Entertainment » Television

Idol Chatter :: Censoring Gaga

by Mark Russo
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Mar 23, 2011

In accordance with Sharia Law, American Idol omitted lyrics from a song. Idol thus joins the Muslim nation of Malaysia in removing lyrics from Lady Gaga's "Born this Way."

During Thursday night's result show Idol had the kids sing a mash up of "Born to be Wild" and "Born this Way" omitting the lyric, "No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life" from "Born This Way."

It's not such a shocker Malaysia excluded lyrics from a song out of ignorance. But Idol certainly knows better, and its only motivation can be attributed to greed, in what appears to be an effort not to drive away the bigoted part of Idol's viewership.

Not in its 10 years did Idol have an openly gay contestant during competition. Only after the season ended did Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken (very long after season's end) step out of the closet. Lambert had pictures surfacing of him kissing various guys during the competition. Also, his long-term boyfriend (identified by Idol as a "friend") attended the show to support him. One wonders what influence Idol had on Lambert temporarily stepping back in to the closet during his long run.

Will Gaga take action?

Lady Gaga, who doesn’t take too kindly to anti-gay actions, recently pulled her exclusive deal with Target to sell her new single over disagreements about Target financially supporting anti-gay politicians and organizations. One wonders whether Gaga will release her wrath again and deny Idol from using her songs.

She just might. Gaga’s pro-gay stance has served her well. Out of a recent string of songs inspired by gay youth suicides - including: Katy Perry’s "Fireworks" and Kesha’s ’We R Who We R’ - Lady Gaga’s ’Born This Way’ is the only one that actually used the words "gay, lesbian, bi and transgender" in the lyrics.

Currently ’Born This Way’ is the best-selling single of 2011, entering its fifth week at the Billboard Hot 100, well on its way to squashing Eminem’s record of seven consecutive weeks at Number One with "Love The Way You Lie." The recently released remixes of ’Born This Way’ are expected to add to 1.7 million units already sold, thus giving Gaga her eighth consecutive 2 million-selling-song.

It’s also the only song in Billboard history to reach Number One with the word "transgender" in the lyrics. The song has made quite some waves considering it was originally perceived as a copycat of a certain other one-named female artist.

Gaga taking risk with her lyrics has put her on top of the pack among her musical contemporaries. Idol might find itself on top again by dropping its money driven conservative stance in favor of a more inclusive show.

Mark Russo is a part-time computer software engineer and full-time pop-culture maven.


  • , 2011-03-23 18:17:30

    Check out the Idol Group number containing the censored lyrics - http://bit.ly/e1rQ8R

  • BB, 2011-03-23 19:02:39

    It would be fun to see if little Steffani is all that big and brave and condemn all of Islam for censoriing her ridiculous "music." Can you imagine the fatwas that would be issued against her. She may make a few friends among homosexuals, but does she have the stones to risk the wrath of a couple of billion devout Muslims? Stay tuned!

  • , 2011-04-03 16:01:21

    This is the most ridiculous accusation I’ve yet to hear. Idol is a ridiculously popular popularity contest (always has been, always will be) and THAT what you come away with? This was an ear-blood inducing MEDLEY of two songs with a running time of less than one. No one censored any lyrics, they merely ’sang’ the hooks. Voter tampering, questionable results, favoritism, misogyny...these and a compendium of others are more important charges that should be leveled at the producers. Not an abridged version of a Madonna rip off.

  • , 2011-04-27 14:02:52

    Check out video at this link. The earlier one was deleted after it receive many negative comments: http://bit.ly/lgwODb

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