Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Voting for Your Second Favorite: A Fact of Presidential Elections -- and American Idol

For most liberals, today is a happy day, because Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic nomination (here's the YouTube video of his speech, which I'm listening to now, and it's great). For slightly fewer liberals, it's time to suck it up and vote for the candidate who might be (should be, really) your second favorite. Hillary Clinton supporters, with a crappy economy, slow housing and job markets, an ongoing occupation and war in Iraq, the possibility of more war in Iran, and the nearly 8-year-long erosion of our human and civil rights, it is NOT the time to be bitter and risk having another 4 years of the same by staying home on November 4 or voting for John McCain. Besides, voting for John McCain would make you a gigantic moron. Sometimes, when your favorite gets the boot, you have to vote for your second favorite. This goes for presidential elections and American Idol, and I'm going to compare the two right now (and I'll do a better job than John McCain did).

Season 7 of American Idol ended just a couple of weeks ago, and it showcased fantastic talent that wasn't seen in any of the preceding seasons, except maybe Season 4 when Bo Bice should have won, but Carrie Underwood did. My favorite of this past season was Jason Castro, the dreadlocked, sensitive Colombian folk singer with blue eyes like the -- alright let me stop before I float away. I voted my little fingers off for the guy every week since his first performance and I fell in love with him over and over again, week after week, no matter how much the judges bashed his style. Unfortunately, Team Castro dropped the ball (well, so did Jason), and Jason placed fourth. Many Dreadheads (clever, no?) vowed to never vote or watch the show again. I, like so many other American Idol fans, had a second favorite: The tall, faux-hawked, scruffy Mid-Western rocker, David Cook. And I felt torn between making a statement by boycotting the show and possibly inadvertantly sealing the deal for either baby-faced snooze-fest David Archuleta or screechy diva wannabe Syesha Mercado. I went back and forth -- "I'm gonna boycott!" "No! I have to vote for Cook!" -- for an entire week. It was stressful.

I decided not to watch and not to vote. I was secure in my decision, until I realized something. How successful would my boycott be if I didn't vote and my inaction caused someone that I didn't want to win, to win? Wouldn't that be a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts? Wouldn't it just piss me off even more if neither of the performers that I liked and that I thought deserved to win got voted off? Wouldn't it be just like Taylor Hicks winning all over again? (If you don't know what it's like for Taylor Hicks to win American Idol, just remember how you felt when George W. Bush was reelected. It kind of feels like that).

So at the very last minute on Top-3 night, I voted for David Cook for two full hours, and he made it to the top 2. The next week, I voted for David Cook again. So did a lot of Dreadheads, even those who initially said they wouldn't vote after Jason got voted off. And you know what happened? David Cook won by 12 million votes, and Cook's fans are forever grateful, because they know he couldn't have won without help from the Dreadheads (those Archies play dir-tay.). And overall, the Dreadheads seem very satisfied with David Cook winning, as he was a second favorite of many.

The moral of the story? It can hurt when your favorite candidate doesn't win the grand prize, but if you can help the other guy who shares your views and rocks just as hard, it'll still be much more satisfying than if some boring guy who's the same as everyone else and appeals to the over 60 set wins. Or something like that.


Anonymous said...

I am a Hillary fan and I'm also a Taylor Hicks fan because he is the most original artist to ever grace that stage. Do a little research and listen to him in his element, not the record that was American Idol influenced. Go to one of his concerts and then tell me you don't like him and I will accept your poor taste.

Cindy said...

Taylor Hicks winning AI was a great feeling. Taylor wining was a great thing for music lovers who know that radio doesn't know great music. Bush wining was a horrible thing for the world. I wanted Hillary to be the democrat but will vote for Obama.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the general theme of your blog. Many believe, including myself, that Taylor Hicks deserved to win season 5.

Comparing Taylor's win to George W's reelection is unbelievable!

FEMily! said...

Alright, alright, I'll admit it. I was a fan of Taylor Hicks at the start of season 5. I thought he was cool at first, but his act got old for me. I was disappointed with that season overall. I much preferred Elliot Yamin and Chris Daughtry. By the finale, I didn't really care who won, since I didn't think Taylor or Katherine McPhee should have been in the top 2. But that's just my opinion, and everyone's entitled to theirs (it doesn't mean they have poor taste, anonymous person number 1).

The comparison between W. Bush and Taylor was supposed to be funny, not taken literally. I was obviously much more disappointed, to the point that I was in denial for a couple of days, when Bush was reelected. In fact, I joined thousands of Americans on Pennsylvania Avenue in the freezing cold on Inauguration Day to protest. The thought of doing the same outside of Taylor Hicks' home never crossed my mind.

The Soul Patrol was very supportive of David Cook this season, and for that, I thank you.