A fascinating commentary appeared in yesterday’s New York Daily News that spoke to the consciences of those, like me, who are hooked on this season of American Idol.
Scott, the blind contestant, has no business in the top 13 and the judges and voters have put him there with pity votes. He’s an OK singer who has done very well to even make it into the top 36 but that’s where it should have ended. He’s simply not good enough. Being sightless has nothing to do with that.
Kara, the new fourth judge whose presence I still don’t understand, told him he could “move mountains” when he sang. In the wake of barn burning, killer performances by note-perfect singers Adam and Lil, that’s just as patronizing as Paula’s advice to Jorge to “lose the accent”. I don’t recall a Spanish lilt being a problem for the many singers named Iglesias: Julio, Enrique, Dweezil, Curly and Sleepy.
A pity vote is well intentioned but ultimately insulting. Scott’s family and friends certainly believe he has earned his kudos but crazy Tatiana’s family probably thought the same thing. (Or perhaps they were just hoping she’d be away from them, in Hollywood, for a longer stretch of time.) I don’t mean to take anything away from Scott’s accomplishments but he’s past the point where he ought to have been thanked and sent on his way.