This Maundy Thursday, I am making it official: Adam Lambert (who is shown kissing another guy in the delicious pic above) should now be declared as the new American Idol. The producers of the show should issue an advisory that after Adam's unparalleled rendition of the Tears for Fears classic Mad World on Tuesday night, they have no choice but to discontinue the show and just hand over the prize to Adam. Continuing the show will be a mere farce anyway. We all know that Adam will just kill it every week until he wins the title of 2009's American Idol. There is no reason to prolong what is inevitable.
The first time I saw Adam, I was intrigued by his musical theater background, eye liner, tight leather pants and black nail polish. I knew when I saw his audition that he would bring something special to the show. So far he has not disappointed me yet. Week after week, with his unique voice, matching good looks and his own interpretation of songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Believe by Cher, Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, Black and White by Michael Jackson, Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry, The Tracks of my Tears by The Miracles and, in my opinion, the most spectacular, the wildest interpretation so far, Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash, Adam has only shown that there is no competition. He puts all the other remaining contestants to shame.
So there really is no point in making them sing any more or longer. The show has to stop right here and Adam should be declared the new American Idol. Everybody else thinks so anyway. But because this is manufactured reality TV, we all know that that will not happen anytime soon. The producers of the show will have to milk this for every second that it is worth so there is still a big chance that Adam may fall from grace and be a victim of the fickle-mindedness of the American viewing public. He will just have to do well and consistently at that. On the viewers' end, everyone in America who is reading this should make sure that our boy Adam, who in the last show revealed his propensity for dress-up, will emerge victorious up until the final episode. I swear if the next American Idol is any one of the other bubble-gum contestants, this will definitely be the last season I'm ever watching the show. Of course, I can always change my mind.
As I mentioned above, today is Maundy Thursday in the Philippines and will be so as well for the rest of the Christian world that observes Lent. Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and falls in the supposedly holiest week of the Christian calendar which chronicles the time of Christ's return to Jerusalem, his betrayal by Judas, his subsequent captivity by and suffering from the Romans, his death on Good Friday and his resurrection on Sunday. Holy Week in predominantly Catholic Philippines is an interesting mix of religion, superstition and merriment.
Back home in Bicol, the devout observe the Holy Week in the most solemn way possible: in silence. When I was growing up, I did not understand why it was not all right to run around the house especially when Maundy Thursday hits. (I looked up the meaning of Maundy, by the way, and apparently it comes from the Latin Mandatum or command, which is a reference to Christ's command to his disciples when he washed their feet, on Maundy Thursday, to love each other as he loved them.) Apparently, it is on this day of the Holy Week that Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane begins. It is also the day when he has the Last Supper with his disciples and the day that Judas betrays him. My very strict grandparents used to tell us to keep still during the Holy Days of this week.
Growing up, we were taught that on Maundy Thursday, you cannot watch TV, listen to music or play or horse around the house. As Catholics, we were supposed to commiserate with Christ. We had to be one with him in his agony. This fun black-out continues until Black Saturday. On Easter Sunday, everything changes. With Christ resurrected, you can move normally again. Easter Sunday is a big thing for many Catholic families. Because the Holy Week happens during Summer, it has become practice for many to make merry and go on excursion during the day that Jesus is supposedly raised back from the dead. It's like a double-celebration for families. After doing their Catholic duty of observing Lent solemnly, great preparations are taken to end it with a bang. On Easter Sunday, many Catholics troop to the nearest body of water. It can be a public pool, lake, river, falls or the beach. The idea is the same: with food and family, everyone celebrates Christ's resurrection by going swimming.
I love Holy Week. I still do. To me it is reruns of big Hollywood movies of old like Ten Commandments (which many forget has nothing to do with Christ's Passion). It is also quiet time spent reading in bed at home as a way of keeping still. It is also going to Church and patiently listening to Jesus's Seven Last Words, visiting Churches, and doing the annual procession of Saints. It is the recital of the Passion of Christ by old ladies along makeshift street altars and the re-enactment of Christ's suffering by street performers. But ultimately, it is bright and hot Easter Sundays spent with family and friends.