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Adam Lambert or Kris Allen? The 'Idol' Season 8 Final Two Face Off

In this publicity image released by Fox,
In this publicity image released by Fox, "American Idol" finalists, Kris Allen, of Conway, Ark., left, and Adam Lambert, of San Diego, are shown on the singing competition show on May 13, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Fox, Frank Micelotta) (Frank Micelotta - AP)

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Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 20, 2009; 12:00 PM

Who deserves to win this season of "American Idol," Adam Lambert or Kris Allen? The Post's Lisa de Moraes was online Wednesday, May 20 at noon ET to discuss which of the two had the best performance last night, their career prospects, the show's ups-and-downs this season and more.

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washingtonpost.com: Lisa is wrapping up some work from the network upfronts and will begin in a few minutes.

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washingtonpost.com:

Lisa de Moraes: Hi everyone. Sorry for the delay. NYC computer problems. Hope you will log your vote in re who you think SHOULD win Idol this year.....

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20009: Hello. At the wrap-up of Idol, it looked to me like they didn't show the numbers to vote for Kris a second time. Am I crazy? Did you notice the same thing? Does he have grounds for a lawsuit? Love your work!

Lisa de Moraes: I did not notice, but I am in a Broadcast Upfront/Pharmaceutical Haze this week...which, trust me, is not as interesting as it sounds... And, I was so stunned by the degree of crapitude of this year's American Idol Treacle Tune I entirely forgot to check to make sure there was no number hanky-panky going on. Tell me what you saw and when you saw it...

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Adam or Kris?: I say: "Chuck" Yay! I am so glad it was renewed.

Oh, and I hope that Adam wins. Kris will do just fine as the runner up.

Lisa de Moraes: Funny, I'm now hoping Adam doesn't win because if he does he's going to have that Kara DioGuardi Treacle Tune around his neck for the next year or so... it will be the first single released by the winner. That's a fate I wouldn't wish on anyone. Except maybe Tatiana. Wouldn't you have loved to have heard her belt out that number? The mountains, the hurricanes, the whatever the heck else was going on in that song... gak!

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Washington, D.C.: I'm not normally prone to conspiracy theories - especially ones involving "American Idol" - but I thought last night's show very subversively attempted to result in a victory for Kris Allen. At the outset, it was described as "the guy next door versus guyliner" - definitely pro-Kris, and dehumanizing (some would say gay-baiting) of Adam Lambert.

Then at the very end, when they rolled "highlights" clips for each singer, I noticed that the phone numbers stayed on the screen longer for Kris than they did for Adam.

Honestly, I don't care which one wins - I was rooting for Danny Gokey and, before that, Matt Giraud. But it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a conscious decision on the producers' part to favor Kris on last night's show. Call me crazy, but it's Fox, after all...

Lisa de Moraes: Yes, the whole "guyliner" gag plays pretty homophobic to me too. Would they have dared to make similar cracks if the two finalists had been, say, white and African American? Male and female: "It's the battle of the breasts and the [throbbing male pride]!"......

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Pelham, NY: Why did Randy suggest Adam's version of the Treacle was "pitchy"? Was he listening? Is that a filler word? Did he just not know what to say? Pitchy? Adam? What?!

Lisa de Moraes: I know! Adam was not pitchy. Adam is never pitchy. I think Randy was really just reacting to the incredible awfulness of the tune. It really is the worst American Idol Treacle Tune Ever. I think it totally destroys Kara Dioguardi's cred. Here they have been building her up all season as someone who is actively working in the recording industry and a real know-it-all and then they cough up this bit of musical flotsam and she looks like a hack...

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Vienna, Va.: More a comment than a question. Am I the only one who sees Adam Lambert as arrogant, condescending, conceited, etc.? I had to watch last night's show on DVR, as my 11 year old had a softball game, and found myself fast forwarding through Adam's performances. I'm not such a big Kris Allen fan, having preferred Gokey, but if I had voted last night, I would have voted for him, but as a vote against Adam Lambert. If the judges slobber over him tonight as much as they have the last several weeks, I'm going to turn it off and read about it tomorrow.

Lisa de Moraes: Odd you would say so when at the close of last night's show Adam pointed to Kris and said something to the effect that Kris is the best... and how sad that you would vote against a contestant on this singing competition, instead of voting for someone's talent.

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Fairfax Station, Va.: Hi ya Pooks. Lucky treat for us - we get you mid-week! Now let's get down to business.

Seriously, what was up with Paula's fake bake last night? If there was a blackout in LA last night, she could have "glowed" her way to the emergency exit.

Lisa de Moraes: She did look pretty well-done. I'm guessing it was all part of a plan to make the poison green outfit really "pop."

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re:phone numbers: They only showed the phone numbers for both Adam & Kris during the recap of their first songs....no lawsuit necessary!!

Lisa de Moraes: Phew! Because I'm ready for this edition of "Idol" to end and do not want to have to tie up loose ends with "voting conspiracy" columns later in the week... thanks!

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Kara be gone: If there's a God in Heaven, Kara will be off the show next year for having taking credit for that craptastic, nails-on-a-chalk-board debacle she called a song.

Lisa de Moraes: Fingers crossed. Reporters keep asking people involved with the show the wrong question. They keep asking if she will be back and they're being told yes. They should be asking if she will be back -- as a judge...I'm thinking they might bring her back as a regular "mentor" to save face..

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Bryant, Ark.: I just heard from a friend that said Kris Allen's family had been told "Kris had won Idol" -- does that happen and would "Idol" producers REALLY TELL the family before the final show?

Lisa de Moraes: No. They are probably looking at Dialidol.com or some such site that projects the number of votes each contestant received...

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Alexandria, Va.: Describing Kris Allen's "petit paleness and paralellogram mouth" was a brilliant piece of writing.

Do you think DioGuradi will be invited back next season?

washingtonpost.com: On Disco Night, Some Idolettes Break the Mirror-Ball Mold

Lisa de Moraes: I hope not but think so. I'm hoping they do not have her back as a judge. She added absolutely nothing, except more time...

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Arlington Gay: Pookie, you wrote that the winner has to release the Treacle Tune first. Is that new? David Cook included his treacle on his album, but it wasn't the first release. (In fact, he managed to make it sorta OK on the otherwise great album. Surprised me.) Based on the Treacle Tune, I'm almost rooting against my boy Adam. He clearly doesn't need to win to have a career.

washingtonpost.com: Two Gladiators, But Only 'Guyliner' Looms as the Fave

Lisa de Moraes: It would be better for Lambert not to win. The whole theme-parkness of "Idol" wouldn't really work for him....

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Silver Spring: I have no doubt that Kris will win simply because Danny's fans will not vote for Adam. Pure statistics.

Lisa de Moraes: I think you are right...

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Richmond, Va.: If it is a TRUE contest that focuses on the ability to sing and not on religious views or on sexual preference, then it must go to Adam. He is in all probability the BEST I've seen on this show. He absolutely has it all. Let's hope whoever voted, kept in mind what American Idol is all about-singing ability!

Lisa de Moraes: You are preaching to the choir here. But, as you saw from an earlier comment made by one of our chatters, it's sometimes not about talent and about other things including a contestant's perceived personality, hair color, "guyliner" -- our culture's new euphemism, apparently, for ambiguously gay.

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At the wrap-up of Idol, it looked to me like they didn't show the numbers to vote for Kris a second time.: I agree. I think I noticed this too. Although apparently texters weren't getting confirmations, and people calling for Adam were getting "Thank you for voting for Contestant #2" messages - the rumors are flying.

Lisa de Moraes: oh heck -- just when I thought I was going to be able to make a clean break....

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Vienna, VA: I've been in Adam's camp all season and still think he should win. But I was really disappointed in last night's show, largely due to the song choices. I always expect the coronation song to suck (which it did), but I didn't love any of the songs last night. Simon Fuller's choices were ridiculous, preachy, and did nothing to showcase either singer's talents. I wanted Simon to have Adam sing Bohemian Rhapsody or Purple Rain. The best songs were the first round, but even there I don't think either singer chose the best song. I would've loved to hear Heartless again from Kris. And I really wanted to see/hear Adam rock out to something like Satisfaction.

Lisa de Moraes: you and me both. And how about Seacrest trying to paint the final performance night as some titanic struggle between two warriors: "Round 2 to Adam Lambert, Ding! Ding! Ding! Next!"
Yikes!

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Anonymous: Neither of them are my choice. Danny Gokey was the best of the three. However, if you ask me for a vote then I think it should be Adam Lambert but first he better get off his high horse!!

Lisa de Moraes: Really, I'm not getting the high horse thing. I think they both come across as very nice guys...

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I heart pookie: American Idol had its 300th show and still can't manage to wrap it up on time? And tonight's 2 hour long endurance test is already slated to run overtime?

Being an AI fan can be grueling. It already feels like this season started last Labor Day.

Lisa de Moraes: They don'twant tonight's show to wrap on time because the more ad breaks they can sell at "Idol" prices they happier Fox will be...it's simple economics.

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Glee: Was Glee last night just a "preview," as in...that's it until fall?

If so, color me disappointed. I really enjoyed it.

Speaking of Tatiana, how much did Lead Glee Club Girl remind you of her?

Lisa de Moraes: Yes, it was billed as a "sneak peek." Unfortunately, it did not do so well, so this rule-breaking marketing strategy may have actually bit Fox in the heinie. The second half hour of "Idol" clocked nearly 25 million viewers...immediately after which, the first half hour of "Glee" only logged 12.5 million viewers -- that's a loss of about half the "Idol" crowd. Worse yet, in its second half hour "Glee" plunged to just under 9 million viewers. That is a very bad sign...

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Alexandria, VA: Let's not forget the incredible number of tweens who are doing the voting. Who do you think is more likeable and relateable to tweens? I think it's Kris.

Lisa de Moraes: Yes, tweener girls are going to go with Kris because they would like to date him, or at least dream about it...

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Adams Morgan: Mr. Tony said that he has thought since week 5 that Kris would win. Has the old man has finally lost it (picking Kris, leaving MNF)???

I don't think Kris could ever do anything that compared to the vocal performance Adam gave during the second song.

Lisa de Moraes: I think The Fabulous Mr. Tony is right about tonight's winner. Because America tends to vote safe and bland. Remember Taylor Hicks? Jordan Sparks?

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Re: "Pure Statistics": I'm a statistician. I wouldn't assume Danny Gokey's fans will vote against Adam. There's a non-response factor here, such as those Gokey fans decide not to vote

Lisa de Moraes: Golly, you really ARE a statistician! I think what the chatter was suggesting was that Gokey fans who were still voting after Gokey got the boot were maybe more likely to vote for Kris than to vote for Adam...

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I think they both come across as very nice guys... : Adam is a little less "aw shucks" than Kris is. But all in all, I agree with you.

And I don't understand the continued fascination with Danny Gokey. Yes, he has a nice voice. But he is a one trick pony. And not once in 11 or so weeks did he take a song, twist it, and make it his own, like Kris and Adam regularly did with ease.

Lisa de Moraes: Agree. Danny had an interesting and pleasant voice, but was not nearly as creative as either Kris or Adam... much as I dreamed of having Tatiana make it all the way to the final 2, I think this pairing is a good one...

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The whole theme-parkness of "Idol" wouldn't really work for him.... : Really? I mean, really? Think about what you just said.

Lisa de Moraes: Yup, I mean it. The whole sing the national anthem at baseball games, parades through home town, keep having to show up in Ryan Seacrest's radio show, coming back next year to have some Idolette hand you some tacky thing in a frame to commemorate your album going platinum -- I just don't see all that for Lambert.

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Falls Church, VA: Not to pile on re: the treacle tune, but did anyone else think it sounded awfully similar to the current Miley Cyrus song "Climb?" Even the lyrics....

Loved Glee, BTW. Well, until TiVo cut off the end!

Emily Yahr: For those who missed it, here are the lyrics to this year's Treacle Tune:

Seconds, hours, so many days
You know what you want but how long can you wait?
Every moment lasts forever
When you feel you've lost your way.
What if my chances were already gone,
Started believing that I could be wrong?
But you give me one good reason
To fight and never walk away

Cause here I am -- still holding on!

Every step you climb another mountain
Every breath it's harder to believe
You'll make it through the pain
Weather the hurricane
To get to that one thing

Cause when you think the road is going nowhere
Just when you almost gave up on your dreams
Then take it by the hand and show you that you can

You can go higher
You can go deeper
There are no boundaries
Above and beneath you
Break every rule cause there's nothing between you and your dreams

Every step you climb another mountain
Every breath it's harder to believe
Yeah, well there are no boundaries, there are no boundaries
Every step you climb another mountain
Every breath it's harder to believe
You'll make it through the pain
Weather the hurricane
To get to that one thing
Cause when you think the road is going nowhere
Just when you almost gave up on your dreams
Then take it by the hand and show you that you can
There are no boundaries.

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Ontario, Canada: Where do think all the gay baiting banter comes from? It seems to be Ryan and Simon a lot. Insensitive in any case.

Lisa de Moraes: This is not something they have the exclusive on. Did you watch The Early Show's coverage of the "Idol" finale this morning? Same thing -- it was all about "guyliner." I do not get why this is okay.

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Austin, Tex.: Mashable.com is predicting Adam the winner based on social media/google activity

Love Adam but almost hoping he doesn't win because of the ai machine - he's too good. If he does win, the only way he should sing that horrific coronation song is in full drag.

washingtonpost.com: American Idol Winner: Can Google Predict the Results?

Lisa de Moraes: ebay has much the same thing -- Adam junk is selling about 100 times higher than Kris junk so they're calling it for Adam. I think that just means Adam fans have more disposable income!

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Treacle tune: I seriously didn't think the end of season song could be any worse than past seasons, but wow, they proved me wrong. And what's up with all year telling the contestants about the importance of song choice and showing their personal style as an artist and then forcing them to release a crap song not of their choosing as their first single?

Lisa de Moraes: amen!

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Singing Competition: Idol isn't a Singing Competition, it's a Pop Star Competition. Singing is arguably very low on the list of things a Pop Star needs.

If Idol were truly a "singing competition," then our female contestants in the final 36 wouldn't be a bunch of hot chicks with average voices

Lisa de Moraes: I was going to disagree with you, thinking of Jordan Sparks who may be cute but is certainly not a "hot chick." But really, why deny that music industry these days is more about "the package" than about "the talent."...I still have nightmares about Jamie Foxx's performance on "Idol" the other day....

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Silver Spring again: OK, so if Kris does win, will they acknowledge his wife?

Lisa de Moraes: I'm guessing they will send her on a worldwide cruise of all the countries in which Rupert Murdoch controls the media and can therefore be assured the press won't cover her movement. A little conspiracy theory I just whipped up in my Pharmaceutical Haze here...

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Don't forget...: ...there was a little thing called the "Dancing With the Stars" finale on another network last night. Couldn't it have affected the "Glee" ratings?

Lisa de Moraes: Yet another reason the "Glee" preview was a misfire...now Fox has to deal with the perception viewers rejected it... Doesn't matter why, they just did...

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London Ontario: Thanks for posting the lyrics because I swear I couldn't understand a word of it last night (not that I think I'll be singing along to it!)

Lisa de Moraes: I keep singing it over and over in my head. in the shower, on the streets of Manhattan. At CBS's upfront breakfast this morning. It's my new favorite tune -- so catchy, so uplifting..

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Illinois: It's time for something new, something fresh. If Adam doesn't win, I swear this is my last season to watch American Idol. I can't take one more year of "Jesus Take The Wheel" music.

Lisa de Moraes: Oh, thanks, now I will have THAT tune AND this darned Treacle Tune "No Boundaries" in my head for the rest of the day... How about next season we all get together and write an American Idol Treacle Tune? Everyone can contribute one line. We can open with something like :

If I were a tree
What tree would I be?

Okay, you guys take if from there....

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San Francisco, CA: Is there any way Adam wins, or should I just give up now?

Lisa de Moraes: Don't think so. But don't despair. Think about the nice career he's about to have off of his six month's worth of exposure on this show...

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Washington, D.C.: Would an aggregate total of all votes on AI be a much better indicator of who is the American Idol? For example, if the voting for the American Idol where finalized the week Adam Lambert sang "Mad World," he would have been crowned. What happens if voters now fancy Kris Allen more? (He has kind eyes, a nice smile, and a nice singing persona.)

Lisa de Moraes: ..and, he seems really helpful...

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Boscawen, NH: You would think that at this day and age of American music, people would just let the make up and theatrics be part of the performance. I don't recall this much banter about all the metal bands and their outrageous dos. Or the current looks of the Emo musicians. Lambert seems to be a class act, and a performer worth watching as well as listening to.

Lisa de Moraes: I agree. In some ways, "Idol" and Seacrest do seem to be stuck back in the 50's: "Oh my god! He's wiggling his pelvis!"

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I like Kris: There I said it. I like a lot Adam too, but Kris is more my style. I think he's laid back without being bland. Love the guitar schtick too. I am not homophobic or a religious zealot. In fact, I was thrilled when boring Gokey was booted (an odd combo of Michael Bolton and Michael W Smith), and would certainly vote for Adam over him.

Lisa de Moraes: hooray for you! Seriously. Thanks for this comment. Liked reading it.. .

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Bethesda, Md.: I'm so ready for this season to be over. I'm sick of the judges praising Adam for is screaming/screeching. I didn't even watch last night's show, because I was tired of having to hold the remote to hit the mute button when he sings.

Lisa de Moraes: ..so what do you do when all those screaming commercials come on?

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Buffalo, NY: After reading from someone that the numbers for Kris weren't shown at the end of the show, I went to check, since I had the show on tape. The numbers for Kris WERE definitely there, so there is no discussing that matter further.

Lisa de Moraes: okay. thanks...

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Coronation Song: It took three people to write that drek. THREE.

Lisa de Moraes: I know! That was a jaw dropping moment when Kara started rattling off the names of the people who collaborated with her on the Treacle Tune. Hopefully, they've got into hiding..

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Alexandria, VA: How biased do you think the judging has been this season, with Simon and Paula especially pushing for a Lambert-Gokey showdown? Did Allison get the shaft, or what?

Lisa de Moraes: Nah. I think Allison did very well for herself. It was ironic she got the hook during rocker week...

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Washington, DC: Adam wins, but Kris sells more albums.

Lisa de Moraes: Hmmmm. based on what eBay is saying, just the opposite...Adam stuff sells like hotcakes..

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Arlington, Va.: Lisa, I do not watch AI. I never have. However, I would read any chat you hosted, just to have the opportunity to read your responses. You are my favorite Chat Host.

Lisa de Moraes: And you are now my favorite chatter....

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Washington, DC: What will it take to get rid of this awful "Celebratory" nightmare song that the idols are forced to sing year after year? It is clear that we expect more originality out of David Cook, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert than we ever did out of Clay, Ruben and Kelly.

The finale would have been amazing if the two singers chose one more lasting performance to call their own and then work after the show with the writers to create something written for their talents. Instead, the finale sputtered at the end and if we were given 1 shot out of 3 (a song chose by the producer) for something new and original.

Lisa de Moraes: "No Boundaries" really did suck the life out of the final performance show. But, when Kara herself, the song's creator, said Kris should not be judged by that song, that really was one of the most jaw dropping moments ever on "Idol." Wouldn't it be wonderful if they decide this tune is so bad they won't use it for the first single? Wouldn't you love to know what kind of feedback the producers are getting today on this tune? I'm out of time. Thanks for joining me....

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