Saturday, May 23, 2009

Open Forum: America Couldn't Handle a Gay Idol?

In what was seen as a shocking and unexpected result, Adam Lambert favored to win American Idol by fans and judges lost the title to competitor Kris Allen. Both are undeniably very talented men, but the loss raises questions as to what caused America to have a change of heart?

Many media outlets were focusing on scores of pictures of Lambert in flamboyant outfits, and kissing other males. The right-wing media was also playing up on Lambert's alleged sexuality, while also making the public aware of the "good Christian family man" Kris Allen.

There are those who argue that this is a talent competition and not something for activists on either side to get involved in, I couldn't agree more, except... When a lot of the votes appear to be based on the fact that people disliked Lambert's sexuality and gender expression, it becomes personal for the LGBT community.

Do you think Adam Lambert lost because he was a weaker contestant or because of the still largely queerphobic general population.


Anonymous said...

I think Lambert lost because he is from California (less fervent Idol watchers, "historically") and because people had already made decisions about him... love or hate. Kris is from the South and was nice, likable, hard to hate. So every people who left the competition, Kris would get more voters (ending with Gokey leaving in the Top 3 meaning a lot of the "Christian" voting block headed right for Kris).

Honestly, the result wasn't shocking. I wish Adam had won because it would be nice to have a gay American Idol. At the same time... all I care about is that the boy has a career and he's going to. Kris was a decent enough singer and musician, but he definitely needed to win Idol in order to create a career quickly.

Stacey said...

Part of me wonders if the voting was rigged. I sent in my text votes and didn't get a confirmation text until 8am Wednesday morning. I'm not entirely sure all of my votes (I won't tell you the entire number of votes because it's embarrassing) went through correctly.

If I'm wrong, then I think that all the Christian Danny Gokey fans voted for Kris and that's what put him over the top. I find it incredibly sad that the country is still so closed minded, but it's also not very surprising.

Anonymous said...

How is stating my opinion being a troll?
... Seriously?

fruxforte said...

Actually, the American Idol company has first dibs on the top thirteen.

It's not 'playing the gay card' to bring up a factor that could've played a role. No one's saying that Adam's sexuality was the only factor.

Adam Lambert lost by about 1% of the vote. If all those anti-gay Christians hadn't voted, that could've been enough to let him win.

Queers United said...

I think this is less about his sexuality and more about his gender expression. America is not ready for a guy who is flamboyant, wears makeup and guyliner.

Delia said...

Where were you during the 80's? Lol

Maybe American Idol fans aren't ready for flamboyant guys wearing makeup but I think America as a whole has always embraced that sort of thing especially in the pop/rock genre.

There's no doubt in my mind that Adam will have an amazing career despite the AI loss. Likewise there is no doubt that his sexuality and theatrical nature caused a lot of people to vote against him.

Abelard Enigma said...

If you will recall, when Danny Gokey was voted off, they said there was less than 1M votes between the top two (i.e. Adam and Kris). I think the reason Adam lost is because Danny Gokey fans were more likely to vote for Kris than Adam. And, not because Adam is (likely) gay or because Kris is christian - but because Kris's singing style is more mainstream.

Adam has a beautiful voice and an incredible range - but he is prone to screeching when he gets going, which a lot of people don't like. I think if him being gay was really an issue then he would not have gotten as far as he did.

Regardless of the outcome, I think Adam will make a name for himself.

Anonymous said...

Honestly I don't think it made much of a difference. Will there have been people that did not vote for him because he's (apparently) gay ? Sure. But many people from the LGBT community that otherwise probably wouldn't have taken part in the vote will have voted for him. So in the end it may not have made that much of a difference.

Anonymous said...

final cut shows a bias towards homegrown, times underdog + media sexuality hype.

you figure out what threw it over the edge.


K said...

While I do think this is a talent competition that activists should refrain from making a big deal over, just like I think what Miss California has to say should be a non-issue, .... I don't put it past the Trinity Broadcast Network to line up a bunch of voters to stuff Kris's ballot box.

*To clarify, it's not what Miss Ca said in the pagaent that makes me mad at her, but all the things she did AFTER the pagaent that makes me not like her.

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