Just when we thought Adam Lambert had the eighth season of American Idol all wrapped up, one last surprised was sprung on us: Kris Allen, the 23-year-old from Conway, Arkansas, won the competition after a finale that saw a hundred million votes being cast.
It is, perhaps, one of the biggest–if not the biggest–upset in the competition’s history. Adam, who hails from San Diego, California, was pegged as the favorite, after consistently getting praise from the judges with his impressive vocal range and showmanship. Kris, on the other hand, remained under the radar for most of the competition; his vocal limitations were compensated by his ability to play the guitar and piano, and his ability to spin songs into something totally unexpected.
Even more of an upset, third placer Danny Gokey was seen as Adam’s possible rival in the finale, but everything change when he was eliminated the previous week. For some, it seemed that his fans would vote for Kris, and it seems that’s exactly what happened. Dial Idol, which has been predicting the show’s winners in the past few seasons, pegged Kris ahead by a very small margin.
The win was announced in a star-studded finale that was, like last year, held at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. The season’s top 13–including Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Jasmine Murray, Jorge NuÃ±ez, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy, Michael Sarver and Scott MacIntyre–performed on stage. Last year’s Idol winner, David Cook, also performed, with a song in honor of his brother, Adam, who recently died of brain cancer.
Also doing numbers were a diverse range of artists: Rod Stewart, Queen, Cyndi Lauper, the Black Eyed Peas, Jason Mraz, Queen Latifah, and Carlos Santana graced the Idol stage. Kris performed a duet with country star Keith Urban, while Adam appeared on stage with seminal rock band Kiss.
Other memorable (or, perhaps, infamous) Idol personalities made appearances, including Nick Mitchell and Tatiana del Toro, who both made it to the Top 36 and split opinion with their performances and personalities. Perhaps the most memorable moment, however, was the appearance of Katrina Derrell, also known as “Bikini Girl”–she went to stage in the usual two-piece and performed, before new judge Kara DioGuardi sang along, in what seemed like a vocal face-off. And then she took off her coat, revealing a two-piece bikini that she quickly wrapped up. “Anything for charity,” she said.
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American Idol 8: Final 2 Perform – Episode in Review
American Idol 8: The Top 118 Performances of the Season
American Idol 8: The Kris Allen/Adam Lambert Showdown
American Idol 8: Why Adam Lambert Shouldn’t Win
-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)