Last night America crowned a new music idol. What on earth am I going to do with those evening hours two nights a week for the summer, now that Idol is done? Maybe something more educational. Probably not.
Early in the season I was hoping one of the females would win. The past four years have brought male winners, and I really thought it was time for “one of us” to be up there wearing the crown. Certainly this year brought an abundance of talent, as did last year. Certainly, some of the gals will go on to amazing careers. It was a man who won again – for those of you who do not follow Idol, it was Phillip Phillips, a quiet young man whose singing style defies me as to description, and who is arguably not as “pure” a singer as some of the other contestants.
What Phillip Phillips did bring to the table was some of the qualities last year’s winner (Scotty McCreery) also brought – humility. Staying true to himself. Being a nice guy. Which makes me wonder if our American Idol choices are reflective of something we miss in everyday life, something we see little of in our newsmakers, our decision makers, our governing bodies. Are we missing these qualities in our lives?
Are we longing for nice guys, people who are humble and unpretentious? Are we wishing for easier times, nicer days, more things pleasant in our lives? Do we really want less noise, less upheaval, more “what you see is what you get”? Less vanity, less ego?
In these days when a corporate CEO earns more money in one year than most of us will see in our lifetime, when it requires millions to run for public office so our nominees must be uber-wealthy or be bought by the uber-wealthy, when Abraham Lincoln would not have a chance of being nominated,much less elected, are we longing for simplicity? For wrinkled shirts and jeans? In a time when a large percentage of our population cannot afford health insurance, cannot afford to retire and grow old, will never attain their dreams or have been too downtrodden to even have dreams, is quiet humility what we wish for?
Last year Scotty captured me early on. My perception of him as a young man every parent could be proud of, a young man who cared about others and would not stomp his competition down just to raise himself up, drew me in. This year I cannot say I wished for Phillip’s win early on, but he has intrigued me, made me hope for the best for him for the entirety of the competition. What is it about these young men that grabs me, a so-very-not-young viewer? Is it that humility, or is it more superficial? Is it the cute smiles, the youth, the openness they project?
Whatever the reasons, I believe the choices the viewers have made the past couple of years are good choices. I believe these choices are and will be good role models. How refreshing, their honesty! Or at least their perceived honesty.