Now that Jordin Sparks has moved into the forefront of the American Idol race, the backlash is underway, with conspiracy theories in full swing– and a political hot potato that’s jumped from the back burner to center stage.
We toldyou about the initial controversy over Jordin’s entry into this season’s contest (aided by Idol sponsor Coca Cola), and suspicion that her victory has been in the cards all along. Now, photos showing Jordin with Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, supposedly taken three years ago, have led to speculation that the judges may have pretended not to know her when she auditioned– and that she’s indeed been groomed for Idoldom in some secret lab.
And now add the Christian Right to mix!
Jordin’s never been shy about her Christian faith. She recorded a CD with “Jesus music” pioneer Matthew Ward, toured with Christian singer Michael W. Smith, placed second in 2004 at the Gospel Music Association’s Music in the Rockies national competition for aspiring Contemporary Christian Music artists (the same one that Chris Sligh competed in two years earlier). And the GMA says it recognizes Jordin and fellow finalist Melinda Doolittle as Christian artists who are “keeping the faith.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with a big organized Christian Idol voting bloc (remember those phone centers in India?), but the controversy gets down to politics, in the form of abortion.
Though she’s only seventeen and probably won’t have to think seriously about the issue until she goes on the Idol tour and finds out she’s been knocked up by Sanjaya, Jordan is well-known in her home state of Arizona and among the Christian crowd as a “pro-life”– or anti-abortion– crusader.
And until recently, she apparently had this picture on her MySpace page:
Photos of Jordin at anti-abortion events and stories about her activism have been on line for months, but only reaching mainstream attention now that she has the best chance of taking the American Idol title.
The stir that’s brewing is similar to last year’s storm over contestant Mandisa and her connection to the “ex-gay” movement. And with some expressing concern that Jordin will use her American Idol platform to preach against abortion, this sort of fight is one that will bring out votes on both sides.