Lee DeWyze, Kris Allen, David Cook

Michael Becker/FOX, Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Has anyone ever seen David Cook, Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze on the same stage?


We're only half-joking. Of course, we saw Allen and DeWyze together on the American Idol finale. (The MIA Cook was at a charity event in Kansas City, Mo.) But come on. Enough with logic and logistics. We've got a serious problem here. 

America, you just voted the Idol title to the same guy. For the third straight year.

This is the part where the ostensive trio's respective followings cry foul and go on about how their David sounds nothing like Kris or how their Lee sounds nothing like David and so on. And they're right. If you're into David Cook, we bet you can distinguish his mid-tempo, quasi-inspirational number from Allen's and from the U2 cover ("Beautiful Day") new champ DeWyze will record any minute now.  

But like the best Idol viewers, when it comes to today's popular music, we are not into anyone or anything, we are generalists. And generally speaking, those three dudes are the same dude.

Are we saying this because they're all white, male and stubbly? No, because that would be wrong. We are saying this because they're all white, male, stubbly and adult-contemporary-rocking the Chris Daughtry vibe.

Look, when Daughtry made Idol safe for guys who credibly, but not dangerously rock, that was cool. And when Cook picked up the Bon Jovi cause and went all the way in 2008, that was cool. And individually, Allen and DeWyze are cool, too. But three in a row is not cool. Three in a row is like being stuck in an elevator—you're not going anywhere, and the music's getting on your nerves.

The problem is Idol can't fix this problem. Not on its own. The show can't ban male, stubbly and, oh, yes, don't forget, guitar-playing rockers, who may or may not happen to be white, from the auditions. There are laws prohibiting such business practices—well, until Rand Paul gets a say. But barring any changes, Idol is going to have to operate as usual. It's going to have to cast a wide net, a wide net that'll probably catch at least one viable option of the male, stubbly, guitar-playing rocker variety.

In the end, it'll be up to you, the American Idol people, to decide if David, Kris and Lee get company. So next season, we're asking you to cast a vote against flooding the market, and cast a vote for anybody else. Even a male, fully bearded, bass-playing rocker would be a welcome change.

At least then we could tell the dudes apart.

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Find out how Lee came to follow David and Kris with our rundown of the Idol finale.

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