Main | Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Idol Season 7: No Sanjaya In Sight

Hoping to find this year's Sanjaya, I tuned into last night's American Idol for their all-guys show. (The all-girls show is tonight.) None of the 12 contestants seemed to have that wacky Sanjayacity that made last season the first one that I actually took an interest in, but I totally fell in love with 17 year-old puppy dog David Archuleta and his whole "aw, shucks...ME?...really?" schtick.

It's apparent that Archuleta is already this season's favorite to win. But over on Vote For The Worst, there's a bit of grumbling that Archuleta is a ringer, having won Star Search five years ago at the age of 12.
Everyone knows David Archuleta won Star Search when he was 12. But did you know that he competed against Alexandrea Lushington (yep, the same girl from this year's top 24) on the show and beat her? She was much better than him, but he had been pimped so much by the judges, they let him win. It looks like exactly what's going to happen this year! Not only that, American Idol has always been recycling Star Search contestants for their show. Among the reused contestants from the past are Lisa Tucker from season 5, hot mess Jessica Sierra and fro queen Nadia Turner from season 4's top 12, Joe Murena and Amanda Avila from season 4's top 24, and Tatiana McConnico who had her audition shown from season 6. With all of this lame recycling going on, American Idol should open a plant!
Knowing his extensive show-biz background makes Archuleta's perpetually bewildered act seem just that. And of course, his non-macho ways have spawned a cottage-industry of blog and forum postings speculating on his sexuality. Check out the comment wars on some of his YouTube clips for a good example of the "homophoboblogosphere." (I'll admit that my gaydar is pinging slightly too.) But his non-sexualized appeal seems calculated to draw in the 12 year-old girls, probably a winning Idol strategy. Thirty years ago, I'd totally have had his Tiger Beat cover shot hidden somewhere in my bedroom.

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