April 11th, 2008

happy girl

(david cook +) Jesus + mainstream TV = fail.

This fan video, for some really weird reason, almost made me cry:

(It's set to the studio version of Innocent which is awesome so yay.)


I donated US$50 using my mom's credit card to Idol Gives Back. I was rolling my eyes at the unabashed blatantness of all the Poor People videos, like Simon asking a woman living in New York with lupus what she'd like America to do to help her. SERIOUSLY. And Brad Pitt in New Orleans, asking Hurricane Katrina survivors, "Would you like to go home?" WHO WOULDN'T LIKE TO GO HOME? Talk about cue swelling strings and woodwinds, and of course, bring on the freaking waterworks.

Idol isn't known for its subtlety, but its blatant heavy-handedness and the miles it lept to get under my skin totally worked. As cynical as I was towards the whole event, you simply cannot argue against the sight of an eight-month-old baby in Africa hooked up to tubes, foaming at the mouth because his/her parents (assuming they are still alive) are too poor to fight malaria. The Annie Lennox video was just simultaneously heartfelt and heartbreaking, as was her performance (totally understand why David cried).

I can't believe Idol got to me.

Still, it'll be nice to see celebrities go to Africa/poor parts of the US/wherever dressed as normal people, without their sunglasses and make-up and fancy hairstyles and Alicia Keys' huge golden hoop earrings. Otherwise the whole thing just comes across as put-on and fake, no matter how genuine their intentions may be. Annie Lennox, from what I remember, is a normal human being through and through, and so her sincerity was the most powerful of them all.


And of course, David singing 'your hands on my hips/waist' and grinding to the crappy Rihanna song made me very, very happy.


David's AMAZING belty solo in the Jesus song also made me very happy. But whilst I was squeeing over it and going all fangirl crazy and rewinding his part about ten million times, I'd just like to express my utter disenchantment and disturbance at the fact that the producers chose a blatantly Christian song for the contestants to sing on a charity night.

I cannot think of any logical reason for this move. Not even the argument that "many contestants are Christian" can hold any water, because David Cook is not Christian (assuming he hasn't changed his religious views from, I dunno, 2 years ago or so), and many contestants does not equal to all the contestants.

Even if all the contestants were Christians, it still doesn't justify the inevitable alienation that non-Christian viewers would feel towards the song. The show isn't American Christian Idol; it's American Idol. If I wanted to expose myself to Christianity, I would go to a church, and the fact that I haven't done so and in all likelihood never will shows that my lack of interest precludes any appreciation on my part when a show whose premise has nothing to do with religion starts preaching to me. The offence is exacerbated when it starts preaching to me on a charity night, using its contestants as a vehicle to do so.

It's one thing to have Dolly Parton on the show singing about Jesus and gravity. That's her personal view, and while I don't agree with it, she has the right to express it on TV if that's what floats her boat. But it's another thing altogether when a group song is a Christian worship song. The choice isn't left to the individual contestants (as in the case with Kristy and her stupid God Bless the USA song); it's a conscious choice by the producers. It therefore stops being an individual choice and individual freedom of expression; it becomes American Idol the product making a statement about religion and basically telling me that I need to accept God, and as someone who doesn't float that way, I find it incredibly offensive. I'm sorry, I honestly didn't watch American Idol to receive a religious revelation, and if Idol had portrayed itself as such from the beginning, I would never have tuned in.

I'm all for freedom of religion, which is why I wouldn't care if Brooke White/David Archuleta/whoever else is Christian chooses to sing a hymn for one of his/her performances. But when the show makes the entire group sing a Christian song, nevermind that one of them isn't Christian, it crosses the freedom of religion line into Obnoxious Preaching territory. It just irks me and offends me to see such things on mainstream television as if they are universal truths that everyone accepts.

Apparently they changed the "Jesus" in the song to "shepherd" - which shows that, at some level, they're aware of the potentially offensive/divisive/alienating/exclusionary effect the song would have on non-Christian viewers. I mean, totally great that they were aware, but then, WHY STILL GO AHEAD WITH IT? I honestly cannot comprehend the baffling song choice.

If it weren't for the fact that David belted his heart out on that song, I swear I would've turned the TV off right away before the song even started. I would even buy the iTunes video just because David was so phenomenal, but because it's called Shout to the Lord, I'll give it a pass.

But it's a great testament to David Cook's infinite talent (okay, 'infinite' is too much of an exaggeration), as well as my undying and overwhelming love for him, that despite how offensive I found the song, I still rewound it a million times just to listen to David's incredible, INCREDIBLE glory note-belting. He was just so full of win, and those ten seconds alone proves that David A isn't the default winner of Season 7.


Anyway, I read spoilers for tonight's results show, and all I gotta say is:


2. OMG David did NOT hit bottom 3 despite his universally-panned performance. HE IS AMAZING. His fanbase is even more rabid than I thought. HE'S SO MAKING THE FINALS.


I fully intend to write about my emo-ing but yeah, I kind of need to write my paper, so another time. Erm, if I remember to.

And erm, if I remember what I emo-ed about. Hahaha. Whatever.