Kris Allen wasn’t an American Idol favorite to win last night, nor was Kris Allen an American Idol favorite for much of the competition. Kris Allen was playing American Idol’s second fiddle behind Adam Lambert, all the way up to the finale. But just after 10 p.m., Kris Allen was the name read by Ryan Seacrest as the next American Idol. While Kris Allen gets to celebrate being the new American Idol, fans of the show and of Adam Lambert try to figure out how he pulled it off.
The American Idol finale gave Kris Allen a win even he seemed shocked to receive. Allen even said himself to Seacrest that Adam Lambert should have won, and many pundits and fans were agreeing with that sentiment most of the season. But the results spoke differently.
It was claimed that over 100 million votes were cast, in the biggest turnout in American Idol history. At least 50 million of those went to Kris Allen and came from somewhere unexpected.
Allen sneaked up on American Idol while the show was riding the Lambert train most of the way. With all the complaints about American Idol this season, Lambert’s runaway success was a rare positive headline. But with the finale results, the buzz is less about Kris Allen than how Lambert lost.
Immediately, religion was painted as a scapegoat for the American Idol results. Kris Allen is an evangelical Christian, while Adam Lambert was the furthest thing from it, as a Jewish man whose sexuality has been debated ever since he broke out on Idol.
Lambert’s fans had the choice of either blaming Christians for coming out for one of their own, blaming Middle America for not being ready for a gay American Idol – much like with Clay Aiken – or both.
But Lambert made enough noise during American Idol to be okay no matter what. Most of the time, American Idol losers like Aiken and Jennifer Hudson are far more successful than the winners anyway. Kris Allen is the one that has a lot more to prove in the post-Idol stage of his career than Lambert may have to.
Allen’s win was likely watched by the usual 30 million or so fans who watched all two hours of endless buildup before the final announcement. After it finally ended at 10:07, American Idol’s eighth season – and pretty much the 2008-09 TV season for networks as a whole – went into the history books.
Now would-be Kris Allens and Adam Lamberts have a whole summer to rehearse before tryouts for Season Nine come to their hometown.
FOX News- “American Idol: Kris Allen Crowned the Winner in Finale Shocker” www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520918,00.html
Gay & Lesbian Issues Examiner- “Kris Allen wins American Idol – did religion play a role?” www.examiner.com/x-4107-Gay–Lesbian-Issues-Examiner~y2009m5d20-Kris-Allen-wins-American-Idol–did-religion-play-a-role
The Jewish Journal of greater LA- “Adam Lambert: too edgy for Idol” www.jewishjournal.com/hollywoodjew/item/adam_lambert_too_edgy_for_idol_20090521/