Obama Idol: 'American Idol' Goes Out of the Way to Pay Tribute to Current President
Has it come to this that now even pop culture platforms like "American Idol" are in the tank for President Barack Obama? It appears so.
Season nine of the popular Fox show "American Idol" found itself in Chicago where nearly 12,000 people auditioned to become the next winner of the singing talent show. But the "Idol" producers took the opportunity to link the Chicago auditions with the most visible and most recent "winner" to emerge from the windy city; President Barack Obama.
It is standard practice during the audition phase of "Idol" to introduce viewers to each new city with a brief video package highlighting the city's most famous landmarks and unique features. However, no less than two minutes into the Jan 19 broadcast of the Chicago auditions, the show took a more serious and political tone.
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"And since this is the hometown of our nation's president, they gave us a welcome fit for, well, you know... a president," said host Ryan Seacrest. The scene then quietly faded to a clip of election night on Nov 4, 2008 in which a somber Obama told the nation, "Where we are met with cynicism and doubt we will respond with that timeless creed that sums the spirit of a people: Yes we can."
The serious speech ended with clips of excited crowds in Grant Park (in Chicago) on election night and deceitfully faded to a crowd of thousands of talent-seeking young people cheering "Yes We Can!" which was the now-infamous 2008 Obama campaign slogan. Whether or not the political cheer erupted spontaneously among the crowd or was encouraged by "Idol" producers, no one can say, but the message was very clear. The show very obviously wanted an association with the president's successful campaign as the cheer "Yes We Can!" was heard seven more times from the eager crowd.
"His influences have been felt all over the country and today many of the "Idol" hopefuls are following in his footsteps," said Seacrest. Shortly after, two Obama fanatics were featured: one young gentleman with the President's face on his shirt, and another young woman with a homemade sign that says, "Chicago Idol" with the Obama logo replacing the "o" in "Idol."
It makes perfect sense to link a hopeful winner with the most recent "winner" from Chicago, but one could argue that the producers went overboard with the serious political overtones.