Bodies, identities, and voices on American idol
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This thesis examines the ways in which American Idol producers rely on the white, Christian, heterosexual, middle-class, Americanness of contestants’ bodies and identities to advance the show’s American Dream narrative. When contestants do not meet all four of the components of Americaness, producers highlight some aspects of the contestants’ identities while hiding other truths about who they are. Additionally, those contestants who are able to adhere simultaneously to their producer-constructed personas while also asserting their individuality tend to fair best in the competition.