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Day 71 — Nothin’ But the Truth

Host Our Coast Update: The sponsors uncovered voting irregularities in the Host Our Coast contest for the wild card slot that awards the top vote getter an interview for this two-month gig exploring the Delmarva peninsula over the summer and blogging about it. Evidently, some of the contestants inflated their votes. That means your vote still counts for me if you haven’t voted! To vote for me, please follow this link and then click on the orange-letter Cast Your Vote button to the right of the video. Remember, the top vote getter is not the Host Our Coast winner. The sponsors pick their own top five to interview, and the entry also included a written blog, which was not posted. Wish me luck, and now for today’s post.

The ascension of Kris Allen last week as the next American Idol proves once again that the best person for the job doesn’t always get it. When my 9- and 11-year-old sons showed me their sad eyes and said they thought Adam Lambert was the better singer, I took confidence that I could side with them because that’s what I also believed.

In business, it’s called the Peter Principle, and music is a business. Brief refresher:  The Peter Principle is the theory that in an organization, people tend to rise (be promoted) to the level of their incompetence. Maybe the parallel doesn’t fit perfectly, but Allen, though not incompetent, rose—promoted by his fans—above the more qualified Lambert.

Why Allen won we’ll never know for sure. We can debate the media angle that Lambert wasn’t straight enough and the blander and more spreadable Allen was more marketable. Was I the only one who didn’t realize that Lambert wasn’t entirely straight until the media pointed it out?

I thought he was just cute, and, yeah, gave it fleeting thought (that he was gay; black nail polish gave it away), but who should care? This is a singing contest, and Lambert was the better singer.

I realize most of you probably didn’t watch American Idol, and that’s okay. You don’t need to admit it if you prefer to say you read John Updike even though that’s outdated information on your online dating profile, or maybe immersing yourself in pop culture is not refined enough for you. But even if you didn’t watch let me say that Lambert’s vocal range was impressive. It would be hard not to notice.

So back to business. I worked for a boss like Allen, not incompetent but out of her league for what she was assigned to do. She won out, not me. In that regard, Lambert’s boot should be no more of a surprise to him than mine was to me.

But let’s face it, losing—whether a job or a contest—is a lesson to remind us that the better person doesn’t always win, but the more qualified person will always succeed. Don’t you just gotta believe?

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