Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kris Allen - 2009 American Idol Season 8 Winner

The 23-year-old who was considered the underdog finalist, is the surprise winner of “American Idol,” Hes smooth vocals and boy-next-door image propelled him to "American Idol" victory Wednesday, turning the theatrical powerhouse Adam Lambert into the most unlikely of also-rans.

He was asked by the “American Idol” judges at his first audition if he thought he was the best singer in the competition, he replied by saying “You know, there’s probably people out there who are better than me.”

That was true in Louisville, where he first performed for Simon Cowell and company. It was true in Hollywood, when he advanced to the semifinals. It was true in his semifinal heat, when both Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta earned more praise and he tagged along as the third singer to earn the assigned spot among the 13 finalists.

But gradually, as the season progressed and Kris found his rhythm, the list of people better than he was grew smaller and smaller, and on Wednesday night he found out that according the “Idol” voters, nobody did it better.

“Are you serious?” Kris asked after hearing his name announced as the winner. “I’m sorry, I don’t even know what to feel right now. This is crazy!”

Allen beats Adam Lambert as Simplicity beat showmanship

Kris Allen have been the most shocked person on the stage, which would fit with his personality. But that belied the confidence that seemed to grow as he performed each week, to the point when anyone who thought Adam was a lock to win on Wednesday wasn’t paying attention.

The two finalists seemed to genuinely get along. Each pointed to the other on Tuesday when the phone numbers were being read, as if to suggest they’d vote for their rival. Even on Wednesday, Adam looked gracious in defeat and Kris was complimentary in victory.

But that clashes with how they looked all season when the lights came on and the music started. Their performances Wednesday night once again showed how different they are musically. Kris sang with country star Keith Urban, two men sitting on stools and playing their guitars. Adam performed with KISS, with all the associated makeup and pyrotechnic trimmings.

Though Adam again was more memorable, there’s a reason that Keith Urban is on the radio now and KISS is not. Kris may be more of a down-to-earth performer, but anyone listening to any Top 40 station knows that kind of music is enormously popular. Adam is more fun to watch, but couldn't wrangle enough votes to overcome that.