I was surprised but not shocked last night when Adam Lambert didn't win (didn't win sounds less harsh than lose) on American Idol. Up until, last week, I would have bet my last dollar that Adam was a sure thing. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on why I wasn't shocked and what may have happened. This is going to be long, so get your reading glasses and a cup of coffee right now. Here we go.
I think the last four standing was key. The week that Alison Iraheta was eliminated was the beginning of a shift -- if for no other reason than it left Kris in the competition when, at that point, he probably should have been the one to go. Without Alison, AI voters were left with three choices -- two of which were somewhat similar, one who was totally different. With Alison out of the way, her supporters had to make a choice -- some, I'm sure, went for Adam while the rest had to pick between Kris Allen and Danny Gokey. But, what that meant, in the end, was that no matter whether it was Kris or Danny who got the boot, the folks who voted for one of them were very likely to throw their support to the other one and not Adam. Had Alison been one of the final three, I think the outcome might have been different because her supporters would have probably split more evenly between the remaining two.
There were other factors in play as well. The continual referral to Kris as the underdog may have swayed votes toward him -- and because Adam seemed to be the early favorite and the judges' anointed one, I think this may have influenced voters away from him. This may have been because they were simply weary of Adam being shoved in their faces (unlike myself who quite enjoyed it) or maybe they believed Adam had a lock on the competition so they wanted to give the dark-horse, Kris, a fighting chance (not a good idea to ever assume anybody has a lock). We all know who the judges thought should win so one can only assume that their actions and reactions may have caused voters to run in the opposite direction. But that's American Idol for you -- anybody who's ever watched the show knows that sometimes the voters make mistakes -- not only in the final but all along the way.
There was much ado about votes being cast by conservative Christians for Kris, while the more liberal would probably vote for Adam. Well, I've never made any bones about the fact that I'm a conservative Christian so that opinion holds no water, as far as I'm concerned -- I never wavered in my support for Adam (and never will). But, it could very well have been a factor in the vote -- I would love to see a breakdown of where votes were coming from and for whom they were cast. That would probably give us a bigger, if not whole, picture of what might have occurred.
And, of course, there's the gay factor. Oh, Lord, where to begin on that one? I'm sure some folks probably voted against Adam based on his sexuality as some voted for Kris based on his Christian beliefs -- but I think both of these young men would have preferred that they had made it it to the finals (or won) based on their talent. That's how people ought to vote, however, there's more to it than that and we all know it. I don't have anything against Kris -- he did improve dramatically and he's not a bad singer but I found him bland and, yeah, a little boring. I voted for Adam because I love his voice but I freely admit that I love his flamboyance, I love his theatricality, I love his presence -- and I don't give a flying fig whether he's gay, straight or somewhere in-between.
People vote for the contestants on American Idol in different ways. Some vote on a week-to-week basis, based totally on performance. Others, like me, pick one person and that person is "it" throughout. Some continue to vote, even once their choice is gone, switching their support to another contestant. Some, like me, would stop voting (but keep watching) if their favorite is eliminated. And all of that plays into who eventually wins.
So, I failed in my prediction. Adam came in second. But I'll make another prediction. He will be the one who ultimately wins. My belief is that everything happens for a reason even if we don't always know what that reason is. So, for whatever reason, it was meant that Adam not take the American Idol crown.
Adam will go far and I'll be watching and listening and buying his CD. I won't be watching or listening or buying Kris' CD. Honestly, I have nothing against him but he's just not on my musical radar. After I see Kris at the AI concert in August, I doubt if he'll cross my mind again.
Adam, on the other hand, will never leave it.
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When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger...Epictetus