This year's American Idol competition was the embodiment of America's culture war. It was never a singing contest.
Today, I was interviewed on the Sirius radio show "Across the Nation with Bob Dunning," and I correctly predicted Kris Allen would win the American Idol (AI) title even though Adam Lambert is the true talent and will be a worldwide superstar. Allen will most likely disappear into the woodwork within a year.
Why did I predict this? Because five of the seven past winners have been Christians, and all of the past AI winners have come from culturally more conservative states than their opponents. Allen is from a small town in Arkansas, and Lambert is from a big city in California. Allen is a church leader, and Lambert has never disclosed his religious beliefs.
The majority of Americans identify as politically right of center. During the 2008 election, polls showed them to be more in line with the values of John McCain than Barack Obama. Barack Obama was able to overcome this hurdle and win the election because he was seen as a moderate. Lambert can in no way be described as moderate on stage. His flashy stage presence and the lingering questions about his sexual orientation put him firmly in the liberal camp.
Last night I reviewed the states that supported Lambert as opposed to Allen on the "Dial Idol" website, and then compared it with the map of red vs. blue states from the 2008 election. There was tremendous similarity. Lambert won many of the same states as Obama. He carried California, Oregon, Washington, New York and all of New England except Vermont. Allen won Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Utah and Arizona.
American Idol is not a singing contest in which the most talented is crowned in the end. It is a show based on a democratic process in which callers-who tend to lean conservative--choose the performer with whom they can identify. The majority seek a winner who is wholesome as apple pie and who share their value system. Additionally, the AI demographic tends to be white, middle-aged females who are slightly more conservative than the average American.
Lambert is an iconoclast and was never the front-runner in this race. He was always the underdog.
Memorable newspaper headlines called the Allen-Lambert showdown: "Good vs. Evil" and "David vs. Goliath." Did anyone actually believe ordinary Americans would vote for a contestant equated with "evil"?
A Kris Allen win is the expected and a continuation of the same.
The real story would have been a Lambert win. It would have indicated a cultural shift in America, especially as same-sex marriage initiatives sweep the land.
Elvis Presley's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show horrified the masses who thought the singer was upsetting the morals and mores of society.
Elvis was the Adam Lambert of his time. And he would have lost American Idol as well.