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Idol Chatter

My vote for most annoying Christmas commercial this season should go to Old Navy for its latest cheesy ad campaign featuring “the gifties”–a mock award show highlighting various Old Navy products. However, I can’t bring myself to mock these commercials too much for one big reason: Old Navy was smart enough to hire Kristin Chenoweth as its spokesperson. I have been a fan of the perky singer/actress with the multi-octave vocal range since her Tony-winning role as Sally in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” She has branched out to star on TV (she can occasionally be seen as the new deputy press secretary on “The West Wing”) as well as film (she will be in “The Pink Panther” in February).

But the other reason I am a fan of Chenoweth’s is the way she has represented her Christian faith even as her celebrity has grown. At the same time she has taken criticism from the fundamentalist organization Women of Faith (who originally invited Chenoweth to sing at some of their events but then cancelled) for her willingness to sing at gay churches. She is making appearances on shows as diverse as “The 700 Club” and “The David Letterman Show” to promote her current CD “As I Am,” a collection of songs that reflect her gospel roots. So while I realize these over-the-top ridiculous commercials for Old Navy (which happens to be her corporate sponsor for a huge concert in Los Angeles early next year) are not the best addition to Chenoweth’s resume, I still respect the way she refuses to let her talent and her faith be put in a neatly defined box.

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