Saturday, January 30, 2010

Avril Lavigne: Discriminated Against a Christian Contestant?

The other night I was getting caught up this season's American Idol.  Thank goodness for my trusty little DVR, allowing me this chance.  I enjoy the beginning episodes when the judges are faced with an onslaught of contestants vying for that golden ticket to Hollywood.  I believe it was on Tuesday night that Avril Lavigne served as a guest judge

Jebbica from Idol Mania reported on it and included the videoclip:
Jim Ranger is a father and pastor who wrote his own song to sing at the American Idol 9 Los Angeles auditions. The song was called “Drive”. Jim seemed likable and I really appreciate the fact that he wrote his own song, but he was just a bit too Danny Gokey soundwise for me. Guest judge Avril Lavigne handed him a bit of a reality check and gave him a “no”, but he was through to Hollywood nonetheless.

Jabbica failed to detail Lavigne's "no."  If you listen carefully, here is what Lavigne and Kara DioGuardi said to Ranger:
Avril Lavigne: You're married and you have 3 children?  And you're a pastor?  It would be ... you know, to become a pop star you have to travel and you have to leave everything.  It's difficult out there on the road.  But, I do think you have a good voice.

Kara DioGuardi:  I don't know how you really can do everything ... at once, if you were to go through this ... how you can really be dedicated to your church?
With all the other contestants that come before them, many of whom are married with children, why on earth did these two "judges" question Ranger's ability to parent and pastor?  Did they ask the same of other contestants?  Would they even think to ask that of a woman, let alone those of other faiths?  Did Lavigne and DioGuardi take issue with Ranger's profession?  The next night, when Lavigne was gone (along with her catty attitude she displayed towards others) and Neil Patrick Harris sat in as guest judge, the panel did not question another contestant about her abilities to pastor.  Maybe because she was single?  Or Lavigne's catty attitude wasn't there to influence the panel?

Jeremy Helligar of True/Slant caught Lavigne's double standard, as well:
But my big beef was with guest judge Avril Lavigne. She worked my nerves out of the box with her mean-girl reaction (”awkward,” “that was really bizarre,” “he was sweating like a maniac”) to 19-year-old Neil Goldstein, who (badly) sang the Meat Loaf song. But what really annoyed me was her contradictory dismissal of Jim Ranger, the worship pastor from Bakersfield, California, who sang an original composition called “Drive.”  (For the record, I think he was barely above average.)
“You’re married, and you have three children,” she said (asked?). Pause. “And you’re a pastor(?). To become a pop star, you have to travel, and you have to leave everything. It’s difficult out there on the road. But I do think that you have a good voice.”

Her final verdict: “Um, I’m sorry, I think I would have to say no.”

Um, huh?

What does someone’s marital status/number of kids/job have to do with his or her singing talent? As someone who’s been a star since she was a teenager, Avril knows the demands of the business ...
Perhaps now that her marriage is history, she wants to save potential Idols from the same marital fate. But is it really any of her business? Idol has age limits, but there are no rules regarding marital status, kids or, for that matter, choice of career. Was she really concerned about the quality of Jim’s family life? Was it about his religion? Or did she just not think he was any good? She said she liked his voice, so certainly not the latter.

Luckily, the two other judges Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell were not put off by Ranger's vocation and passed him on to the next round, basing their decisions solely on Ranger's talent ... as it should be.


  1. To say Avril Lavigne discriminated against christian contestant is bearing false witness, you should be ashamed to making false statements. Avril was being honest, and sometimes being honest is a hard pill to swallow, but accusing someone of Christian discrimination based on the evidence witnessed is just plain wrong and in your heart you know it is. Jim was eliminated in the first round for a reason and I am quite sure that God knows what is best for him.

  2. Bearing false witness = lying. Sorry, I disagree with you that what I wrote was "bearing false witness." Opinionated, yes. False witness, no. (Judgmental neither -- that would mean that I would be assigning LaVigne to hell, which I do not.)

    How can someone not point out the obvious in the video -- that the youth pastor was asked that question, but the single mothers were not. I find that discriminatory. No other contestants with young children -- men or women -- were asked that. What about the big burly contestant with the newborn baby (sorry, can't recall his name, but he's a wonderful singer)? No one ever has ever suggested to him that he should be at home with his family.

  3. As a husband and father tha mans responsability is too his family, but as a pastor he also has a huge responsability to his congragation. A full time pastor doesn't only work sundays, he is 'always' there when a member of his church needs advice or guidance in their belif or even with day to day life. Avril Lavigne has a christian background and although I can't say whether she still lives or belives that life she may have been aware of the pastors responsabilities.

  4. Avril grew up in a Christian home. She might have been more inclined to say that to him because she actually cared about him, as opposed to the other more ambiguous singers. She knows that being a pop-star does not a Christian make. Her comment may have been snide and yes brought on because he was a pastor, but not necessarily for negative reasons. Also using "she said he liked his voice" to prove that was not why she said no is a weak argument. Like could have been a small blanket to cover okay, yet not idol material. I dislike discrimination, yet it is impossible to avoid, I dislike even more when only 'negative' things are discriminatory. Black people are discriminated against. if you say that it is automatically thought 'some one was unfair to them' where I know that sometimes it's they were more lenient or inclined towards them. (Not that that exactly the same thing as thins but it popped into my head.)


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