Kris Allen says he doesn’t want vote to be “about religion” after media speculates about Christian vote

The morning of American Idol 8‘s finale performance episode, Kris Allen said he doesn’t want votes based upon religion, an argument that’s gotten increasing attention despite having very little evidence to back it up.

“I hope that having the Christian vote does not help with anything. I hope it has to do with your talent and the performance that you give and the package that you have, and it’s not about religion and all that kind of stuff,” he told reporters, according to People. Likewise, Adam Lambert said, “I don’t think it has anything to do with your religious background, what color you are, your gender — it doesn’t have anything to do with that — it’s about music. It’s really important to keep that [in mind].”

The culture war nonsense was given more attention by Newsweek’s Ramin Setoodeh, who’s apparently dead-set on proving that you can just wildly speculate and call that journalism. He wrote in a blog post that Adam Lambert’s “groupies have overlooked a possible roadblock to the title” because “Idol is the No. 1 show on TV at least in part because it’s so family-friendly, and it also appeals to a large demographic of Christian viewers,” and “we don’t know much about Lambert’s faith, and that might hurt him with Christian voters.”

But, idiot, we don’t know shit about Kris Allen’s religious beliefs, either, especially not from the show. (Danny was a different story.) He appeared on The O’Reilly Factor yesterday, since Bill O’Reilly thrives on evidence-less news like this (the war on Christmas!), and the best Setoodeh could come up with is that Kris “often wears a cross when he’s performing.”

O’Reilly illustrated the absurdity of this argument by calling the two finalists a “might-be-gay-guy” and a “straight guy who’s reportedly a Christian” and said that religion “may be a factor in the voting.” Is it possible to qualify claims any more than that?

Because there are many factors that influence voters, it’s not surprising to think that some religious viewers might be bigoted enough to vote against Adam Lambert because of his perceived sexual orientation. However, it’s just as likely that old people won’t vote because they don’t like the two guys’ song choice, or that some gay voters might vote for Kris because he’s cute.

The cute angle, though, doesn’t incite conflict and sell magazines or bring viewers to cable news.

Kris Allen & Adam Lambert Talk Idol Finale, Fans & Photos [People]
Religion and “Idol”: Could Adam Lambert Be Heading Home? [Newsweek]

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.