After hearing Skyler sing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” I was again frustrated with Idol. Back in March 2011, when I was recapping for Idol, I wrote “Censoring Gaga.” referring to how the group number of “Born This Way” omitted the lyric “No matter gay, straight or bi. Lesbian transgendered life..” In last night’s performance, Idol did it again, Skyler omitted the lyric.
It seems like Idol doesn’t want to ruffle the feathers of its ever dwindling audience, so it edited out what it feels is inappropriate. I have not seen all the episodes this season, but this is the second time it happened. It’s completely ridiculous. I wish Lady Gaga would ban Idol from using it if they can sing it in its entirety.
See Skyler’s rendition of “Born This Way” from last night:
Here is a re-print of the article I wrote back on March 2011:
Idol Chatter: Censoring Gaga
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.