Correction to This Article
In some editions, the article incorrectly said that Adam Lambert sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at a military base. He sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."

'American Idol' Season 8 Down to Two Finalists: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen

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By Tamara Jones
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, May 14, 2009

In an 88-million-vote contest whose outcome seems so preordained that even the guest pop star had the likely winner's name embroidered across her costume, "It" boy Adam Lambert gyrated into the "American Idol" finals last night -- taking along "Pretty" boy Kris Allen, but only because Lollapalooza-big final results shows look really stupid when there's only one contestant performing.

Viewers sent tragic young widower Danny "The Dork" Gokey packing, which seemed to stun only disposable judge Kara DioGuardi.

Then again, maybe Kara should be the one packing: She was the only one left out of the lame comic homage to "Idol" judges in the show's opening skit by Ben Stiller, plugging his new Smithsonian movie.

The show opened with host Ryan Seacrest plugging the "Idol Gives Back" charity drive, which this year sent "Idol" alumna Carrie Underwood out to deliver anti-malarial mosquito nets to, as she so breathlessly explained, "Angola, Africa."

Back in Hollywood, North America, singer Alicia Keys introduced a young Rwandan singer and dancer named Noah, who performed with more charisma and talent than most of this season's 10 touring semifinalists. Viewers who were calling the text-message number to automatically donate the $5 that Ryan promised will go to "Keep a Child Alive," should also have texted in: "Dump Kris, send Noah."

It was time for conquering-hero hometown visits for Adam, Kris and Danny. First up was Danny, 29, who drew huge crowds in Milwaukee, which deserves to be now known for excellent sign-painting as well as bratwurst.

In Conway, Ark., 23-year-old Kris got to ride in the parade with his pretty blond wife, who appeared to be about 15, and seemed to be sulking more than she was celebrating, which may have been the result of being locked in a studio broom closet all season by Fox producers who didn't want the powerful tweenybopper-viewer constituency to know that their heartthrob Kris was taken.

Anyone who thinks Kris wasn't specifically designed to be this season's David Archuleta need only read Kris's official quote on the "Idol" home page: "I wish I had chest hair."

Sending Adam home for a visit proved tricky, because, according to his official bio, Hollywood is his home. But they can't couldn't use the private "Idol" jet and shoot the epic Returning Idol Walking Off Plane Onto Tarmac, Waving shot if Adam didn't go anywhere. What to do, what to do? D'oh! Change his home town!

So Adam, 27, was dispatched to recapture his childhood in San Diego, which conveniently has a Marine Corps air base where he can pose before a ginormous American flag and tenderly sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Still think he's not gonna win?

Well, probably not on the environmentalist ticket, since Adam flashed python boots on his visit to San Diego, which is an 18-minute flight from Hollywood, and really, the distance between the two cities is short enough that he practically could have just taken his super-stretch limo and gotten there by climbing from the back seat to the front.

Back in Idolville, it was time to trot out Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks to sing her new single.

Holy puberty, Batfans! Who replaced our sweet little Alice in Wonderland with Baby Beyoncé in a sausage-casing black dress with a naughty zipper up the front from hem to, um, ahem?

Back of the Purple Sofa of Fate, Danny whispered to Ryan, who duly repeated it to the world: "Enough suspense, enough commercials, enough playing around -- just get to it."

Agreed.

But first, Katy Perry pranced onstage wearing a white cape with Adam Lambert embroidered in red across the back. She shed the cape for a white majorette leotard and sang her new song, which sounds exactly like her old songs, only with different words. Still, she filled a costume void Cher left behind in the '80s, and we're grateful for that.

Ryan (concerned aside: Is it really safe to spray-tan your ears?) got down to business and announced that Kris is the first Idol in the final two. Which leaves us to reveal that, hey, guess what? Teyona won "Top Model."


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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