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Don’t Cry for Dave Archuleta, part I

March 14, 2008

I confess: I have succumbed to the allure of watching fellow Mormons on television, and I’ve started watching this season’s American Idol. The Mormonness of David Archuleta and Brooke White has not been an issue so far–it’s out there, no one’s trying to hide it, but no one’s making a big deal of it either. American politics could take a lesson from American Idol. No one’s questioning their ability to entertain well based on their religious beliefs… I guess we have the trail-blazing Osmonds (and, more recently, Gladys Knight! I love Gladys Knight!) to thank for that.

But I’m a fair-weather watcher. I only like to see the Mormons on reality television when they 1-perform well, and 2-conform to my own nit-picky standards of what a Mormon should be. If they disappoint me, I quit watching in disgust. I realize this is silly (and it’s outing me as not very wise or compassionate, as I bragged in my last blog. Sigh. Now you know the truth.), but I do it anyway.

It’s silly because there are all kinds of different Mormons, and all sorts of different perceptions of what’s appropriate conduct and what isn’t. No one is going to get themselves kicked out of the Church for baring their navel on cable television, or swearing on a late-night show. And I wouldn’t suggest it; not even close to an excommunicable offense. But if you’re a Mormon girl, who ought to know better, and you wear immodest clothes, ZAP! I turn off the television. I’m glued to the set as long as I like the way you represent my faith, but if you do something that doesn’t jive with my personal code of conduct, then I would rather not claim you. Or fritter away my time watching your quest for fame, fortune, and a recording contract.

So far, so good with David Archuleta and Brooke White. I am impressed by their singing and their demeanor. And more than impressed, I’m grateful. It’s always nice to see a stranger you can claim as one of your own.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2008 2:28 pm

    American politics could take a lesson from American Idol.

    Amen to that!

    So what did you think of the Mormon kid who won Survivor?

  2. Emily permalink*
    April 8, 2008 2:58 am

    You know, I’m not as into Survivor. For some reason the Mormon connection didn’t suck me in at all with him. It did with (gulp) Julie Stoffer, though. I actually watched snippets of MTV when she was on, but I couldn’t take much of it. The fair-weather fan thing again.

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