American Idol 7: Carly Smithson, "Jesus Christ Superstar," and a Myth De-Bunked
One of the most entertaining aspects of this largely inexplicable season of American Idol has been the media's insistence on assigning reasons to the unreasonable.  Voting patterns have been theorized and discussed and beaten into the ground, but none make much sense.  It's a human inclination to try and explain things away using logic, but sometimes logic just doesn't work.  Why is it so hard to agree that sometimes things are just completely and totally random?  American Idol has featured a parade of shocking eliminations over the past couple months, and the only explanation I can give (and the only one that can't be easily refuted) is this: the Top 12 are so tightly grouped in their voter bases, that the eliminated contestants are merely victims of inevitable random voting fluctuations.  However, we know that this explanation will not fly with fans and pundits, so we have silly conspiracy theories like the latest one: Carly Smithson was eliminated because her rendition of “Jesus Christ Superstar” was perceived as blasphemous and offensive. 

Wrong.  Maybe there were a few people here or there in the Bible Belt and other Evangelical communities who were up in arms over Carly's song choice, but it couldn't have been enough to matter.  I suppose the song, when dissected, could be deemed offensive to the highly religious, but I doubt that the kind of people who would be offended by the song's message would have delved so deep into the song's meaning.  Alternately, I'd imagine the typical, visceral reaction to “Jesus Christ Superstar” by highly religious people would be one of delight.  Jesus, he's a superstar!  That's something that might interest the religious.

If, and it's a big if, I am underestimating the voters' ability to make insightful judgments on song meanings, then let's take another example from this season.  When David Archuleta sang “Imagine” the same hypothetical voters who shunned Carly would have done the same to David at an even higher rate.  “Imagine” might be the most anti-religion pop song ever.  David Archuleta doesn't know this, and I'm guessing most of the American Idol viewers remain unaware as well.  Point being, that even if “Jesus Christ Superstar” is something that might be construed as offensive to certain people, I seriously doubt a significant amount of those people would even realize it.  So, please, let's stop attributing Carly's dismissal to the theme of her song choice.  That is all.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)