Never Done: I voted for the next American Idol
It was random and last minute. Josh and I were sitting down to a late dinner. I had had a long work day, and then a hard running practice, and it was about 8:50 before we got dinner together. (But whoa, what a great salad I made! Grated beets, carrots, jicama, radish, and cucumber. Chopped mint and garlic. All on a bed of pea tendrils. Amazing.) I flipped on the TV to see if there was anything I might want to see, and I noticed that it was the last 10 minutes of the last episode of American Idol. Now, I haven't watched ANY of this season of American Idol, but I read over enough people's shoulders on the subway, and I look at Google News enough that I knew someone had just been eliminated, and that it was down to two.
But did I know that it was an all-teen season? No. Did I know that J.Lo is a judge? Actually, I didn't. Did I know that Steven Tyler is so creepy? Well, I could have guessed, but no.
Lauren Alaina was about to perform her last song when I tuned in, and so I got to hear the entire insipid, emotionally vapid performance. And when it was finally over, I got to hear all three judges sing her praises. All I could think was that the other guy must be really bad if this performance so definitively wrapped up the competition in her favor. But then they showed clips of Scotty singing, and while he wasn't my favorite, he had a strong point of view (country singer) and he had a surprisingly mature voice, and I didn't think he was as bad as she was.
Then Ryan Seacrest came on and told us, literally, "If you've never voted before, go to your phone and text us your vote. Or you can vote online at AmericanIdol.com." I mean, sometimes opportunity just knocks on your door. It's not like I was sitting around waiting for my chance to vote on American Idol, but come on, when Ryan Seacrest looks out into TV land and says "If you've never voted before ..." then you make an uninformed, impulsive decision and text in your vote.
But is it ethical? To influence two people's lives without so much as watching one inspirational video? Without knowing what adversity they've overcome? Without knowing what kind of wardrobe failures they suffered right before the finale? (As it turned out, I discovered later when I read US Magazine online, that it was not a wardrobe failure she suffered right before the finale, but laryngitis.) Actually, I think so. Because I actually know something about singing and performance, and I actually had an opinion. And so I voted against the judge's recommendations, and I voted for Scotty McCreery based on a couple video clips they showed of his earlier performances.
Hey, there's enough room in the world for lots of mediocre performers. I just helped change the course of history for two of them.