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American Idol Upset
Kris Allen grabs the title
Some may not have called this an upset, but many did. When Kris Allen was crowned American Idol , even he was surprised. Clearly, America was in the mood for vanilla. It appears they aren't ready for Neapolitan just yet. They went with the safe choice, and Kris Allen is about as safe as it gets. Granted, he will most likely release a hit CD or two. His solid voice and good-guy appeal is a given, and since the average CD-buying customer is between the age of 13 and 25, he'll no doubt score high in the land of Billboard. His win did, however, astound more than just Allen. Simon Cowell for one, who predicted a very different outcome.
As for Lambert, keep your ears open. Great talent can't be ignored, and his is screaming for attention. He'll get it too, in spades. His theatrical delivery and spot-on vocals were consistent throughout the season, and left more than a few in awe. Look for this songbird to land on a very lucrative branch and outsell the competition faster than they can say platinum.
There will be speculation as to whether Allen won because he procured the majority of Danny Gokey's would-be votes, or that close to 100 million voters predominantly preferred Allen over Lambert. Did Lambert lose votes because of his flamboyant nature? It would be a shame to think that his talent was underscored by an audience of voters who could not get past a little nail polish and hair gel. If that's the case, then this has truly become a popularity contest instead of an authentic vocal competition. I wonder what the outcome would have been if the judges were responsible for 50% of the total decision? Thoughts to ponder for future seasons, perhaps.
This one is over.
Before the final bow, however, the audience was treated to some impressive musical performances. Not just by the finalists, but from some notable artists from past and present who stopped by for a shot on stage with them. Allen's performance with Keith Urban made us wonder if there wasn't a country artist in there somewhere. They vocalized well together, and Allen seemed comfortable in that genre. Then there was Lambert's little diddy with KISS. After their high velocity performance, Ryan Seacrest likened the atmosphere to New Years Eve. If you ask me, it was more like the "The Best of Headbanger's Ball." Lambert began with the acclaimed power ballad "Beth", then artfully tore through "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Night".
Next, Allen and Lambert maneuvered their way through a mini set with the legendary band Queen. By the reaction from Brian May, lead guitarist and close friend of the late/great Freddie Mercury, Lambert won that round. Although Allen held his own, Lambert skillfully produced the power and pizazz that, dare I say, was reminicent of Mercury himself. Appropriately, the last song that the two finalists sang together on stage was "We Are The Champions".
Indeed they are.
Other celebrity performers and onlookers were clearly anxious to get in on the Idol action. Steve Martin even put his two cents in with a Banjo. Heather Locklear and previous Idol winners Ruben Studdard, Carrie Underwood, and David Cook were on hand in the audience . Cook performed his newest single "Permanent", a poignant homage to his recently deceased brother. He later presented Lambert and Allen with their own keys to a Ford Fusion. Thanks, Ford, but let's face it, these two have sold enough cars for you over the past couple of months to fill a stadium. Still, a nice gesture.
Rod Stewart is still singing about Maggie, Cindy Lauper still just wants to have fun, and the Black Eyed Peas are still, well, doing their own thing.
A star studded night with only one left standing. Lambert exits stage left, leaving Kris Allen to perform the final song of the evening and his first song as the newest American Idol.
And that's all she wrote......for now.