The Political Theory of AMERICAN IDOL
Posted by Peter Lawler
Will the masterful strategy of Sanjaya’s hair-based campaign rob the show of its illusion of meritocratic innocence? Has the show become all about winning votes and building coalitions for reasons having nothing to do with actual singing? (I truly don’t care about this, but I thought it would divert us from re-fighting the Civil War.)
11:23 AM / March 31, 2007
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You do realize, of course, that even the act of decrying the humiliathon gives it social energy? Perhaps we should ignore American Idol...our ranks are too thin to bring about the opprobrium it deserves.
Sanjaya’s efforts are no more shameless--and no less successful--than Haley Scarnato’s campaign to stay in the contest by going onstage without a bra.
Sanjaya is not unique. Last year it was Kevin Covais; the year before Scott Savol. It’s all part of the programming model.
American Idol is so phenomenally successful for precisely this reason -- it gives people something to discuss, debate and argue. If it was merely a singing competition, it would have died out after the first season.
Sanjaya will not win this thing. His presence right now is being supported by the producers, who know this is good television. I give him two more weeks, maybe three. Then watch the judges’ reactions ... it’ll change from amusement to annoyance and then he’ll be gone. Mark my words.