I find politics-pop culture parallels hugely fascinating. That doesn't mean I understand them. For that we have Swamp Pundette.
Keying off JPod, Swamp Pundette has a great analysis of how American Idol picks track politically. Though I'm not sure if her one Rudy reference ("In polling across the nation, Rudolph Giuliani performs phenomenally...even among conservatives") is a blessing or a curse (how many an early Idol frontrunner got the boot?), I am going to extend her Idol theory to Rudy: to win, you have to be authentic and interesting. At the end of the day, authenticity trumps focus-grouped phonies from central casting:
For the '08 crowd, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this season's American Idol. First, America has no tolerance for the boring. The entire first group whacked from Idol's 24 were largely bland and unmemorable. If people aren't intrigued, you can be authentic as the day is long and people will change the channel. Second, being a niche candidate will only get you so far. Tom Tancredo, I'm talking to you. Two words for you: Kevin Covais. Finally, however, America can spot a panderer. If the GOP nomination showdown comes to a tested-and-perfected Kellie Pickler of a Dubya-Lite (Allen) and an independent thinker who might not always get it right but who America feels they can trust (McCain? [Giuliani? -ed.]), the choice will be clear.An ex-Mayor from the fever swamp of New York City as the Republican nominee? Yes -- because he's real. Just like W. And Reagan.
Taylor Hicks couldn't kick a mic stand. But he was real. And tonight, he will be crowned an American Idol.
These are words I'll have to eat if in a few moments Katharine McPhee is crowned an Idol.
UPDATE: Nope. My Rudy=Taylor comparison stands!
Technorati tags: Taylor Hicks Rudy Giuliani Giuliani American Idol