I'm not a big fan of TV and even less of a fan of TV shows. And even though I'm a singer, I never saw so much as a minute of American Idol until one of my daughters (can you guess which one?) dragged me kicking and screaming to watch the finale of AI (not to be confused with artificial (or even natural) intelligence) season five.
For two hours I sat and watched a duel between a pudgy, grey-haired guy (making me think I was an obvious candidate for season six) and a girl (about whom I apparently have no recollection other than gender). I wasted two hours only to find that the results wouldn't be until the next night. (Which, apparently, was the final finale.)
Having watched the first finale, I felt obligated to watch the second. If memory and phantom pain serve me, it was well over two hours of fluff followed by a 10-second announcement that the oldish guy won the night.
Now I was trapped. When season six started, we DVRed the shows to watch. For the first time in years, I'm sad to say, I watched most of the season of a TV series. After years of resisting the urge to plop my backside on the couch for endless hours after making it through life without ever watching Friends, Survivor, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Desperate Housewives, or anything else I got sucked in by the singers with hopes of stardom.
Soon it became clear that we favored Jordin Sparks. We cheered for her without ever going so far as placing a vote. But we missed the finale while we were on the beach in Hawaii and saw the results in a newspaper stand. So much for those hours of “family fun.”
When Alana informed me that season seven was about to start, I made it clear that I wasn't going to watch. Period. I would not allow myself to get sucked into the months-long saga of Simon belittling everyone and the producers using footage of the most pathetic, would-be performers to rake in a little more cash.
I gave in just a little, when one of the first shows aired, showing the original auditions. Some are sad, some hilarious, and some very exciting. One clip showed a woman in her 20's, who was actually dressed in a manner that covered her private parts and then some. Somehow the discussion revealed the facts that neither she nor her husband drink and they don't even watch R-rated movies.
“Mormon!” we yelled!
Randy and Simon were made hay with that and went so far as to suggest that her poor, stifled husband was really down catching some action on the internet when she was asleep. Charming.
The last thing Simon said to her after they told her she'd be going on to Hollywood was that he would do his best to bring her “over to the dark side.”
Interesting how uncomfortable decent behavior makes some people.
After my initial breakdown, I was good to my word and occupied myself elsewhere while Alana and Monica fast-forwarded past the chat to watch the singing and critiques.
Then I found out that two Mormons were in the top five. I set aside my preferences for the sake of loyalty to religion.
If you've followed this at all, by now you now that Brooke White finished in fifth place and last night the other Mormon, sweet-faced 17-year-old David Archuleta took second.
We were sad and more than a little shocked. Archuleta out-sang the “other David” by a mile. And the judges actually agreed calling his performance a “knock-out.”
But all the tween voting aside, I'm so stinking impressed with these two “kids.” No, they aren't war heroes or martyrs or worthy of “worship” at all. But they were both remarkable representatives for our church in a tough situation particularly with the current LDS vs. FLDS confusion and have given the world a really great idea of who we really are.
First, to Archuleta, I thank him for being gracious and humble and an all around nice guy. Yes, his voice is gorgeous, but he sincerely seems to back up the voice with a great spirit.
Archuleta got the big coverage and is much more likely get the big press and the big contracts. And I won't mind downloading the first (or second) David Archuleta MP3 that comes out. But I could just squeeze Brooke White silly.
In an industry that is known for sexualizing women, she stuck to her guns. And every time she came out on stage and ever time they flashed video of her from past performances my daughters just whooped!
“Look at her dress!”
“Look at her outfit!”
“Mom, she's the only one who's modest!”
Every single time she stood out and she was almost always the only one who was dressed modestly. She was beautiful and stylish and fun and covered. Paul Abdul could learn a thing or two. She was so stuffed into her plunging dress that I was sure we'd see a “wardrobe malfunction” and she'd put out Randy's eye.
I commend her because I know that Simon wasn't the only one trying to persuade her otherwise. It's a safe bet that the costumers didn't know what to do with the “uptight prude” who demanded that her hems be longer, her neckline higher, and sleeves added. And I think it goes without saying that the producers did all they could to “put on a good show” by pressuring her to “lighten up” and “relax” and probably sprinkled in a lot of words like “beautiful,” “classy,” and “tasteful” when referring to the standard hooker gear.
So, from a mom with daughters, thanks to David and a great big hug to Brooke. Way to go! You are my idols!