Second Place

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Winning isn’t everything. In fact, this year it seems that coming in second is the true path to fame and fortune. ┬áHere’s proof:

Susan Boyle took the world by storm — she’s approaching 100 million views on YouTube for her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” on Britain’s Got Talent — but she lost to a dance troupe called Diversity on Saturday night’s finals. I’d argue that she’ll continue to have a greater presence in our popular culture than Diversity ever will. ┬áLosing won’t hurt her one bit.

Last month Adam Lambert came in second to Kris Allen at the American Idol finals, yet fans and music industry insiders are all predicting a bigger long term career for Adam than first place finisher Kris. Losing actually contributed to Adam’s rock’n’roll credibility. If he’d won, he would have had to release the cheesefest that is “No Boundaries” as his first single. Yuck.

And thanks to making headlines for her controversial point of view on gay marriage, Miss USA first runner up Carrie Prejean has already eclipsed winner Kristen Dalton on the pop culture radar. Even those of us who disagree with Carrie’s politics know her name, but most folks would be hard pressed to name Kristen as the real winner of the pageant.

So it seems that the real glory in 2009 is to come in second. Which of these runner ups will stand the test of time? Voice your choice in today’s featured poll. We’re #2! We’re #2!

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