“American Idol” has spoken, and Lil Rounds, the blind contestant Scott McIntyre, and Jorge Nunez from Puerto Rico, who did do himself some good by showing naked emotion in crying after his rendition of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” have advanced to the final twelve contestants.
I agree with the selection of Lil and Jorge, and it’s always nice to see handicapped individuals excel, which is why I wrote an entire piece on Oscar Pistorius, “the Blade Runner,” who was born with no legs but sought to compete on artificial limbs in the Olympics. It’s inspirational to have someone triumph over seemingly overwhelming odds. I only wish that Scott had a better voice, but, hey! There were plenty of bloggers who really dug his voice and delivery. I just didn’t happen to be among them, because, as someone who lived with a blind person for over a year, I know that most of the visually handicapped want to be treated “just like everybody else” and that is what I tried to do during my year as Susan Willoughby’s roommate. And that is what I am trying to do in objectively judging the voices of the remaining contestants and not pandering to one over another simply due to hardships they may have endured.
The “wild card” survivors who will live to fight again another day…(tomorrow, in fact) were announced after Lil and Scott and Jorge had once again sung their songs from Tuesday night. The wild card finalists who will compete against one another for the final three spots included: Von Smith, Jasmine Murray, Ricky Braddy, Megan Corkrey, Tatiana DelToro, Matt Giraud, Jesse Langseth and Anoop Desai.
Undoubtedly the selection of Tatiana will cause the most Internet buzz. She lived up to her Drama Queen image by crying and thanking all in the most emotional way possible. Then, apparently overcome with emotion, she began to walk the wrong way off the stage and had to be snared back by those who had already made it through the eye of the needle and were seated to the left, not the right.
Of those “wild card” contestants who made it through, I have come to the conclusion that Jasmine Murray made it through to the final group to compete on the basis of her looks and Jesse Langseth also seems like a long shot (although, as a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, I’m rooting for her). Megan, the tattooed lady from Utah, has been an obvious judges’ favorite since the beginning, and Anoop has immense likeability. The better singers in the group, however, are Von Smith (whom Simon compared to Clay Aiken), Ricky Braddy (who lacks much charisma, unfortunately) and Matt Giraud, once you get him behind his piano doing his bluesy thing.
The other big scandal rocking the competition seemed rather delayed in coming out (pun intended). That was the revelation (if anyone who watches YouTube wants to call it that) that Adam Lambert is gay. A photo of him smooching another male seems to have caused more buzz than his scorching hot rendition of “Crazy,” which took place in what appeared to be some sort of gay “Zodiac” revue. The minute Adam appeared onstage, with his black eyeliner and his dark black geometric cut, it seemed pretty obvious that, if he weren’t openly gay, he was in the closet (like Clay Aiken was for a very long time).
The question is now being posed: “Will America vote for an ‘American Idol’ who is openly gay?” I can’t speak for the rest of America, but I sure will. What a talent Adam Lambert is! He is in a class by himself, in more ways than one. Good luck to the church choir directors in competing against that! And, for those of you who haven’t checked Adam’s YouTube work out on video yet, I suggest “The Zodiac Show” for the openly sexual prancing and Adam with blonde hair; “Dust in the Wind” for a very stripped-down but touching vocal under conditions that can only be described as less-than-optimal; “Is Anybody Listening” for a campy look at Adam playing a part in a Biblical-era musical that reminded of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat;” and “Crawl Through Fire” for some of the campiest outfits and posing.
We just elected our first African American president. Maybe it’s time to elect our first openly gay “American Idol.”