and simulated sex an integral part of this season's most popular television show sat in stunned disbelief as one favorite after another fell by the wayside. Goodbye edgy, hello country. Bye-bye outrageous costumes, hello Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levee and the levee was...country? What's wrong with these people? Don't they understand real music, real art? An influential media blog, trendy people sitting in trendy Manhattan clutching their half-caf skim lattes, viewed the wreckage that comes from letting ordinary people have their say about the end of American Idol's tenth season and complained, "OMG you guys, we are almost done... But first, there's this. Cruel, country this [sic]." This is what happens when you let ordinary Americans vote.
And so it will be in the 2012 elections. Voters who have watched and lived through the performance by elite America's idol, Barack Obama, will take their turn. A variation on the Reagan whiplash of a question to the nation about Jimmy Carter will echo in their heads: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Then they will vote. And so when media experts tell us that 2012 will be a tough slog for conservatives (also known as those not impressed by the parade of "serious" Republican candidates produced by the joint venture formed by liberal media and insider conservative press), when the New York Times tells us the nation will return to its worship of Obama, and the Washington Post touts the growing and continuing recovery courtesy of Obamanomics, in which every measure of the economy has dropped far below the pre-Obama years...well, I just think about American Idol and the lessons of the season just ended.
First, everything changes when the audience watches or lives the performance. The lesson: Experts pronounced, but American Idol viewers voted on the actual singing. The media, reviewers, and experts described vastly different performances from those witnessed by viewers. The application: if 2008 was the year of Obama and cool comes to the White House, then 2012 will best be characterized by the Who hit, "Won't Get Fooled Again." Yes, the media will continue to shamelessly cheerlead and lie -- so what else is new? But an expanded press led by online journals and blogs such as the one you're reading offer front row seats. The New York Times, the Washington Post, the legacy networks may tell us that Barack Obama represents true artistry, that he is a James Durbin or Casey Abrams, contestants who at various times were anointed the next American Idol by adoring judges and media. But then America, rubbed raw by their preening and screeching, knocked them out. And America, having lived Obama, will do the same.
Second, we now know not to trust talking heads and consensus experts, either left or right. The Idol judges and media commentators strove mightily to teach we, the viewers -- "we the people," simpletons all -- what music artistry is all about. And, Manhattan shock jock Howard Stern viciously told us, it is not about a country-singing finalist, 16-year-old Lauren Alaina, who "looked like a 40-year-old woman who went for in vitro fertilization, had three shots in her ass and they got her knocked up with twins." Nor is it about the eventual winner, teenage Scotty McCreery from small-town North Carolina, whose traditional country songs were repeatedly pronounced boring by the music industry heavyweights doing the judging. Rather, it is about shock and sex and rules-are-for-little-people, about Lady Gaga wearing $4,500 "penis shoes" during an Idol performance and bling and Hollywood-beautiful and right thoughts. But viewers ignored the experts -- and "aw shucks" beat Hollywood, just as "we the people" will do in 2012.
But to do that we have to do what the eventual American Idol did when Lady Gaga, brought in to coach him on the finer points of music artistry, pointedly told him to "act evil." "Lord," he said, "it's not my doing." Then he backed away and just kept on singing country, wearing his cross and thanking God and family and friends for the many blessing of this time and place.
And so all we need to know in 2012 is encapsulated in American Idol. Time to tell the mainstream press, insider Washington, and the academic and cultural elites to strap on their $4,500 "penis shoes" and take a hike...because we're gonna be singing country.
Stuart Schwartz, a frequent AT contributor, is on the faculty at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Even a ballplayer who sings into a mic like its a flute was better than that “rocker” with turrets syndrome.
Thanks - this was the most encouraging article I’ve read in a long time!
Lady Gaga thinks she’s “acting”?
Americans want plain-spoken no-frills honesty.
From his keyboard to God's ears.
Good for the country guy for winning but I won’t waste one minute watching a lame karaoke show.
American Idol sucks. Reality / competition shows are stupid.
I renamed “so you think you can dance” to “so you think I give a crap that you think you can dance?”
Good article! I watched American Idol this season and hoped that the results meant exactly what this writer thinks they mean.
LOL. I think "manifesting" would be more apt.
RE: Even a ballplayer who sings into a mic like its a flute was better than that rocker with turrets syndrome
Actually, many so called experts favored the New York City Balladeer who sang like Celine Dionne — Pia Toscano was the early favorite.
She was eliminated at number 9. Which just shows that Big city Folks don’t really bother to vote (may this translate into actuall elections...).
Had Pia been from a Red State, who knows, she might have won.
I watched American Idol again this season...say what you will but my wife and I enjoy it! I was very heartened to see my two picks end up as the final two. They were both clean cut, All American, boy and girl next door kids. my wife kept saying that Scotty is the kind of boy that she hopes our grand daughter dates. That’s high praise coming from that proud grandma!
Hey, I loved James! But I love Scotty, too. Nice to see a young Christian kid not afraid of standing up for what he believes.
AMEN to this column!!!
I think that premise of this article is 180 degrees off kilter. I've got nothing against Idol winner Scotty. He seems to be a good kid from a good conservative family. However, if anyone in the Idol group of contestants should be compared to Obama (least qualified in the field, won solely because of popularity, not talent) it would be Scotty.
Top to bottom this was the most talented group that Idol has ever had. But I really have to disagree with the statement that Scotty's performances "were repeatedly pronounced boring by the music industry heavyweights doing the judging." Not true at all. While it was clear that they sometimes struggled (in their celebrity naivete) to understand why someone else was kicked off in front of a country singer, the three judges were universal in their praise for Scotty and Lauren. Yeah, they criticized them sometime, but not excessively. Both were regularly hailed as "in it to win it," and Steven Tyler picked Lauren from day one.
So while the music industry pundits are scratching their heads, I would give Jackson, Lopez and Tyler some credit for a being a good deal more open.
I don’t think your assertion is correct. I actually know the family and there is a GREAT deal of substance to Scotty. Obama is the the empty suit who just spouts a populist line to his followers. Notice that Scotty actually proclaimed Jesus as his Lord on a show where that is not popular - he took a stand. Scotty and Obama could not be further apart - they are opposites.
Your personal opinion and nothing more. The rocker Steven Tyler was blown away by Scotty's voice and potential from the audition on. Not too many with a deep bass voice make it big, but most think he will.
Pia was sweet and attractive but that doesn’t jive with the teen girl vote very much.
Lauren is relatable to the typical AI voter (I dont vote). I think both Scotty and Lauren will have successful careers though Lauren strikes me as a more Kelly Clarkson quality.
Not grossly skinny, girl next door looks and pretty humble.
Scotty needs to work on his stage skills but his voice is golden.
My daughter is still listening to Casey on YouTube but I’m glad the country boy won. This is our first year watching.
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