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American Idol: A Christina Christian Conspiracy?by David Bloomberg -- 08/09/2002
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Ever since Wednesday night’s American Idol result, there have been everything from mild speculation to wild rumors about how Christina could possibly have been voted off rather than RJ or Nikki. On this site, Sting7 said he smells a rat and Peggy Keller explained how Nikki is getting so many votes. On other entertainment sites, there have been suggestions of a conspiracy. And you wouldn’t believe some of the suggestions I’ve gotten in e-mail!
But, frankly, I am not surprised by Christina’s loss. Disappointed? Yes. Shocked? No.
I do think that something strange is at work here. No, not a conspiracy – at least not an organized one that in any way relates to the producers of the show or Fox. I think the strangeness comes down to a force greater than any possible organized conspiracy. Yes, I am talking about teenaged girls.
While the conspiracies say she was not really sick, that the producers just wanted a way to get rid of her, or things like that, these claims have no evidence behind them. Others claim her illness was bad enough to make her drop out but the producers chose to make it seem like it was the voters. Again, no evidence. In fact, one of the final 10 contestants in the UK Pop Idol had to drop out due to a throat infection and that information was provided to the audience. Why would they handle it differently in the U.S. – especially when it would be so easy for somebody (like Christina herself) to come out and tell the truth later? There is no reason for Fox to jeopardize their huge summer hit with a meaningless and stupid lie.
No, instead I think Peggy hit on it somewhat in her discussion about Nikki. It doesn’t only come down to singing, but to who the fans prefer. Christina is a good singer. She’s not as good as Tamyra or Kelly, and her vibrato drove me nuts sometimes, but she’s definitely better than RJ. And at least she remembered the words to her song. But she has not cultivated a fan base like he has.
RJ started as the underdog. He caused the biggest fight between Simon and Randy. People felt sorry for RJ as he had to stand there and watch the two judges bicker. Then he came back the next week in the Wildcard show and managed to impress the judges enough to get into the final 10.
Fans often love an underdog, and teenaged girls even moreso when he looks like he belongs in a boy band. But Christina didn’t have any of these things going for her. She had to compete with the other women who are simply better. She also sang several slower songs along the that did not really grab the audience. Maybe Simon thought she sounded like Sade, but I thought she just sounded boring, as did others. Some thought she sounded great. But, agree or disagree, we were all evaluating her actual performance. The teenaged girls aren’t doing that with RJ. They are his fans. They are calling in for him no matter what. The results show that.
It comes down to this: Christina does not have a legion of teenaged girls to call and call and call for her. Nobody came to her rescue when things looked bad. She just has those who think she's talented. And unfortunately, that was not enough to win the day. I hate to sound like Brian the host, but let this be a lesson to all of us: If you want your favorite to stay, you have to call in and outvote the teenaged girls. Either that or, if you have a young daughter, make sure to take away her phone privileges on Tuesday night. Every little bit helps.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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