The first part of the American Idol two-part finale between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen airs Tuesday evening. Even with series finales and season finales firing off every night all along the network line, American Idol is still the most talked about show on television. Why? Like politics and religion, everybody has an opinion about music. And after last week’s shocking dismissal of Danny Gokey, followed by Ryan Seacrest’s announcement that only one million votes separated the top two, speculation has been running wild as to who had the most and who stood to gain the most from Danny Gokey’s absence.
Unfortunately for Adam Lambert, that would be Kris Allen. And it just might be enough to lift him up into the winner’s circle on Wednesday evening.
Why would Kris Allen gain the most from Danny Gokey’s absence? Many of Danny Gokey’s fans were (are) Christians (Gokey himself is a music director at his home church in Milwaukee). Some will scoff, but according to Adherents.com, Christians make up over 76% of the religious population of the United States. Many of those Christians are evangelical (which make up over 26% of the Protestant side of Christianity), a little more fundamentalist than, say, Presbyterians (who have openly gay clergy). Those with more “traditional” beliefs that promote the family values, anti-gay line (which, of course, is not exclusive to evangelicals) will more likely now vote for Kris Allen or not vote at all.
Kris Allen is also married. According to New York Daily News, Adam Lambert showed up at an American Idol party the other night with a friend he introduced as his “boyfriend.” There will be many voters out in the viewing audience that will not be able to reconcile voting for Adam because of his lifestyle.
Oh, and one other thing: Kris Allen, according to Los Angeles Times, is an evangelica Christian, a worship leader at his church in Conway, Arkansas.
Simply put, many Christians who will vote will cast their vote for Kris Allen.
However, simply because Kris Allen might get the larger boost from those voters still voting who supported Danny Gokey does not mean that he will gain enough votes to actually win American Idol. He could gain many, even millions more of Danny Gokey’s fans than Adam Lambert, but new voters, avid fan voters, and the portion of Danny Gokey fans that favor Adam over Kris Allen might still give Adam the win.
But the problem with this type of conjecture is that the viewer was not told who had the most votes after last week’s performances. Kris Allen may already have the lead. Simply because Adam Lambert has been the most talked-about finalist does not mean that he has led the votes each week.
And it must also be said that Kris Allen is a very talented young man and deserves to win American Idol just as much as Adam Lambert does, regardless of who votes for him and why. But as in any competition, sometimes it is the stereotypical and discriminatory slights that costs votes.
But if Adam Lambert loses, somebody somewhere is going to charge Christians — especially the more “traditional,” more fundamentalist-leaning Christians — with his loss. It is as inevitable as effect following cause.
Still, regardless of which finalist wins, it would be interesting to poll regular American Idol-voting Christians (after voting is complete, of course) and find out how many voted or didn’t vote in the finale, who the voted for if they did, and why they voted for them. With current hot topic issues like same-sex marriage, Miss California’s very public controversy, gays in the military, Proposition 8 in California, and the recent allowance of same-sex marriage in Iowa, Vermont, and Maine, it would be most interesting, indeed.
New York Daily News
“American Idol,” Fox Television