Game: Identify the Mormon

KC KernMormon 62 Comments

Let’s play a little game. In order to be eligible to play, you MUST NOT be a current viewer of American Idol. If you are familiar with any of the contestants on season 7, consider yourself disqualified. This game is actually more of an experiment in cultural image identification. Consider these top 12 contestants on American Idol. Two of them are Mormon. Can you guess which ones?


Judging solely by these profile pictures, identify the one male and the one female contestant that you think is Mormon. Write your guess in the comments. Follow this format:

Mormon Girl: #?
Mormon Boy: #?

After having posted your guess,
click the button below to reveal the true answer.

So how did you do? What was it about the person you chose that made you think they were Mormon?

What was it about others that made you think they were not? Are you surprised at the answer?

If you were able to accurately guess one or more, does this tell us anything about Mormon culture? Go ahead and add additional comments if you feel like weighing in on any of these issues.

Comments 62

  1. OK…why I guessed as I did: Ladies 1,3, and 4 have obviously dyed hair and that is not something I associate with LDS girls. Ladies 2 and 5 both looked typically western LDS to me, and lady 6 could be LDS as well, but she was almost…too pretty. Also that shirt looked a little lowcut, but that may be the angle of the picture.

    For the guys: 1,2, and 6 were out of the running for my guess because of the facial hair! Number 3 looks like a kid, and so do LOTS of LDS young men. Number 4’s hair is way too long, and number 5 struck me as sort of metrosexual.

  2. My wife is so happy. She guessed them both right! I didnt however.

    She is in love with David Archuleta. She saw him sing Imagine by John Lennon and thought he was mormon because he removed the part “imagine there is no religion”….we both had an argument about that. I thought it was verging on blasphemous to remove it from a John Lennon song but she loved that it was gone.

    They both seem like lovely people and it would be great if one of them won.

  3. girl 5 and guy 5. they look the most clean cut to me. He looks like he has a missionary haircut and she looks like she gets her hair done at the same place as all the girls I knew in college.

  4. Stephen he did not remove that part of the song – he only sang the 3rd verse of the song which does not contain that lyric.

    I watch the show so I cant chime in – however I will say that both of them that are LDS are a little predictable for me (besides being from UT and AZ).

  5. I visited a church a couple weeks ago at which the soloist sang “Imagine” – all verses. According to Merriam-Webster, the etymology of “religion”…

    Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back

    There’s some food for thought. Imagine no restraint in what to have faith in and how.

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  7. Yellow journalism? It was just a throw away comment and I like the song in full. I am not a David hater KC honest!!?? I really hope I havent offended. He seems to be like Ron Paul…has a select following of ardent fans.

    KC, I will even give you 50cents (or however much it costs to vote) so you can vote for him again for me and my wife! hehehe

  8. @ Wren (9) – Insightful point… Of course, Satan offers ‘religion’, too. It’s interesting that in so many inspired writings, the word ‘religion’ represents a kind of corrupted relationship with God, akin to Priestcraft. Almost all the writings of William Blake, the great English poet, characterise ‘Religion’ as corrupting, as opposed to the ‘Gospel’, which is identified by being a direct, inspirational link to deity.

    Kind of a digression here, but v. interesting!

  9. I do not watch Am Id, but I’ll guess Girl 5 (if there is only one LDS girl). Girl 2 doesn’t seem quite naive enough. I actually think Girl 3, despite the dye job, has the look more than Girl 2. I’ve seen Mos with this dye job, too, so maybe. The boy I actually know the answer because while we don’t watch it, my son showed me the Imagine number on YouTube. Boy 5 is close to the look, but I think he may just be single, thin and neat. Boy 2–no way, and lock up your daughters if he’s around!

  10. Guess I have a very stereotypical view of mormons?

    And I added a spare just in case, ones who could be typical mormons!

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    Ha Stephen, that wasn’t directed at you, no worries! I was rather thinking of some news spot I saw somewhere that tried to make a big deal out of it, and concoct some religious controversy in the same vein as much of the Mitt Romney reporting did. Didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers mate!

  12. Good one KC -I thought it was 5 and 3. I sent it to my daughters friend this is the first reply. (Take in mind she’s from the other side of the Pond- English!)

    Oh yeah once you know it’s 2 and 3 it’s so obvious it’s like they should be part of a Mormon Movie/Ad, although I was partly hoping that it might surprise me by saying it’s the woman who looks like the mother out of the Munsters and who could easily get away with singing Bat out of Hell! Or the male who’s got dredlocks because they would be way too hard to tie back for temple baptisms!

  13. 23, if you were referring to my guess (comment 1), nope, not Utah, actually East Coast US residing in England and not yet LDS (about to be baptized). That was my obervation based on the Mormons I have met here, in NE, in CA, and elsewhere. None with beards, and very few with mustaches!

  14. #12:
    Of course, Satan offers ‘religion’, too. It’s interesting that in so many inspired writings, the word ‘religion’ represents a kind of corrupted relationship with God, akin to Priestcraft.

    Well said, Andy! In my observation, some of the most “religious” people in the world have also been some of the most evil, while I’ve come across a few atheists who are among the most spiritual.

  15. #2 Suzy.. You’re comments made my family crack up… LDS girls don’t dye their hair??? Wow.. What planet is that on. In our ward, stake, region, and from hanging around BYU, I’d figure that about 90% of women are changing hair color on a fairly regular basis. Your comment was a very funny stereotype….

  16. Gentleman #1 & Lady #5 on first glance.

    Gentleman #1 and toss up between both Lady #3 & Gentleman #3

    Why? #1 looked delightfully self-confident and happy. #5 looked like a lot of the girls I saw around seminary in high school.

    Then I thought perhaps Lady #3 looked more like the one who had a twinkle in her eye, and Gentleman #3 was young enough to be some kid who sang in the choir/primary.

    (just noticed I was not quite following suggested answer format–too lazy to change it now)

  17. @ #28, here’s an interesting anecdote to bring the hair-coloring assumption into focus… When my dad was bishop in Utah County 3 years ago, he stood at the pulpit and said he was inspired to warn the women of the ward that coloring their hair was the first step toward hell. He also mentioned facial hair and colored shirts for men, and sandals for women–it wasn’t only dying hair that God hated that day.

  18. Girl – #2. Minorities and rebel-looking brunettes out. Whoever’s the least hot out of the last two is probably a Mormon.
    Boy – #3. Clearly the geekiest.

  19. I do watch AI so I cant vote, but I think it is hilarous that many are choosing Guy #5 as a clean cut missionary type. Because before AI he was a stripper, in a men only club. So of the bunch he is actually the least likely to be LDS.

  20. #36 on hair dying and the Utah County Bishop.

    Sheesh!! What a load of …. um….. revelation?

    GO BROOKE. She is my favorite since Bo.
    I think that both David and Brooke will make the top 5. Brooke will do top 2, maybe win.

  21. I guess Girl #5; Guy #3.

    An interesting tangent to me is the discussion of “Imagine”. I have always liked that song, but I try to see it from the point that Lennon was arguing. History has proved, if anything, that a lack of religion doesn’t lead to peace nor de-polarization on these matters, so if anything it is as wishful a lyric as to wish for a return of Jesus Christ someday. It’s a hymn, as I see it, of one person’s faith. I don’t have to believe it myself to like it, or sympathise with it.

    For a well-known performer to rework a cover of “Imagine” –or any well-known pop anthem at that– to make the lyric represent their perspective rather than the original artist’s, I think the right person can pull it off. But some young Mormon on American Idol doing this to Lennon, well, it just seems parochial.

    Maybe it’s good that “God” wasn’t one of Lennon’s more sing-able tunes. 😉

  22. JfQ, He didn’t rework it. He had enough time to sing one verse, so he chose to sing the third verse. (See his own explanation on the show itself, as well as comments #8 & #10 here.)

  23. Btw, just in case you aren’t aware of this, KC, this post was referenced in the “Today on the Bloggernacle” column at Mormon Times.

  24. Last month Brad Kramer introduced me to an Indian American Mormon here in Ann Arbor. That made me think — well, maybe Mormons don’t all have that English-convert-descent / Utah look. So I picked guy #1 only to be tricked by you, KC. (The girl I picked to stereotype and won.)

  25. Girl #2 and Boy #5
    I guess what it was about Girl2 that made led me think was a conservative look, but well groomed. Girl 1&4’s highlights looked a little unmo to me. Guess I was way off on #5, but I was looking for the same sort of thing, a casual look that’s still well put together.

  26. The girl was easy. She looks Danish. Most Utah Mormons who are not converts have Danish descent. People always ask why Mormon girls are so pretty. One of the reasons is that they are Danish and most men like Scandinavian girls just as many women like Italian boys. It is the dark man blonde woman thing. The guy was tough. I did not see any pioneer Danish Mormons so I assumed they were all converts. I chose correctly. The guy that is smiling with difficulty. Mormons guys try to smile a lot but are not very good at it.

  27. Girl 2

    Boy 3

    Is easy, even all of them are smiling, these two are the only two that are smiling because they are always happy, not because they have a happy moment. You can get that from their eyes.

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