Wednesday, May 20, 2009
KRIS ALLEN - AMERICAN IDOL CHAMPION 2009
FROM LEFT - ADAM LAMBERT, PAULA ABDUL & KRIS ALLEN
KRIS ALLEN PERFORMING "HEARTLESS"
A VERY SHORT VIDEO OF KRIS ALLEN AUDITION ON AMERICAN IDOL
ADAM LAMBERT AUDITION RIGHT UP TO SEMIFINAL IN AMERICAN IDOL 2009
AMERICAN IDOL LIST OF WINNERS - SEASON 1 - SEASON 8
2002 - SEASON 1 WINNER - KELLY CLARKSON
2003 - SEASON 2 WINNER - RUBEN STUDDARD
2004 - SEASON 3 WINNER - FANTASIA BARRINO
2005 - SEASON 4 WINNER - CARRIE UNDERWOOD
2006 - SEASON 5 WINNER - TAYLOR HICKS
2007 - SEASON 6 WINNER - JORDIN SPARKS
2008 - SEASON 7 WINNER - DAVID COOK
2009 - SEASON 8 WINNER - KRIS ALLEN (RUNNERS UP - ADAM LAMBERT)
By LYNN ELBER, AP Television
Kris Allen beamed with disbelief, shook his head as if to reject that this was really happening and doubled over in shock.
The fact that he'd just beaten rollicking vocal powerhouse Adam Lambert for the "American Idol" title wasn't going to sink in quickly for the unassuming underdog from Arkansas. The only downside to this stunning victory: He was going to have to sing "No Boundaries" one more time.
"I'm sorry, I don't even know what to feel right now. This is crazy," said the 23-year-old from Conway, Arkansas, as he leaned on host Ryan Seacrest to keep from staggering.
Allen's smooth vocals and boy-next-door image gave him the edge after nearly 100 million viewer votes were cast, turning the theatrical Lambert into the most unlikely of also-rans. When the season started, Allen seemed unsure he had a right to take center stage, let alone stand there and snatch victory from such a formidable rival.
During his "Idol" audition last summer, Allen, hands in his pockets and a newsboy cap pulled down around his eyes, was asked by the judges if he was the best singer around.
"You know, there's probably people who are better than me," was Allen's response, offered in the quiet, low-key spirit he retained despite his growing profile.
Conversely, Lambert's commanding vocal range and stage presence -- and the judges' lavish adoration -- at times turned "Idol" into "The Adam Lambert Show," with the other contestants mere guests. But it turned out that "Idol" viewers could embrace a gifted performer like Lambert, one who sported black nail polish and bold self-assurance, only to a point.
Cowell tipped his hat to both contestants Wednesday night, who shared a moment of musical camaraderie when they joined with Queen on the rock anthem "We Are the Champions."
"To both of you, and I don't normally mean this, I thought you were both brilliant ... the future's all yours," the judge said.
"Adam did win. So did Kris. Nobody lost tonight. These are two champions," said Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley from backstage.
The comments from Cowell and Stanley aren't necessarily empty platitudes. Past contestants can testify that losing the title doesn't mean you're a loser, nor does winning mean you're a shoo-in for superstardom.
Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson, who finished fourth and seventh in their respective seasons, have gone on to huge success. As for "Idol" winners, they range from blockbuster artists like Carrie Underwood to the mostly under-the-radar Taylor Hicks.
Wednesday's outcome echoed last year's contest, which also looked at the outset like it was going the other way. Cowell all but crowned David Archuleta after the performance finale, calling his a "knockout performance" -- but the victory went to David Cook.
Lambert was such a powerful, unique performer that his fans were allowed a sense of entitlement on his behalf. But his triumph wasn't inevitable. When Allen and Lambert were declared the finalists last week, just 1 million viewer votes separated the pair out of 88 million cast.
Allen bloomed during the season, gaining more assurance onstage and winning viewers over with his heartfelt vocals, modest demeanor and well-scrubbed good looks.