Forget Tebow Time. Last night’s Idol was all about Dixon Time. Starting off the show with a performance of Lifehouse’s “Everything,” Colton Dixon — up to this point known more for his big hair and skinny jeans — officially carved out position for himself: Idol’s resident religious rocker. Calling the tune his favorite “worship song,” Dixon broke down, called God his “king,” and channeled the Jets’ new addition by taking a very emotional knee. It was, well, everything a young religious Idol fan would hope for.
Of course, it was also something some original Dixon fans might not have expected. Since appearing on the series in season 10 — before being cut prior to the semifinals — Dixon had played the indie rocker card, connecting with texting viewers via covers of Paramore and White Lion. But his now very-public connection with God has placed him in an interesting position: He gets to enjoy the support of an entirely new fanbase… but risks alienating skeptical viewers more eager to roll their eyes than read a Bible. Not to mention the fact that his desire to publicize his beliefs increases his chances of being mocked by the snark demons that fuel Internet’s nastiest memes.
Just ask Tebow, a public figure that singlehandedly revived the Denver Broncos 2011 season… while being relentlessly mocked on the Internet and by talk show hosts. But, then again, as the adage goes, there’s no such thing as bad PR. Tebow not only enjoyed success during the football season, but he also transformed into an icon for religious fans and enjoyed being the center of a rumor that named him the next Bachelor. (So there are worse things than losing your starting quarterback slot.)
But will Dixon enjoy the same success? Religious Idols have won in the past (Carrie Underwood, after all, did release a single called “Jesus Take the Wheel,” which, coincidentally, Hollie Cavanagh sang last night), but none put their love for God quite as front and center as Dixon, no matter how many gospel choirs backed them up. So will his dedication increase fans’ dedication, or simply turn a large, important segment away? I’d like to be optimistic and think viewers will vote based only on his vocals, but personality plays a huge role in this talent competition. Luckily for Dixon, his God connection might be enough to turn the Idol into a religious rock icon.
What say you? Are you hailing Dixon’s religious Idol awakening?
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The Ray star, whose younger sister DeOndra Dixon suffers from the condition, has been a longtime supporter of the organisation and recently took the stage with his sibling at a charity fundraiser in Denver, Colorado.
And although Foxx insists their relationship is sometimes "challenging", he wouldn't trade it for anything.
He tells People magazine, "One thing people may not understand is that the person with special needs, the love that they give you is unfiltered. There is nothing in the way of them loving you and there is nothing in the way of them being upset with you either. You really get the true individual.
"It's challenging, but it is moments like this that make it all work. She's a superstar now."
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Eddie Murphy is terrific in Imagine That as Evan Danielson an overworked financial advisor who is so immersed in his job he’s forgotten about Olivia his daughter from an estranged marriage. When he is given custody for a week and he gets too busy with work she retreats into her fantasy world imagining a group of princesses who as it turns out really know their way around big business. When Dad figures out his daughter’s special blanket and otherworldly friends have the magic touch for investment advice he becomes an instant superstar in his firm. But his newfound success soon sets up a confrontation with his chief rival Johnny Whitefeather whose presentations are often full of (Red) bull.
WHO’S IN IT?
From Dr. Dolittle to Daddy Day Care Murphy has carved out a solid alternate career as a star of family-friendly movies. But none of those previous works play to his overall talents as a comedian better than Imagine That in which he gets to merge his kid’s fantasy world with office politics for optimum laughs. The purely delightful premise in which Murphy faces off with skeptical business partners is perfectly toned to his talents and allows him to be widely appealing for both kids and their parents. As daughter Olivia newcomer Yara Shahidi won out over 3000 girls and is wonderful a real charmer who goes toe to toe with Eddie. Thomas Haden Church provides the perfect foil for Murphy as Whitefeather a guy who plays off a phony Native American heritage and spouts nonsensical advice like he’s E.F. Hutton. As bosses vying for Murphy’s newfound talents both Ronny Cox and Martin Sheen play it straight lending the appropriate gravitas to their roles. Nicole Ari Parker is winning in her few scenes as Olivia’s mom.
Murphy’s comedic tendency to go way over the top (i.e. Norbit) is kept in check with great results. He’s totally believable as a stressed-out businessman and his trip into his daughter’s imagination is handled realistically mined for the optimum number of laughs without sacrificing credibility. Credit for this goes to Karey Kirkpatrick (Over the Hedge) an animation director making his live-action debut for keeping cartoonish antics to a minimum and emphasizing heart and the father/daughter bond instead.
The scenes between Murphy and Shahidi are so effortlessly charming and real that you wish there were more of them. (One highlight is when father teaches daughter to sing Beatles songs which are heard throughout the film.) It’s the kind of thing Bill Cosby did so well on TV but could never pull off in movies. Murphy does.
Murphy is in top comic form all the way and is never better than when he berates Littlefeather’s hokey presentation then comes up with one based on his daughter’s doodlings that shows off the comic genius we haven’t seen in this actor’s comedy vehicles in quite a while.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
Imagine That is a family film in the truest form and ripe for an outing with your kids. If you don’t have any rent one and go.