A few years ago I swore off American Idol. When James Durbin was voted off, I was done. I quit watching because I was so mad. Isn’t that silly? Yet, here I am a few years later blogging about what? American Idol. I live with a member of the target audience so I tend to get pulled back into the fray. Lazaro has been the topic of much AI discussion this year. Last week, my almost 14 year old daughter wanted to vote for Lazaro. First, Nicki Minaj calls him “Ricky Ricardo,” and Rachel knows mommy loves Lucy and Ricky. Second, Rachel is like Nicki in that she thinks Lazaro is cute. We know from past experience the most talented contestant doesn’t always win. The best singer certainly doesn’t always win, but the target audience for AI (those teeny bopper girls as we called them in my day), they vote for cute boys. I asked Rachel why she wanted to vote for Lazaro. Her response, “He sang ‘We are the Champions’ and that is from Chicken Little. I love Chicken Little.” My response “Who knew?” I vaguely remember the movie and certainly didn’t know “We Are the Champions” is in it? Silly, crazy mom thought it was classic rock by Queen. A little aside is that she also inquired as to how I knew the words to “We are the Champions.” I told her that back in the day Freddie and I were tight. This had absolutely no impact on her. At any rate, we cast her 50 or so votes for Mr. Lazaro.
So I’ve been reading all the “stuff” about our young Ricky Ricardo-like Lazaro. He stirs up controversy for sure. Some people say he can’t sing. Can’t carry a tune. Who would vote for him? He has to go. Their personal opinions – to an extent. Even I who can barely find middle C on a keyboard know he has been off-key a few times. I also know he has forgotten words. I also know he is not the best singer on the show. Past history of AI would support my thesis that this doesn’t matter.
I’ve read several other arguments about him but the one that pushed me to blog was the one that said “he is getting the pity vote. He stutters and people feel sorry for him.” I suspect there are a few of those voters out there. If Rachel is representative of the target audience and I think she is, I suspect most of his voters are a bit more swayed because he is cute and comes across with some sweet pizazz.
Here’s where I’ll shock you though. If it is pity vote, I don’t care. I imagine this kid has endured more than most of us. He came from another country which is tough enough. Then, he is a stutterer. We all know how cruel it can be at school and in the community and not just from other kids but adults can be cruel, too. I never want Rachel to be pitied. In fact after I received my prenatal diagnosis when I knew pretty much nothing about Down syndrome, I wrote my co-workers a letter. I told them not to feel sorry for us. I don’t feel sorry for Lazaro or Rachel and certainly do not have pity because he stutters and she has Down syndrome. But you know what? I don’t see it as pity. At the end of the day if he gets a little break because someone recognizes his courage, strength and endurance, I say “Magnifico.” I think Lucy and Ricky would concur.