“American Idol” Ethics: Kara vs. Katy

The blogs are still buzzing over the bickering between “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi and guest judge Katy Perry during the show’s under-whelming auditions in L.A. The key exchange was over so-so singer Chris Golightly, whose troubled upbringing in foster care touched Kara’s soft nougat center, and inspired her to suggest that this made him a viable contestant. Katy Price, a so-so singer herself, sharply objected, saying,“This is not a Lifetime movie, sweetheart,” and reminded Kara, in essence, that “Idol” is a talent competition and not “Queen for a Day.”

“Idol” is a heavily manipulated show, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Katy had been instructed to pick some fights. Nonetheless, her position was the ethical one, advocating integrity and fairness over arbitrariness and bias. The best singers and performers deserve the limited slots at every stage of the competition. Advancing even one undeserving auditioner because of a compelling personal story, a recent tragedy, military status, especially pathetic begging, a goofy demeanor, or any of the other invalid reasons that have won tickets to Hollywood in past seasons unfairly prevents a better singer from getting the opportunity of a lifetime.

It was good to hear Katy Perry stand up for ethical principles. If if the producers told her stir up a controversy, she chose the right one.

Then she voted to send Chris Golightly to Hollywood anyway.

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