The Corner

Distinguished Norwegians For 100, Alex

We love “American Idol” at our house — it’s fairly clean and musical, and you can’t miss the people who submit bad auditions to get their fifteen seconds of infamy. What the first two rounds of competition have suggested — first with Kelly “Baby Got Back” Clarkson and then with geeky Clay Aiken and John Candy-sized Ruben Studdard — is that Americans can love people who are singers first and the look doesn’t have to be direct from the modeling agency.

After all we’ve settled for Britney (pretty, questionable vocals, but now reduced to slut-whispering) and before that Janet Jackson (great music, but thin voice, the last few albums filled with, you guessed it, slut-whispering).

This trend really took off last night with the results show for “World Idol” on Fox. The winner was Norway’s Kurt Nilsen, who, as one judge put it, looks like a hobbit and should be the winner of “Middle Earth Idol.” These are mirror-cracking looks! But the boy can sing.

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...