The Politics of American Idol

Apr 8, 2008 10:58am

ABC’s Sunlen Miller reports: Tomorrow night on that little singing contest show you may have heard of, American Idol, the intense competition won’t only be between bad-boy-rocker David Cook, and sweeter-than-pie David Archuleta. 

That’s because tomorrow night is ‘Idol Gives Back’  , when a cavalcade of stars, from Bono to Brad Pitt, will encourage viewers to donate money to support children in poverty, on the program that also asks you to cast a ballot  for your favorite singer.

But that’s not the only vote that will be pursued tomorrow night, when Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, will also appear on Idol Gives Back, with taped messages each will record especially for the program.

As Ryan Seacrest would say: “THIS is American President.”

In the text of the statement Obama released to reporters of his Idol Gives Back statement, the candidate stuck to his theme of hope, while aligning himself with the Idol-loving fan base. “I’d like to say a few words not just as the father of two young girls who are big American Idol fans, but as someone who cares deeply about what tonight’s show is all about…I hope that everyone who’s watching will make a contribution to Idol Gives Back, and help make this world a more just, more equal, and more hopeful place to live."

McCain and Clinton’s Idol statements have not yet been distributed to reporters. But when the candidates present their best performances, what will Simon Cowell and the other Idol judges have to say?

Last year’s Idol Gives Back special included a statement from the President and Mrs. Bush. It is unclear at this writing whether the President will once again participate in this program. It has been announced that British Prime Minsiter Gordon Brown will appear. But perhaps that isn’t surprising given that Idol’s creators are Brits, and Brown is in his first year in office. Perhaps the American politicians’ slot on Idol has gone to the next potential presidents rather than the lame-duck current president? There is only so much room for politicians on a program that will include Celine Dion, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dog and the Manning brothers.

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