I have to admit I haven't been watching a lot of TV these days. What with the writer's strike, a general lack of interest and my busy life, the boob tube just wasn't calling my name.
Then, in a moment of weakness, I watched one episode of American Idol and now I'm hooked. I can't help it. I just find the show fascinating. I love listening to the 2 or 3 kids who can actually sing. And Simon's biting comments, while often cruel, leave me rolling on the floor in laughter. (You know he's doing that to keep the show in the spotlight.)But the real draw for me is seeing America's Meltingpot up there on the stage competing in the ultimate popularity contest.
I wonder do people really vote on talent (Does anybody remember Sanjaya?) or are these contestants being evaluated by their hotness factor? And then I wonder how and if race/ethnicity fits into the equation. Do the Black people vote Black? Are the Filipino voters overjoyed because there are at least two of their kind of people in the running this season? And what about those ambiguously brown contestants with the kinda/sorta Hispanic could be Italian surnames? Whose vote do they get? Based on the presidential primary coverage, one can't blame me for thinking that people vote based on who looks like them the most.
Now of course I could be completely wrong in assuming that the thousands of viewers who actually take the time to send in their vote only support their racial brethren, but it does make me pause. And if the opposite is true, if people strip away all of their ethnic/racial biases and just vote based on whether a person has true pop star appeal, then that's pretty cool too. Revolutionary, in fact. Of course there's probably no way to find out what's really at play in voter habits, but it sure is fun to watch the ride.