American Idol: Kris Allen? Really? - Macleans.ca
 

American Idol: Kris Allen? Really?

A diary of the shocking season finale


 

americanidolwinnerHaving made it through an hour last night, we’re back for two more. It’s the American Idol season finale. And only the very soul of the last global empire hangs in the balance.

8:00pm. And we’re off. Cue the dramatic opening montage. “The final battle… the biggest moment of their lives… their lives have been changed forever.” You know, on that last point, the same could be said of almost everything that happens to you everyday. Think about it.

8:02pm. Ryan Seacrest says phone lines were jammed last night, but still just under 100-million votes were registered. Apparently this is some sort of record. The American dream is alive and well.

8:03pm. Randy Jackson is wearing a large, maroon-velvet bowtie. See last night’s comment about Sesame Street.

8:06pm. Ryan introduces “the two guys who have captured the hearts of the nation.” It is, at this point, necessary to report that last night’s finale was the lowest rated in Idol history.

8:07pm. Both of the finalists are wearing white in preparation for Puff Daddy’s after party.

8:08pm. Our first awkwardly choreographed ensemble performance, this one featuring the final 13, all wearing white, singing some turgid Pink song. Awful stuff.

8:15pm. Back from commercial, last year’s winner, David Cook, performs to… wait, no cheap jokes allowed. His brother died recently. Go download that song on iTunes. All the proceeds go to brain cancer research.

8:20pm. Seacrest segues seamlessly from that to a mock awards ceremony for all the socially awkward losers who tried out thinking they could sing only to find themselves mocked mercilessly and repeatedly on national television.

8:23pm. The guy in the sparkly shirt who was basically a comedian would’ve ended up in the final four of an average season of Canadian Idol.

8:25pm. Queen Latifah out to perform with also-ran Lil Rounds. Queen Latifah has quietly put together an amazing career. All while calling herself—and convincing other people to call her—Queen Latifah. Easily the most distinguished alumnus of House Party 2.

8:32pm. Another commercial break. We’ve had three or four of these now and not a single Conservative attack ad. Disappointing.

8:33pm. A couple more also-rans, joined this time by Jason Mraz. How many male fans does Jason Mraz have? And how many of those male fans are or were the member of a fraternity?

8:36pm. Soft-focus profile of Kris Allen, then he performs with Keith Urban. Kris Allen is basically John Mayer before John Mayer decided to live his entire life ironically.

8:41pm. Quick shot of Justin Guarini in the crowd as they wrap up. Possible foreshadowing!

8:45pm. Back from commercial, a bunch of female also-rans are writhing all over the judges. And now Fergie’s on stage, not so much singing as yelping. “I’m going to miss you like a child misses their blanket” is the worst lyric in the history of pop music.

8:47pm. And now the Black Eyed Peas are performing. Nice of Will.I.Am to take a break from producing every major pop record of the last five years so that the other two guys can pay the rent.

8:50pm. Back to the gag awards. This time a salute to the craziest female contestants, one of whom is likened to a donkey. The winner is Bikini Girl, who arrives on stage in appropriate attire to collect her trophy and show off her new breasts. “I was going to ask you what’s new, but I think I know,” quips Seacrest. I think he used the same line when Kellie Pickler came back. Good line though. Point for Seacrest.

8:55pm. And now Bikini Girl and Kara DioGuardi are having a sing off. If nothing else, Kara sings better than she writes.

8:56pm. And Kara rips off her clothes. Apparently for charity. Describing this show in print always makes it seem so weird. And yet, in the moment, it makes so much sense.

9:00pm. This season’s top-finishing female contestant performs a stripped-down version of Time After Time with Cyndi Lauper. Now’s as good a time as any to point out that if you’re looking for more thoughtful analysis of last night’s show, check out what my friend Sarah Liss wrote. It’s exactly what I would’ve written. If hours spent watching QP each day hadn’t left me unable to form complex thoughts.

9:05pm. Also-ran Danny Gokey performs with Lionel Richie. The first song is DioGuardi-esque. Something about chillin’. They segue into All Night Long. Which is what Iraqis were listening to when American tanks invaded in 2003. Ah, memories.

9:15pm. The soft-focus profile of Adam Lambert. His crowning achievement: scaring the crap out of Randy Travis.

9:16pm. And now, he’s wearing a black leather jacket with metal wings or something.

9:18pm. And holy crap, it’s KISS!

9:19pm. And Rock N’ Roll All Nite! With flames!

9:20pm. And Paul Stanley tries to destroy his guitar! But he’s barely able to lift it over his head! At one point, he swings and misses the floor. So sad. So awesome.

9:21pm. A wholly satisfying five minutes.

9:23pm. Commercial break. And finally, an hour and a half into the show, we get an attack ad. The Conservatives are slipping.

9:25pm. Carlos Santana comes on to mellow everybody out.

9:29pm. A montage of all the Ford ads the contestants did this year. They should play this at the auto industry’s funeral next month.

9:31pm. Steve Martin, on banjo, and a couple also-rans singing a folk song. The Idol season finales generally feel like they were organized by a meth addict, but this has to be one of the more surreal shows yet.

9:40pm. After another excruciating ensemble sing-along, Rod Stewart staggers forward to sing Maggie May. He is 64 years old. He seems winded from having to descend a staircase.

9:43pm. Gene Simmons turns 60 this August, by the way. Paul Stanley is 57.

9:44pm. The only celebrity they seem to be able to find in the audience is Janice Dickinson. For those of you keeping score at home, she’s 54.

9:45pm. Final gag award, this one for worst female singer. The weird thing being that the winner is a girl they actually advanced.

9:52pm. And now the results. Wait, nope, first a duet. We Are The Champions, with the guys from Queen who aren’t Freddie Mercury. This is right in Lambert’s vocal wheelhouse, if that analogy makes any sense. Allen looks completely lost.

10:01pm. All right. Finally. Here we go. Seacrest is ready to announce the winner. Will it be the obviously more talented, but possibly gay Adam Lambert? Or the entirely unexciting, but probably not gay Kris Allen? Will American overcome its prejudices or lay them bare for all the world to see? Or will they pick a winner based on reasons completely unrelated to sexuality? And how will we ever know either way?

10:02pm. Wow. It’s Kris Allen. And even he seems to feel bad about it. Seacrest tries to save it by bringing Lambert back on stage, but ultimately Allen is forced to sing that song about mountains and hurricanes and dreams and unicorns.

10:06pm. And that’s it. Let the self-loathing, consternation and bitter debate begin! The culture wars are back, everybody! Let’s party like it’s 2004!


 

American Idol: Kris Allen? Really?

  1. Culture wars. I totally agree.. Adam brought the attention but couldn't over-come the culture norm.

  2. what the heck is wrong with america? Kris Alen has talent but Adam is an artist! i may be Canadian but you americans have lost all sense of reality…who the heck cares what sexual preference anyone has!! ADAM is the idol you should have voted in!! not sure if i will be tuning in next year! you may lose a great portion of your audience and i hope you do!!

    wake up america….your stars are not all "home boys"!!!

  3. i am very upset about the outcome of Idol…ADAM was the IDOL….the voting was done without any thought or consideration of the talent ADAM brings to the stage! yeah yeah Kris is the typical "all American" but Adam is a talent we cannot ignore!! wake up America!!! the all American "boy" may not be what you think he should be!!

  4. Sorry if we like a good singer…Kris has talent and that is who America voted for…not Canadians!

  5. Please..Possibly gay? Adam is gay.Pictures all over the internet. This has nothing to do with culture wars. The top 3 were Adam Kris & Danny.. Kris got Danny's votes. I'm gay ,out & proud . I would never buy a Liza Minnelli CD. I would never buy an Adam Lambert CD. I can't wait to buy a Kris Allen CD.

  6. i think that this was the worst season of idol ever. the girls really sucked (allison was great and i actually think that alexis should have made it much further). i didn't star liking kris until the end and it was probably because i was rooting for anoop becuz i'm from north carolina……but

    what i am trying to say is. I ACTUALLY THINK THAT KRIS DESERVED to win because overall i think that on finale night, he brought it more than adam did. and also i think that kris will sell more albums than adam like carrie underwood. although kris is a hottie, i still think that he won based on talent. i'm sure that kris wanted it, but i'm sure that adam wanted it more. but just because u want something more doesn't mean that it should be given to u. i think american idol should be based on growth and likeability (although many people probably disagree) because that's how singers are judged.

  7. OMG I agree My god if you closed your eyes and never saw him, would America not have to agree he was the best artist. Does anyone think people like Stevie Wonder or the late Jeff Healey would have judged a book by it's cover, I don't think so!!! They say American Idol is a redneck view and I whole heartedly agree. My god I think Adam Lambert is the next Mic Jager, after all he will have to be replaced at some point him and all his rock god friends and I think Adam Lambert is the man to do it.

    Crystal

  8. OMG. I really think America should have broke the cookie cutter mold on this one. All the speculations about Adam Lambert, does anyone think it really matters. Are we not at the day and age where we should not be judging a book by it's cover. My god, if you asked Stevie Wonder or the late Jeff Healey who was the better artsist I am sure their opinion would count. We need a new Mic Jager , Robert Plant and Steve Tyler!! Adam Lambet is just the man. It's a shame America dosen't see that. I hope all the best for Adam, he could replace any of our rock gods at a given moment, obvious by his performances on America Idol ( by the way I have lost all faith in the trek for unforseen talent )

    Crystal LeVatte

  9. Culture wars. I totally agree.. Adam brought the attention but couldn’t over-come the culture norm.

  10. what the heck is wrong with america? Kris Alen has talent but Adam is an artist! i may be Canadian but you americans have lost all sense of reality…who the heck cares what sexual preference anyone has!! ADAM is the idol you should have voted in!! not sure if i will be tuning in next year! you may lose a great portion of your audience and i hope you do!!
    wake up america….your stars are not all “home boys”!!!

    • Sorry if we like a good singer…Kris has talent and that is who America voted for…not Canadians!

      • You know Canadians can vote too. I voted for Kris. Loved him since day 1! He definitely deserves the title and I cannot wait to buy his album. Adam rocked but he would have made it without A.I. I think Kris was the only one who should growth and improvement throughout the whole competition. He’s extremely talented and will go far. Congrats Kris!!

        • Yeah! You got it right on! Kris ran the emotional gamut from A to B
          (with apologies to Dorothy Parker)

    • OMG I agree My god if you closed your eyes and never saw him, would America not have to agree he was the best artist. Does anyone think people like Stevie Wonder or the late Jeff Healey would have judged a book by it’s cover, I don’t think so!!! They say American Idol is a redneck view and I whole heartedly agree. My god I think Adam Lambert is the next Mic Jager, after all he will have to be replaced at some point him and all his rock god friends and I think Adam Lambert is the man to do it.
      Crystal

    • I’m Canadian and I voted for Adam. I really don’t think Kris can sing. Quite often his voice was straining and I found his voice rather flat. Adam’s voice was powerful and had the volume and the range and I quite agree that we need a new rock idol and Adam was it. Kris has no stage presence and I’m stunned that Kris and Danny made it as far as they did. I thought Adam and Alison would be the final two.

    • Just to make a piont here…it’s not a sexual preference to be gay, it’s a sexual orientation. By saying preference it makes it sound like there’s a choice, ie: you prefer apples over oranges. People are born gay.

  11. i am very upset about the outcome of Idol…ADAM was the IDOL….the voting was done without any thought or consideration of the talent ADAM brings to the stage! yeah yeah Kris is the typical “all American” but Adam is a talent we cannot ignore!! wake up America!!! the all American “boy” may not be what you think he should be!!

  12. Please..Possibly gay? Adam is gay.Pictures all over the internet. This has nothing to do with culture wars. The top 3 were Adam Kris & Danny.. Kris got Danny’s votes. I’m gay ,out & proud . I would never buy a Liza Minnelli CD. I would never buy an Adam Lambert CD. I can’t wait to buy a Kris Allen CD.

    • i think that this was the worst season of idol ever. the girls really sucked (allison was great and i actually think that alexis should have made it much further). i didn’t star liking kris until the end and it was probably because i was rooting for anoop becuz i’m from north carolina……but

      what i am trying to say is. I ACTUALLY THINK THAT KRIS DESERVED to win because overall i think that on finale night, he brought it more than adam did. and also i think that kris will sell more albums than adam like carrie underwood. although kris is a hottie, i still think that he won based on talent. i’m sure that kris wanted it, but i’m sure that adam wanted it more. but just because u want something more doesn’t mean that it should be given to u. i think american idol should be based on growth and likeability (although many people probably disagree) because that’s how singers are judged.

  13. OMG. I really think America should have broke the cookie cutter mold on this one. All the speculations about Adam Lambert, does anyone think it really matters. Are we not at the day and age where we should not be judging a book by it’s cover. My god, if you asked Stevie Wonder or the late Jeff Healey who was the better artsist I am sure their opinion would count. We need a new Mic Jager , Robert Plant and Steve Tyler!! Adam Lambet is just the man. It’s a shame America dosen’t see that. I hope all the best for Adam, he could replace any of our rock gods at a given moment, obvious by his performances on America Idol ( by the way I have lost all faith in the trek for unforseen talent )
    Crystal LeVatte

  14. You know Canadians can vote too. I voted for Kris. Loved him since day 1! He definitely deserves the title and I cannot wait to buy his album. Adam rocked but he would have made it without A.I. I think Kris was the only one who should growth and improvement throughout the whole competition. He's extremely talented and will go far. Congrats Kris!!

  15. Yeah! You got it right on! Kris ran the emotional gamut from A to B

    (with apologies to Dorothy Parker)

  16. I'm Canadian and I voted for Adam. I really don't think Kris can sing. Quite often his voice was straining and I found his voice rather flat. Adam's voice was powerful and had the volume and the range and I quite agree that we need a new rock idol and Adam was it. Kris has no stage presence and I'm stunned that Kris and Danny made it as far as they did. I thought Adam and Alison would be the final two.

  17. Kris will put out slick albums, expensively produced by midas touch big names and written by songwriting committees. They will surge up that artist vacuum they call the hit parade, trying to saturate every target market along the way.

    The contract he signed to appear on American Idol will ensure a life of indentured servitude as long as he is popular, and a quick trip to dumpsville if he doesn't post good sales.

    I guess we'll see how far those mantinee good looks and one of a kind talent take him, won't we?

  18. this is probably about money…i would not put it past adam he got himself a lawyer and made a deal..a deal with simon cowell to relinquish the american idol title to the other guy for the lucrative advancement and adams artistic freedom…no matter what has transpired they are all winners…of course i could be wrong again…was totally wrong yesterday but i knew something was up when adam was just too happy at the conclusion of the show

  19. That might be true except they really planned to have Adam win… and Kris is hardly slick I would think Adam is the slick one of the two. AIdol spent all that money on Adam's gowns & costumes the productions.etc. John Mayer ,James Taylor, Billy Joel even Cat Stevens(who still performs) have great careers Adam didn't die. He just lost a realty contest Get a grip ,get a life and accept that they both may or may not have carreers ahead.

    Adam ,I 'm sure is grateful he got out of the gay cabaret scene which is as dead end as you can get..What is Simon's biggest put down besides karaoke,Broadway & Cabaret Adams previous life

    By the way pancake & eyeliner looks very sad on an aging rock god..I hope he knows when to let it go.

  20. Kris will put out slick albums, expensively produced by midas touch big names and written by songwriting committees. They will surge up that artist vacuum they call the hit parade, trying to saturate every target market along the way.
    The contract he signed to appear on American Idol will ensure a life of indentured servitude as long as he is popular, and a quick trip to dumpsville if he doesn’t post good sales.

    I guess we’ll see how far those mantinee good looks and one of a kind talent take him, won’t we?

    • That might be true except they really planned to have Adam win… and Kris is hardly slick I would think Adam is the slick one of the two. AIdol spent all that money on Adam’s gowns & costumes the productions.etc. John Mayer ,James Taylor, Billy Joel even Cat Stevens(who still performs) have great careers Adam didn’t die. He just lost a realty contest Get a grip ,get a life and accept that they both may or may not have carreers ahead.
      Adam ,I ‘m sure is grateful he got out of the gay cabaret scene which is as dead end as you can get..What is Simon’s biggest put down besides karaoke,Broadway & Cabaret Adams previous life
      By the way pancake & eyeliner looks very sad on an aging rock god..I hope he knows when to let it go.

      • Get a grip? Get a life? Swinging for the fences P?
        Better get a bigger bat.
        Comparing either of these guys to Joel, Taylor or “even” Cat is pretty premature don’t ya think? Their music has stood the test of time. As for John Mayer – the man is a bit of a virtuoso on the guitar as well as being a tabloid pretty posterboy.
        Both Adam and Kris have good pipes, but so does Susan Boyle. The real knack is either in songwriting or that special “it” that makes you stand out (like Elvis). Not even the mighty Idol hype machine can ensure much beyond spending a whole lot of promotional cash that will come out of the gross earnings long before the “winner” ever sees a penny.
        As for Cabaret – you ever hear of RufusWainwright?
        Simon Cowell? The man serves up music like McDonalds serves up burgers, fries and shakes. Sure, it fills the hole, but you wouldn’t want a steady diet of it – or maybe you would.

  21. this is probably about money…i would not put it past adam he got himself a lawyer and made a deal..a deal with simon cowell to relinquish the american idol title to the other guy for the lucrative advancement and adams artistic freedom…no matter what has transpired they are all winners…of course i could be wrong again…was totally wrong yesterday but i knew something was up when adam was just too happy at the conclusion of the show

  22. Get a grip? Get a life? Swinging for the fences P?

    Better get a bigger bat.

    Comparing either of these guys to Joel, Taylor or "even" Cat is pretty premature don't ya think? Their music has stood the test of time. As for John Mayer – the man is a bit of a virtuoso on the guitar as well as being a tabloid pretty posterboy.

    Both Adam and Kris have good pipes, but so does Susan Boyle. The real knack is either in songwriting or that special "it" that makes you stand out (like Elvis). Not even the mighty Idol hype machine can ensure much beyond spending a whole lot of promotional cash that will come out of the gross earnings long before the "winner" ever sees a penny.

    As for Cabaret – you ever hear of RufusWainwright?

    Simon Cowell? The man serves up music like McDonalds serves up burgers, fries and shakes. Sure, it fills the hole, but you wouldn't want a steady diet of it – or maybe you would.

  23. Good that Adam didn't win.

    He's too unique to have to drag around that label: American Idol.

  24. Good that Adam didn’t win.
    He’s too unique to have to drag around that label: American Idol.

  25. Hi! I'm a working mother and a devout Christian, too. I recognize that American Idol is a singing talent contest open to all — Christian or not, black or white, female, male and otherwise. It is not supposed to be a popularity contest for a certain class of persons. Among all of Season 8's contenders, Adam Lambert is clearly the amazing artist and the best singer, gifted with a powerful voice. America's vote for Kris Allen, or its vote against Adam, seems to be a contemptuous hate vote against that portion of America that Adam stands for. ADAM LAMBERT DESERVED TO WIN. Even Kris Allen himself knows this in his Christian heart: that is why, as soon as he was unexpectedly handed the undeserved crown, he openly admitted in public that "Adam deserves this…" — instinctively repudiating ridiculous vote results that were surely no act of God and faithfully adhering to the glaring truth. Adam Lambert is the true winner!

  26. Hi! I’m a working mother and a devout Christian, too. I recognize that American Idol is a singing talent contest open to all — Christian or not, black or white, female, male and otherwise. It is not supposed to be a popularity contest for a certain class of persons. Among all of Season 8’s contenders, Adam Lambert is clearly the amazing artist and the best singer, gifted with a powerful voice. America’s vote for Kris Allen, or its vote against Adam, seems to be a contemptuous hate vote against that portion of America that Adam stands for. ADAM LAMBERT DESERVED TO WIN. Even Kris Allen himself knows this in his Christian heart: that is why, as soon as he was unexpectedly handed the undeserved crown, he openly admitted in public that “Adam deserves this…” — instinctively repudiating ridiculous vote results that were surely no act of God and faithfully adhering to the glaring truth. Adam Lambert is the true winner!

    • Adam was good,but he didn't sing he screamed. Kris Alen is awsome he deserved to win and I don't think so many people should be so freakish about it.!!!

  27. really only time will tell who will be successful!! both finalists are extremely talented, Adam IMHO will do well in theatre, live performances, he's a drama queen and a performer. Kris is a humble genuine musician who plays 4 intruments and writes his own songs. They seem to have completely oposing fan bases. I prefer Kris' music over Adam's screaming. I loved his rendition of "whole lotta love" but other than that his screeching really got on my nerves, not to mention his haughtiness. I personally cannot wait for Kris' CD to be released, he's an artist I can put in the CD player and hit repeat. Many say he is typical of what you hear on the radio, but THAT is exactly what america is listening to right now…Kris will span many age groups…but like I said…time will tell

  28. really only time will tell who will be successful!! both finalists are extremely talented, Adam IMHO will do well in theatre, live performances, he’s a drama queen and a performer. Kris is a humble genuine musician who plays 4 intruments and writes his own songs. They seem to have completely oposing fan bases. I prefer Kris’ music over Adam’s screaming. I loved his rendition of “whole lotta love” but other than that his screeching really got on my nerves, not to mention his haughtiness. I personally cannot wait for Kris’ CD to be released, he’s an artist I can put in the CD player and hit repeat. Many say he is typical of what you hear on the radio, but THAT is exactly what america is listening to right now…Kris will span many age groups…but like I said…time will tell

    • I totally agree with you.!!!!!!!

  29. Just to make a piont here…it's not a sexual preference to be gay, it's a sexual orientation. By saying preference it makes it sound like there's a choice, ie: you prefer apples over oranges. People are born gay.

  30. Once again someone from southern America won!

    People from the countryside just has nothing to do but vote a thousand times for the idol from their state. Take a look at the winners from all previous season, they all from the south. What a stupid show!

  31. Once again someone from southern America won!
    People from the countryside just has nothing to do but vote a thousand times for the idol from their state. Take a look at the winners from all previous season, they all from the south. What a stupid show!

  32. I would like to ask the two Canadians who voted: How did you do it?

    • I live in Canada and I voted too (for Adam, of course) but I won't tell how. If smart people want something really bad they always find ways.

  33. I would like to ask the two Canadians who voted: How did you do it?

  34. Ok first who are you to say that Kris alen is unexciting! He's an awsome singer and you are dirt to say that he's bad. Ok well I have to get out of here before I get really mad ! :)

  35. Ok first who are you to say that Kris alen is unexciting! He's an awsome singer and you are dirt to say that he's bad. Ok well I have to get out of here before I get really mad ! :)

  36. I totally agree with you.!!!!!!!

  37. Adam was good,but he didn't sing he screamed. Kris Alen is awsome he deserved to win and I don't think so many people should be so freakish about it.!!!

  38. YAWN!!!!!!! Why am I yawing, you ask? Oh, I'm listening to some guy sing…and it's Kris Allen…YAWN!!!! His voice is sooo ordinary and average, and tKris is boring me to tears! Tears?..Like Tracks of My Tears??? Yep, I love it! I'm listening to Adam Lambert sing "Tracks of My Tears" and I am ALIVE!!!!! Thank you Adam! Can we exhange Kris Allen for someone with talent and a good voice??? Hmmmmmm. Adam is one amazing singer and performer! Can't wait to go to the AI Tour to see Adam.

  39. YAWN!!!!!!! Why am I yawing, you ask? Oh, I'm listening to some guy sing…and it's Kris Allen…YAWN!!!! His voice is sooo ordinary and average, and tKris is boring me to tears! Tears?..Like Tracks of My Tears??? Yep, I love it! I'm listening to Adam Lambert sing "Tracks of My Tears" and I am ALIVE!!!!! Thank you Adam! Can we exhange Kris Allen for someone with talent and a good voice??? Hmmmmmm. Adam is one amazing singer and performer! Can't wait to go to the AI Tour to see Adam.

  40. I live in Canada and I voted too (for Adam, of course) but I won't tell how. If smart people want something really bad they always find ways.