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Did America Get It Right?
May 26, 2009 - Kim Collette
Let me preface this blog by saying:
Number 1, although I consider myself a decent dancer, I'm far from good or being rewarded a scholarship to Juliard. Number 2, I can't carry a tune in a bucket myself, but I do have a small musical background thanks to my many years as a band geek!
Two of my guilty addictions crowned their champions last week. Olympic gold medalist, all-around athlete, adorable Shawn Johnson captured the coveted "mirror ball" trophy on Dancing With the Stars (DWTS) over runner-up Gilles Marini. Clean-cut, country boy Kris Allen became the 8th American Idol (AI), over glam rocker Adam Lambert.
So, for the final time this season-----Did America get it right? I know what you're thinking.....ABSOLUTELY NOT! So how did these two underdogs win?
Let's examine this a bit more closely to try to see how this all came down.
Both Allen and Johnson seemed shocked and surprised to win their respective shows. Kris' jaw dropped to the floor in disbelief. He even seemed apologetic for his triumph. On DWTS, both Shawn and her partner/instructor Mark Ballas clasped their mouths in disbelief. Mark even fell to the floor in shock. Could these two competitiors have won over the 's of America with their humble pie attitude? I honestly think that is part of it.
Maybe America stayed true to form by picking winners who grew over the course of their seasons. Neither Allen or Johnson were "true" front runners as their contests began. On AI, Lambert was a polished product from the beginning. It was almost a foregone conclusion that he would win. But, the "growth" story became Kris. Each week he reminded us why he made the Top 13. He continued to show us his great vocal ability and musical rendition. SLowly but surely his fan base was growing. The same goes for DWTS. The clear front runner seemed to be Gilles Marini. From the beginning the actor "played" the characters of the dances and performed near flawlessly. Again, like with AI, the "growth"story became Shawn. She became a more polished dancer each week. Also, little by little, Shawn came out of her "shell" and became a performer of the dances. Each week her fan base grew and grew.
Another thought could be that maybe America voted AGAINST who they didn't want to win. Lambert, on AI, probably was just too polarizing for voters. As the show's blatent cheerleading for Adam rose, the resentment against him did too. So.....in my opinion....the fans of "cast-off" contestants, none of whom were treated as "nicely" as Adam, gravitated towards Allen and away from Lambert. DWTS is a little trickier on this point. Johnson may have benefitted from some fans just voting for America since Marini is a Frenchmen. Or the fans voted for the person they "knew". Nothing against Marini, but unless you saw Sex and the City the movie, you probably hadn't heard of him before DWTS. Johnson just won a gold medal in last summer's Olympic Games. Who hadn't heard of her?
Overall though, I think competitions still boil down to talent. You can't argue that Kris and Shawn didn't deserve to win. Both...and I mean both....were talented enough to win. Kris' performance of "Ain't No Sunshine" definitely is deserving. And...Johnson's freestyle dance was by far the best I've seen since Drew Lachey's way back on season 2.
So..... my kudos go out to Kris Allen, your newest American Idol and Shawn Johnson, Dancing with the Stars newest champ! Both hard earned and well deserved wins!
America, in my opinion, go BOTH right!
Until next time friends!
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