Carly Smithson glad to be off Idol; is Christians’ outrage over her song choice to blame?

Carly Smithson is actually glad she became the latest person to be voted off American Idol 7.

“Everybody keeps asking me why I’m not devastated and crying for being eliminated. I’m free to make a record, start writing and all that kind of stuff — be with my husband and hang out in the real world. The Idol bubble is kind of weird,” she told reporters, according to Reality TV World. “I’m actually not that sad to be leaving. I enjoyed every minute thoroughly, but we’re back in two weeks to start preparing for the tour and the finale. So it’s like a small break and I’m going to be back,” she said. “I think I made enough of an impact to reach a good fan base and now I just get to be me without a theme night and make a really cool record. I’m excited.”

As to why she was voted out, she suggests that it has to do with sex. “Women vote for this show. It’s obvious they vote for the boys. The boys are adorable [and] are charming the females a lot. I definitely feel that the girls had more of a struggle this year with trying to get the popularity vote,” she said during the same press conference, according to the New York Daily News.

But one report suggests that another constituency is to blame: Christians. The theory, which comes from the bowels of the internet, suggests her decision to sing “Superstar” from “Jesus Christ Superstar” offended certain Christians who assume her song choice is some kind of affront. “On one thread on the show’s official Web site, AmericanIdol.com, a viewer warned shortly after the performance that Ms. Smithson’s choice of the song would put her in danger of elimination,” The New York Times reports.

Yes, that’s the newspaper’s primary evidence: one person on a message board. They also cite a USC professor, Diane Winston, who says the musical “always had this tinge of disrepute about it because its picture of Jesus was so unsettling to many people,” and how Kristy Lee Cook used the treacly ballad “God Bless the U.S.A.” to her advantage, because that week was one of the few weeks she didn’t land in the bottom three.

Carly Smithson dishes on ‘American Idol’, prior professional experience [Reality TV World]
Carly Smithson: Voters ‘Idol’-ize boys more than girls [New York Daily News]
‘Idol’ Song Choice Courts Controversy and Finds It; Singer Is Voted Off [New York Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.