April 8, 2016

I couldn't bring myself to live-blog the final finale of "American Idol"...

... maybe you remember the old, old days of this blog when I did live-blog the show. But I watched. I'll blog a couple news stories about it, and then I want to share an opinion about American people voting, something that transcends the show and relates to the presidential election.

TIME's reviewer says:
The series... was at its best all about democracy. And on Thursday night it provided a sort of recall election, placing the vast majority of its alumni performers into stagings chosen seemingly at random.... Five of them, the so-called White Guys With Guitars who marked the show’s later years in which tween girls were the major voting base, were limited to 20 percent apiece of a David Bowie tribute. Jordin Sparks and Taylor Hicks, two relatively early winners, had arguably less to do than Pia Toscano, who came in ninth place five years ago....
The show began with President Obama — on video, not in the theater — and he looked so bad that I thought it was some anti-Obama political ad. He wasn't properly made up for the camera and he looked really tired. His congratulations to the show morphed into a lecture on voting:
"Voting is the most fundamental and sacred right of our democracy. I believe it should be almost as easy as voting on 'American Idol,' and we're working on that. But when we choose not to vote we surrender that right."
Eh. What bilge. Voting is the most sacred right? Voting in elections should be like voting on "American Idol," where you call and text in multiple votes? And you surrender your right if you don't use it? No, you don't. Just as you have a right not to speak (as part of freedom of speech) and a right not to have a religion (as part of freedom of religion), the right to vote includes the right to abstain. And abstaining when you have no preference in an election makes as much sense as keeping silent when you've got nothing to say and not bothering to act like you have a religion when you don't sincerely believe.

Obama ended by wagging a finger at us and telling us to go to vote.gov and register.

Now, the thing about voting is, I think, Americans don't like to be told what to do. We didn't like being told we were going to vote for Jeb Bush, and we've been putting up an agonizingly long, slow resistance to getting Hillary jammed down our throat.

On this last season of "American Idol," the judges continually acted as if it was already understood that the winner was going to be La'Porsha Renae. We were supposed to vote, but we were supposed to vote for her. [SPOILER ALERT.]

No matter how much progress anybody else made, no matter how hard he worked to win us over, the fix was in. But the "American Idol" establishment couldn't make it happen, and the other guy, Trent Harmon, won:
Harmon tumbled to the stage in surprise as host Ryan Seacrest announced him as the 15th and final winner....

"I know that I have a God-given ability, but I didn't want to take it for granted. I wanted to work so, so hard, and she pushed me to do it," a tearful Harmon said of Renae, who stood poised and smiling by his side.
The judges hurt Renae's case by leaning on us to vote their idea of what is correct. We rebel. Don't tell us what to do.

ADDED: WaPo demagogues it: "Surprising no one, white man bests black woman to become final ‘American Idol’ winner." The first 3 words of that headline are a blatant lie. Most were surprised. And:
As one Twitter user put it: “ANOTHER basic white boy” had triumphed.

35 comments:

Sebastian said...

"Eh. What bilge" Eh. What faux disgust. Has he ever said anything that's not "bilge"?

AReasonableMan said...

Seems to me that Althouse did exactly what she was told to do in her vote in the Wisconsin primary.

CWJ said...

"His congratulations to the show morphed into a lecture..."

Now there's an all-purpose Obama phrase if there ever was one.

Bay Area Guy said...

Obama: "Voting is the most fundamental and sacred right of our democracy. I believe it should be almost as easy as voting on 'American Idol,' and we're working on that. But when we choose not to vote we surrender that right."

Althouse: "Eh, What bilge"

It is bilge and even more - it's leftist propaganda. Obama's party, the Democrats, believes that it represents the "Nots" in society, and that if ever the large number of "Nots" got properly organized to vote en masse, the Dems could enhance their power to take a lot more money from the "Haves"

That's why they flip out over innocuous rules such as showing a valid ID card at the polling station.






Big Mike said...

We rebel. Don't tell us what to do.

@Althouse, you are preaching to the choir. Tell that to your Democrats.

Charlie said...

How can you tell when Obama is lecturing us? His lips are moving.

aritai said...

Wow. Seems For such a smart fellow his schooling has come up a bit short. The First and most important Democratic right is the right to vote with your wallet. The second is voting with your feet, freedom of association. Both of which reflect your ownership of self. The last is the plebiscite, and the least important, because government, "the things we decide to do together" because whomever is elected or what law is created by initiative vote needs can't matter as long as "what we decide to do together" reflects the golden rule, which it can't if at times others use this cudgel to demand a citizen do or not do certain things. Which by definition it must, or a group decision would not be necessary because we'd already be doing it by our own choice. See 2Corinth) where Paul discovers there's no salvation if his people, led by him, were to coerce by any means, the sinners in Corinth, he “sin-city of its day) to change their behavior because then it could not would not be their free choice. Meaning there's no salvation in government, so it must be as small as possible else responsibility and guilt are no longer our own. Sigh.

An evangelist can be annoying in their preaching that someone else must behave differently, but their essential complaint, even to the point of taking up arms is being forced to pay for that behavior. Else all of that polis that would force behavior, destroy free will, are the worst of sinners by Paul’s definition. Wich was opposite what he himself until he was saved, per 2Corinth, the most libertarian clause in your Bible..

bagoh20 said...

Is he still President? I almost forgot.

Then last night he parked his plane right behind my house, destroyed traffic and cost the city millions just so he could collect a couple million from Hollywood for his other political friends. Then I remembered why we vote how we do - because we're suckers. We do worse than the proverbial broken clock. When was the last time you were proud of your vote and got what you were sold?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

We rebel. Don't tell us what to do.

This requires a link to the just released Star Wars: Rogue One trailer. ( The link should go to late in the trailer, I currently can't watch and find the correct time. )

bagoh20 said...

Voting is more like choosing your form of punishment, but they sell it like a diet product on an infomercial. You buy it, you get it, and you end up throwing it away only to buy the next one with the exact same pitch. If just one candidate would run on "Your problems are not my job."

MadisonMan said...

Trent Harmon had the best kind of trajectory on Idol, getting better and better each week. La'Porsha Renae was consistently excellent. I'm glad the voters put those two into the final, they were miles better than Dalton and MacKenzie, number 3 and 4 respectively.

I rarely watched AI live any more -- who has time? But I always watched tvline.com's Reality Check with Michael Slezak and Melinda Doolittle. Hilarious.

grimson said...

We rebel.

If only. I'm guessing Obama was neither booed for his remarks (bilge as usual), nor even for just interrupting the show with politics.

Eleanor said...

The President of the United States should be too busy to participate in a TV show contest.

Titus said...

Wow-thanks for the video of Obama.

That is the worst I he has ever looked.

He actually looked old-weird.

Curious George said...

"Voting is the most fundamental and sacred right of our democracy. I believe it should be almost as easy as voting on 'American Idol,' and we're working on that. But when we choose not to vote we surrender that right."

That's just the weed talking.

Fred Drinkwater said...

We Americans dislike when folks use the editorial "we".

Chris N said...

If this doesn't change things, he's going out to Sesame Street with a bullhorn.

Writ Small said...

Yeah! Remember all those people telling us we had to vote for Jeb Bush? Remember? No? Well, ok, me neither. But, still, don't tell us what to do! We don't like that.

cubanbob said...

Eleanor said...
The President of the United States should be too busy to participate in a TV show contest.

4/8/16, 8:51 AM"

Don't be an ingrate. Be grateful he doesn't devote more time to his main gig of ruining the country.

Writ Small said...

We've really seen the opposite sort of manipulation this election cycle, haven't we.

"They're telling us who to vote for. The establishment wants you to vote for Jeb, but you're smart and independent and a bit of a rebel aren't you? You don't do what other people tell you to do. You're your own person. That's why you're going to vote for Trump or maybe Cruz. That will prove that no one tells you what to do. Thanks for your support, you free spirit, you."

"Remember how we told you that free spirits could vote for Cruz, too? Yeah, about that. . . It turns out Cruz can't win because he looks and talks a little funny. Plus, they want you to vote for Cruz. Yep, the establishment is making their peace with him. What? Oh no. We're pretty sure the establishment wanted Cruz all along. That means the only way you can prove you're an independent thinker is to vote Trump. Can I put you down for Trump? Yes? Great! Now, stick your right arm out straight. A little higher. That's good!. Oh you are such a rebel! Now, repeat after me. . ."

FullMoon said...

All BS aside, I thought that was a really big show, by TV standards. I figured L.P. waas gonna win because the white guy is not attractive, and she gets extra affirmative action credit as well as "abused single mom who is making it on her own" credit.
Toss in a big afro and obesity(probably bullied in school) along with a great voice and judges approval.....seemed like a lock.

BTW, very annoying when a contestant says "I worked so hard...." They all worked hard.
William Hung showed most improvement, in my opinion..

iqvoice said...

This is the first time I ever noticed that 'rebel' is pronounced completely differently depending on its usage, whether verb or noun. Not only is the phonetic sound different, but the syllable emphasis also changes. I wonder how many other words are like that.

Robin Eatmon said...

The former contestants were probably grouped together on an availability basis as well as style of singing. It was obvious that there was quite a bit of rehearsal time that started well before the final weeks. I thought it was a terrific show and both finalists, with some luck, should have lasting careers. I don't fault Trent for saying he worked hard...when you are overcome with relief and excitement you might not choose the typical measured words. Bye Idol...it was a satisfying ending.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I believe it should be almost as easy as voting on 'American Idol,' and we're working on that.

The first phrase: how can anyone say that with a straight face

The second phrase: oh JOY

Smilin' Jack said...

Obama ended by wagging a finger at us and telling us to go to vote.gov and register....Americans don't like to be told what to do.

As head of the executive branch, that's pretty much the president's job.

Jane the Actuary said...

Obama can't resist another opportunity to appear on TV. My guess is he's going to try for being a talk show host after he leaves office.

But fill me in, please -- why was there an Establishment candidate in American Idol?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Smilin' Jack said...

As head of the executive branch, that's pretty much the president's job.

Fuck No.

MayBee said...

Apparently when it's as easy to vote as it is on American Idol, white males win.

mccullough said...

I love the "almost as easy." I wonder what he doesn't think should be allowed. 65% of the voting eligible population is registered to vote. And almost 88% of them voted in the last presidential election. Some people just won't register to vote and of those who register, some don't want to vote. A good chunk of these people must watch American Idol of Obama did this PSA.

rehajm said...

I've wondered how we'll collectively sum up the Obama presidency. Peggy Noonan's held the top spot for some time with He made it worse.

Eh. What bilge.
may have taken the lead.

Beldar said...

The thing I love about the Obama era is all the racial healing, even on American Idol.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Make it easier to vote? How could it be any easier? Maybe he just wants the government to vote for you. That way you wouldn't have to leave your chair and miss all the excitement on AI.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

White people!
Also what's the actual argument (against that result) here? How were non-white people, or even just people who wanted to vote for the non-white finalist, in any way prevented from voting? Did you have to have some form of ID to vote (or caller ID to text)??

Is the assertion that the outcome is invalid or somehow suboptimal just because the white guy won? But invalid how? Was the voting rigged in some way? If everyone has equal opportunity to vote and all the votes were counted why should anyone feel like the outcome is somehow invalid?

I mean, I get that you aren't happy that the person you wanted to win didn't win. Fine, sure, that's normal. But the idea that "if the outcome I want isn't achieved then the process itself is somehow flawed or rigged" is really a bad one to hold...especially living in a nation that is supposed to believe in democracy.

Or is this just one of those "it's not over until we win" things, too?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Or is this just one of those "it's not over until we win" things, too?

Everything is one of those "it's not over until we win" things.

Static Ping said...

For a long time American Idol has not been relevant to its stated goal: discovering the next pop star. The last winner to have something of a decent career was Jordin Sparks (season 6) unless you count Scott McCreery's modest country success (season 10). Through the first five seasons, the show could at least manufacture the illusion of a pop star as they always had a #1 single, even with the inexplicable Taylor Hicks. The last three winners, excluding Trent, were barely even noticed on the charts. Compare that to The X Factor in the UK where their alumni have boatloads of hits.