I justify watching American Idol on "cultural safari" grounds—sure, it's pop culture dreck, but it's also anthropological research.
Also, Mrs. Anonymous Attorney watches, so I'm kind of stuck.
This season, with the elimination of the last black person in the contest, we're down to one white male, Phil Phillips, and one Hispanic female, Jessica Sanchez.
If Phillips wins, he'll be the fifth white male in a row to win the contest.
No Asian or Hispanic singer has ever won, despite pretty obvious attempts by the show's producers to push them along. Seven of the 10 winners have hailed from the South.
I conclude: America likes three kinds of singers, white, black and Southern.
The usual precincts complain:
Is American Idol Having Its Most Racist, Sexist Season Yet? By Melissa McEwan, Alternet, April 8, 2011
The pop-star-making TV program has always had a problem with sex and race, but it might be worse than ever. | [Spoiler Warning: This post includes discussion of who was voted off American Idol last night. Trigger warning for racism, sexism.]
Record-sales-wise, says Wikipedia, two white women are on top: first-season winner Kelly Clarkson, with 23 million worldwide, and fourth-season winner Carrie Underwood, a country singer, with 12 million in the U.S.