American Idol 8: The Kris Allen/Adam Lambert Showdown
We are three days from the end.  Every American Idol season is a marathon, an epic event that plods on, no end in sight, for months on end.  The massive process of it all is one of the reasons why American Idol is so appealing.  Once we get to the end, it feels deserved.  Adam Lambert and Kris Allen have earned their spots in the top two.  The sample size is adequate, having separated the real talents from the charlatans, and we are left with two potential stars.  Judging American Idol in its own vacuum, and not lending any credence to post-Idol potential, the Kris vs. Adam contest should be a dead heat.  Each singer offers wildly different things to the audience, and it's difficult to imagine many voters struggling with this decision.  Logic would dictate that you're either an Adam person or a Kris person.  With the two-part finale beginning tomorrow, who has the better shot at winning?  What can we expect from the finale? 

The format of the finale will go like this: Kris and Adam will each perform three songs -

1) Contestants' Favorite - they'll perform a song that they performed already earlier in the season.
2) Simon Fuller's Choice - exectuive producer Simon Full chooses whatever damn song he wants.
3) The Winner's Single - only one of these this year, and it was written by Kara DioGuardi.

There is potential for an unfair fight in the finale, depending on which singer fits better with the Winner's Single and whether Simon Fuller makes good choices for both Kris and Adam.  With the favoritism that's been flung Adam's way all season, I wouldn't be surprised to see Adam get a Beatles song and Kris get something by Ace of Base. 

Yeah - Adam Lambert is a huge favorite to win.  But, so was David Archuleta at one point last season.  You can't find two more disparate people than Archie and Lambert, though, so I don't think looking at past patterns will bring us any meaningful insight.  Adam Lambert is a unique contestant, and so is Kris Allen.  Allen is the reason Idol began allowing instruments in the competition, and he wouldn't have made it to the finals without his trusty guitar.  With Danny Gokey gone, though, Adam Lambert probably has more detractors than Kris does (who the hell would ever hate Kris Allen?), but I also suspect Adam has more fans.  Kris, just by the very nature of his being, isn't going to inspire the passion that Lambert does.  Kris is too laid-back, too normal.  I expect Adam to win pretty easily, though there are some variables that will come into play.

Even though I would generally advise the contestants to choose the song from their best performance for their pick, I think Kris would be wise not to sing Kanye two weeks in a row.  Adam has a lot of possibilities reaching back into the season, and I'm guessing he'll either choose "Mad World," or "Tracks of My Tears."  Simon Cowell is another major wild card.  Last year, the crusty Briton played a shrewd reverse psychology game on America, declaring the final performance episode a "knock out" for David Archuleta, when it was clearly anything but.  This sated Archie fans while it riled up David Cook fans, and the following night's results speak for themselves.  

Will Cowell try the same gambit this season, or will he allow himself to be honest and refuse to indulge in any pre-meditated agenda coming into the finale?  Simon has shown a clear preference for Adam over Kris, though I don't think he has any ill will towards Mr. Allen.  Adam has been lauded by the judges all season, and there's no reason to believe that will change this week, the only question is to what degree Simon and the others will heap praise onto Adam and whether they'll be will to do the same to Kris, if he deserves it.  

Stay tuned all week for a ton of American Idol coverage here on BuddyTV.  Share your thoughts and predictions below.

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-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer