Who’s The Real “Idol” Winner?

Usually there’s nothing I love more than being right. Who doesn’t?! But after predicting Kris Allen would steal the prize from Adam Lambert in last night’s “American Idol” finale, I’ve never wanted to be so wrong. Actually I take it back – this could be the best thing that’s ever happened to our glam-rock hero.

For starters, eyeliner lovin’ Lambert won’t be stuck singing the cheesy, gag-inducing “No Boundaries” ballad, co-written by new judge Kara DioGuardi, as his first single. As one of our commenters wrote on Pollstar.com, “Adam wins … he doesn’t have to record that horrible song!” Seriously, if Lambert can’t make a song work, you know it’s bad news. Lambert’s performances may have “No Boundaries” but that song is so not him and it would have been a travesty for that song to kick off his career.

Photo: AP Photo
The runner-up finalist on "American Idol," poses backstage following the show’s finale in Los Angeles.

Speaking of which, not winning the show and being so closely linked to “Idol” will allow Lambert to have more creative control over his career. If he had won I would have been worried about his sound and style being sterilized.

Besides, as everyone knows, it doesn’t matter if you end the show as number one, two or three, or in some cases ninth or tenth, either way, you’re basically guaranteed a record contract. Winning didn’t do much for past Idol champs like Ruben Studdard or Fantasia Barrino (what the heck are they doing now?!) whereas losing has treated Season 5 fourth place contestant Chris Daughtry and Season 3 seventh place contestant Jennifer Hudson just fine.

After watching the performances on the “Idol” finale, it’s still pretty crazy that  Allen was crowned the winner because it was clearly Lambert’s show. I mean, Lambert donned wiry black wings and platform boots (which he pointed out in a later interview were from his personal collection) and blasted out his signature scream in a pyrotechnics-filled duet with KISS while pianist/acoustic guitar playing Allen’s big performance of the night was strumming along with Keith Urban.

Photo: AP Photo
Performing during American Idol.

The two-hour finale was packed to the brim with duets between guest stars and “Idol” contestants such as Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah, Allison Iraheta and Cyndi Lauper, Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace with Jason Mraz, Danny Gokey and Lionel Richie, and Michael Sarver and Megan Joy with Steve Martin on the banjo. Season 7 winner David Cook sang a tribute to his brother and Rod Stewart made an appearance to sing “Maggie May.” Santana teamed up with the Top 13 “Idols” and Fergie sang with the “Idol” girls followed by a performance by the Black Eyed Peas.

“Idol” wannabes that didn’t make it too far in the game showed up to collect prizes and sing a few notes such as funny guy Norman Gentle, drama mama Tatiana Del Toro and Bikini Girl Katrina Darrell, who was schooled by a bikini-clad DioGuardi on Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love.”

The night wrapped up with Allen and Lambert triumphantly singing “We Are the Champions” along with Queen.

After Allen stated in his “Idol” audition that “there’s probably people who are better than me,” the 23-year-old was humble to the end. When Allen was announced as the winner his jaw dropped and he said “Adam deserves this.”

During the season Allen wowed viewers and judges by mixing up Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová’s “Falling Slowly” from the indie musical “Once” and Kanye West‘s “Heartless.” After winning he told reporters backstage he wanted to make a “pop singer-songwriter kinda” album.

Photo: AP Photo
Kris Allen tapes an "I’m Going to Disney World!" commercial immediately after being crowned the newest "American Idol."

Lambert, who was praised for his take on Tears For Fears’ “Mad World,” Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” told reporters he’s received a couple record offers so far.

“My dream now is to make a really dope record. Do something new. Push the boundaries a little bit. Push people’s buttons. Open people’s minds up a little bit,” he told E! online.

Then again, maybe Lambert could hold off on his own album for a bit and hit the road with Queen. With Paul Rodgers recently parting ways with the guys, there’s an empty spot in the band – and Lambert has already demonstrated he can nicely fill Freddie Mercury’s shoes.

What do you think? Did the right man win? Will you buy Allen’s album? What about Lambert’s?

Oh, and for any one who thought Lambert was way too theatrical, click here to check out a performance by Rhydian Roberts, the 2007 season runner-up on Britain’s “X Factor.”
Read the E! online article here.