American Idol: Kris Allen Wins Over Adam Lambert

Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 21, 2009; 2:00 PM

Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes was online Thursday, May 21, at 2 p.m. ET to discuss last night's "American Idol" finale -- the winner, the loser, the over-the-topness of it all, the whole nine yards.

Sealed With a Kris and Lisa's Blog


Lisa de Moraes: Hi,

We're all things 'Idol' again. Was Adam robbed? Did the best man win? Vote here. Vote now, vote often -- just like on "Idol"!


Falls Church Nit Picker: I heard at the water cooler today that 36 million votes came in from Arkansas, where only 3 million people live. What say you?

Lisa de Moraes:

I say you can vote as many times as you want, so there's no scandal there even if it's true. I think your rumor is off by a couple million -- somehow news spread that 38 million votes had come from Arkansas, but the Fox station in Little Rock reports it phoned AT&T which says they cannnot confirm how many votes were cast in Arkansas and they cannot comment on the number of votes for any contestant, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile yes, the U.S. Census Bureau reports the population of Arkansas, as of July 2008, was 2.8 million. I'm still searching for the rumor as to how many votes wee cast for Adam in San Diego and Los Angeles...


Fairfax, Va.: Do they ever release the vote tally?

Lisa de Moraes: They won't -- too bad! I'm dying to know how much Adam lost by. I think Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard year Seascrest tossed out some kind of stat like that but he botched the numbers so badly it created something of a mini-scandal and that was the end of that..


Vienna, Va.: What went on with the judges after Kris was announced the winner?

Lisa de Moraes: I was writing so fast and furious I did not notice but I hear Simon did not stand for Kris and did not applaud. Any confirmation out there? What did you guys see?


Shanghai, China: It appeared very genuine how much these guys liked each other, and weren't in cutthroat competition. They also had such totally different styles. I guess it boiled down to this question: If you were buying concert tickets, would go hear Adam Lambert, or Kris Allen. A majority of those voting would buy the Kris Allen ticket. Granted, he doesn't have the polished and big screamin' voice of Lambert, but many Americans like a concert they can walk out of with an 'ahhhh', rather than a 'wooooow.' What a fun competition to watch. Both of them deserved to win, and in reality, they both did win. They'll be around for many years to come.

Lisa de Moraes: Really? Given ticket prices, I'd think people would want to have their socks knocked off at a concert. Heck, I'd fly to Vegas to see Lambert on stage.


Los Angeles, Calif: Kris was never the "underdog." That was a marketing myth. Adam, the gay, glam-rock theatrical singer was a much bigger risk for voters and he actually landed in the bottom three during the season.

Lisa de Moraes: Yes, Kris's talent does seem just the right shade of beige to appeal to David Cook, Jordan Sparks, etc. Fine singers, nothing extraordinary...Face it, Kris needed this win to move forward -- Adam did not. Everybody wins!


Reston, Va: Lisa, Queen of All Things Snark Related!

Personally, I'm glad Chris won. First of all, he's a pop artist, and that's what Idol is all about. Second, although I was in awe of Adam's talent for a long time, I just got really tired of the screaming. It was amazing, but he didn't need to do it every single time.

I've heard others say they got tired of it as well, so I wondered if anyone conducts actual scientific surveys to determine why one idol contestant wins over another. Seems to me Idol is a large enough phenomenon to warrant a real study, don't you think?


Lisa de Moraes: I'm guessing the Rupert Murdoch College of Television at the USC is working on it as we chat...


Springfield, Va.: We were robbed of a Tatiana performance last evening!

Lisa de Moraes: I am so with you on that one. Why did we get 2 minutes of Bikini Girl and they did not let Tatiana sing. But really, the Golden Idols gag is the worst, don't you think? The rest of the show is such camp good fun I don't see why they think they need to hang on to it. Why wasn't that one of their bright new ideas -- bag the Golden Idol bits in the finale? that's a change I could have endorsed..


McLean, Va.: Good. I'm glad the competition is over and I don't care who won. I just want to go out and buy Adam Lambert's first music DVD. Get going, music companies. We're waiting.

Lisa de Moraes: I'm guessing Adam will outsell Kris...


Tyson's, Va.: Guess I'm just another coast-based liberal, but what a travesty. I haven't really paid attention to the show until the last few weeks, and haven't even seen all of the performances during that time, but I don't think it's possible to watch more than five minutes of each performer without coming away thinking that Adam's vocal capabilities are far beyond those of Kris's (or almost all other mortal beings). What a future he has.

Lisa de Moraes: Adam doesn't have to win to "win." It's probably better he didn't win because otherwise he'd be saddled with that Treacle Tune "No Boundaries" as his first single and that would be just wrong -- let Kris talk-sing his way through it instead. We can all tick off the non-winners who went on to do well -- Daughtry, Hudson, Aiken, etc -- and the winners who's careers stalled -- Studdard, Hicks, Sparks, etc. The win is really immaterial and yet, I can't help being annoyed Adam did not win. Kris is good but he's not playing in the same league as Adam. None of the competitors were this year....


You watched so I didn't have to: And for that, and your TV Columns and blog postings, I am grateful. A job well done. All hail Pookie! Sealed With a Kris and Lisa's Blog

Lisa de Moraes: You are welcome....


Washington, D.C.: Pookie,

Don't you think that Fergie should get some sort of award for being able to walk (and jump) on those stilettos that she was wearing. I don't know how she did it.

Lisa de Moraes: Totally, but were her heels any higher than those Moon Boots Adam was wearing during the Kiss number?


Washington, D.C.: Any chance that Adam was secretly hoping not to win so he wouldn't have to be tied to the Idol machine and be spared from ever having to sing the Kara DioGuardi ditty again?

Lisa de Moraes: He seems like a smart guy so you'd hope the answer is "yes" and yet I can't help but think that someone who has spent that much time competing, wants to cop the win. On one level I know it's probably best for his career he did not win, and yet I'm diappointed we did not get to see him savage "No Boundaries" during the confetti shower...


Baltimore, Md.: Let's pretend we can bring Frank Sinatra circa 1942 back from the dead and put on Idol. How would he do?

Lisa de Moraes: If you're talking about the very young Sinatra, I'm guessing he'd do well. He had that whole "sweet" little scrawny guy thing going on and tweeners swooned over him..


Washington, D.C.: I was surprised to see Cyndi Lauper on AI last night. I've read interviews in the past from her where she has lambasted the competition for creating immediate pop stars instead of singers start from the bottom up and "earn" being a pop star. I guess she changed her tune.

Lisa de Moraes: They all change their tune when they have an upcoming tour to plug -- like she does -- and they see the size crowd the finale attracts. Looks like this year's will come in at around 29-30 million viewers...that's a lot of ticket-buyers..


New York, N.Y.: Simon did not stand when Kris was declared the winner. He looked so, so unhappy! I would be too if I had to market Kris to the public. Plus, Kris told that Lambert fans shouldn't worry about him, cause Adam is going to be a megastar and much bigger than him (Kris) anyway.

Lisa de Moraes: Good for Kris. He is a nice guy for sure. And, like I said, Kris needed this win to move forward but Adam did not..


Judges' Reactions: They didn't really show the judges. I assumed that Fox didn't want to pan to 4 sourpusses who were pissed that Adam lost.

On a side note: Kara redeemed herself slightly with the singing and bikini and whatnot.

Lisa de Moraes: I think Kara redeemed herself totally. I'm now switching camps and want to see Kara back next year so long as she promises to out-crazy Paula like she did last night. Now THAT's adding value to the show!


Dallas, Tex.: Is it just me, or did the KISS guys need some Spanx? Loved the Queen duet -- my favorite moment of the night. What was going on with Rod Stewart?

Lisa de Moraes: I don't know what was going on with Rod Stewart. That plaid tux -- yikes. And at one point I thought he was going to start Riverdance-ing...okay, it was riveting TV...


Orlando, Fla.: Even though he did a good job with it, I think that Adam was done a real disservice with the Simon Fuller pick. He should have been given something like Sweet Child of Mine. What do you think about that?

Lisa de Moraes: Nah -- by the final performance night, no one is voting based on that performance. They've already made up their minds. There is no denying that last year Archuleta demolished Cook on the final performance night -- and then went on to lose to Cook the next night.


Totally, but were her heels any higher than those Moon Boots Adam was wearing during the Kiss number? : Yeah, but you know platforms are easier to walk in that spike heels.

Lisa de Moraes: So true....


Alexandria, Va.: So, why do you think Kris won? Adam, in my opinion, should have one by any measure used to judge a pop singer's talents -- versatility, range, showmanship, etc. Was it Kris's wholesome looks?

Lisa de Moraes: I think there are a lot of people who found Adam overwhelming and there are a lot of people who like beige. Look at some of the winners: Jordan Sparks, David Cook -- Taylor Hicks, for goodness sake! You can't get more beige than that...There is such a clear trend over the past several editions of the show I'm not sure it will survive. It's kinda dull when the same old same old keeps winning every year...


Silver Spring, Md.: So how many of those Idolettes had you forgotten about before they reappeared last night? For me, Jorge and Jasmine were totally gone from memory.

Alas, I did remember that Megan would be on tour, and Alexis would not.

Now, if they did a mini-tour with Alexis, Allison, and Adam, I'd pay money to see that.

Lisa de Moraes: I confess, I had to look up a couple of their names... seems like a lifetime ago they were booted...


Fairfax Station, Va.: Pookie Monster, please be extra snarky in your weekly reviews. Your faithful following miss you in the non-AI months! xoxo

Lisa de Moraes: that's easy -- endless supply of snark..


Arlington, Va.: I like Kris however, Adam seemed to be more connected to the younger group of people.

Did Kris win because Adam already have a contract in line? And this would conflict with his idol agreement?

Lisa de Moraes: In order to qualify for the show you cannot have a current recording contract. Adam did not have one. I'm not sure I understand the question...


Arlington, Va.: What was up with Adam's outfit during his performance with KISS? Were those things attached to his rhinestone-studded leather jacket leftovers from Cyndi Lauper's shoulder pads?

Lisa de Moraes: Really, I do think it was pulled from the "Starlight Express" closet.. I loved, loved, loved it. Especially the shoulder-cages. So useful -- you could walk your pet parakeets in them...


And the winner is...: Pookie, we knew that AI finale would bring a huge number, but how happy is FOX with the ratings of the finale? And which is No.1 this year -- Fox or CBS?

Lisa de Moraes: This looks to be one of the lower rated finales -- final numbers won't be in for a couple hours. I'm guessing Fox has to be unhappy with that, though 30 million viewers-ish is nothing to cry over...


Alas, I did remember that Megan would be on tour, and Alexis would not. : This makes me very sad.

It also makes me sad that when all 13 of them are singing, NO ONE is doing any harmonizing.

"We Are the Champions" sounded so great last night because Kris and Adam know how to harmonize. Unlike the rest...

Lisa de Moraes: Actually I couldn't really hear Kris during that tune. Adam's voice is so much stronger and then they were battling all the other "music" going on around them...


Laurel, Md.: Adam may not have to sing "No Boundaries" as his first release but doesn't he still have to go on the "Top 10" tour? Is he truly free from the Idol Machine just because he didn't win last night?

Lisa de Moraes: Not entirely -- but definitely more free than Kris...yes, he does have to go on tour.


Arlington, Va.: Only those using too much medical MJ in California thought a majority of Danny G voters would switch to Adam -- Chris had this wired for a week, don't you think?

Lisa de Moraes: Absolutely. When it was down to Danny, Kris and Adam, you kinda knew the win was going to Danny or Kris...


Collegeville, Pa.: They must get rid of those group performances. They are physically painful. The "If you think I'm Sexy" rendition was beyond wrong. At my house, we call it the performing monkey portion of the program. Otherwise, pretty entertaining show.

Lisa de Moraes: Yes, no good can come of having the top-13 Idolettes, or even the top Guydolettes or the top Femdolettes perform any tune. They are dreadful. Seriously I cannot understand why anyone pays good money to attend the Idol tour -- unless you're a 13 year old chick and her parents.


Washington, D.C.: KISS? Seriously?

Lisa de Moraes: Seriously. You have to admit it was craptastic. If only to see Adam wearing shoulder cages..


Washington, D.C.: Is Katrina (aka Bikini Girl) the biggest natural disaster since the hurricane? Why do you think she refuse to sing with Kara?

What did you think of Steve Martin? He clearly drew the short straw and was forced to sign with Megan Joy and Michael Sarver.

Lisa de Moraes: Bikini Girl trotting out her new store-bought breasts was one of the highlights of the show for me. Heck, I'd fly to Vegas to see Bikini Girl and her Store-bought Breasts. I suspect she stopped singing because she was so annoyed at having to share the stage with Kara. And, in re Steve Martin, I loved the performance. What a nice little song, and the producers made good use of Megan and Michael with it. Enjoyed it very much.


Washington, D.C.: More shows should a have bikini-clad singer being taken out by Kara, who has some nice abs. What else were your highlights? The weird dude singing into the speaker?

Lisa de Moraes: No -- hated Norman Gentle and his Hystrionics. What I love about the finale is the pile-on of duets between semi-talented Idolettes and older pop icons. It just kept coming at you in wave after wave after wave. I did think one of the best pairings, however, was Bikini Girl and Kara. That was some kind of brilliant live television.


Golden Idols: My theory is that Seabiscut wants yet ANOTHER job; this one as the greatest Oscar host who ever lived. Golden Idol is just his annual audition tape.

Lisa de Moraes: Listen, if the TV academy had had Seacrest host the Emmys instead of that panel of reality-show hosts, we'd be talking about it as one of the best Emmy shows ever -- instead of the worst. Say what you will about the guy, he knows how to keep the train moving, and he gets MONDO points with me for his line to Bikini Girl: "I was going to ask you what's new but I think I already know." I love live television -- there is nothing like it.


Arlington, Va.: Love your column! I spent 2 plus hours (unsucessfully) trying to vote for Adam following Tuesday nite's finale -- you'd think they would have more lines available. Just got busy signal and sometimes message that your call cannot be completed.

Lisa de Moraes: Infuriating to hear Adam lost any votes to a busy signal... I have a friend who lives in the south who reported he voted for Adam several times using the different lines and never had any trouble getting through.


D.C.: EW is saying that it appears BOTH Kris and Adam will be releasing a cover of "No Boundaries." So losing may not have spared him from that treacle-fest after all...

Lisa de Moraes: Oh nooooooo! Wonder if the producers realize what a disaster that tune is and are doubling down in hopes of compensating. That's my theory and I'm sticking with it.


Lutherville, Md.: I predict American Idol's rating declining next year because when a contestant deserving of winning does not win, people will say to themselves "why should I watch and vote when the show is fixed?" Even Kris believed Adam should have won. Even he knows he should not have won.

Lisa de Moraes: You are preaching to the choir, Lutherville...


D.C.: WoW. Who knew Kara could sing like that? I have to admit. I have been anti-Kara all season but after hearing her perform, I am a new fan. P.S. Seeing her amazing body (for her age) did help skew my opinion.

Lisa de Moraes: Kara just won herself immunity for another season.....


Washington, D.C.: I think you're really biased on your take of what "should've" happened last night. While Adam is clearly better fitted for a rock album and had a better vocal range, but it wasn't like Kris was that much worse than Adam. He clearly belongs to a difference genre of music -- i.e. Jason Mraz, Keith Urban (who he performed with last night). Two completely different types of artists. I think you're just a hater that Kris won.

Lisa de Moraes: Mom, is that you?


Noncoastal liberal: "or almost all other mortal beings"???

Oh, give me a break.

Freddie Mercury. David Bowie. Paul Weller. Julian Cope. Singers for the Cure, Depeche Mode, Psychedelic Furs, Pulp, Suede, Elbow.... All of these people are better -- far better -- than Adam Lambert was during Idol.

Adam has great talent and great potential. But he's still an amateur when it comes to singing and performing. Let him get a few albums under his belt and see how he measures up to some of those folks I listed, THEN tell me he exceeds "every other mortal."

Lisa de Moraes: Wow, you are a literalist...I love your passion....You had me at David Bowie....


Does this put Conway, Arkansas: on the map? I've been there to visit friends. It's dry - no alcohol. We had to bring everything we wanted to drink with us, since the nearest place to buy alcohol was like an hour away in Little Rock. We went out to eat one night and I couldn't believe I wasn't going to be able to order a glass of wine.

Lisa de Moraes: I'm guessing even being the hometown of an Idol winner is not going to put on the map a town that is dry. Just guessing.. News Flash: voting update: 38 percent of you are "shocked" by last night's results. 34 percent not surprised, and 10 percent delighted...Kris wins again!


What happened to shoes?: Didn't you really mean to say Store Bought Shoes?

Lisa de Moraes: Yes, of course. Her shoes. Her beautiful, beautiful, bouncy shoes...


Boqueron, Puerto Rico: Adam was doomed to lose once the final three were announced. Had Kris been eliminated last week, Danny would have been your winner. Once #3 left, his followers were NOT going to support the much different (and better) Adam. It's a sad fact, but it's true. AI will not grace our screen next year or ever. It's not sour grapes. Whatever happened to "May the best man win"? Even Kris expected Adam to win in his own words when he was declared the winner. Sorry Mr. Murdoch. Simon was great, as usual.

Lisa de Moraes: Yeah, I do think they've got a trend, and that trend is going to be a problem for the show going foward...


Silver Spring, Md.: Did you read about Kris and Adam ccordinating their nails in solidarity on Top 3 night? Kris had one black thumbnail (painted by Adam, of course), and Adam had one bare thumbnail.

I think these were clearly the coolest top two ever.

Lisa de Moraes: Hands down.


Wynne, Ark.: I liked Adam and Kris but there was a big grassroots effort for people to call and text for Kris across the state according to the local media outlets. There is a lot of excitement here about Kris winning but many feel that Adam will be successful too. The local media coverage gave a lot of positive coverage of Adam as well.

Lisa de Moraes: You betcha -- it's all good for Adam, having been on the show for the whole season and gotten this kind of exposure... Like I said, everyone wins...


Virginia: Do you think Phil Collins will ever appear on American Idol, either to help the idols or preform at one of the finales?

Lisa de Moraes: Once they got Prince for the finale, it was okay to do it. I'm guessing when Collins has an upcoming tour to plug, he'll turn up. That would be fun. Wouldn't it have been nice had he sung a duet with Danny Gokey?


Washington, D.C.: I've actually never voted before Tuesday night, but Alexandria's question makes me wonder about this: when voting, is every call supposed to go through (and thus be counted)? Or is it more of a "whoever can get the fewest busy signals, wins" type of thing? Called on and off for 2.5 hours from a landline and cell in D.C. I think I connected about 30 times (for Adam!), but I made at least 4 times as many calls....

Lisa de Moraes: Sounds like where Adam fans went wrong was that they did not fly to the south this week so all of their calls would have sailed through...


What every woman wants to hear: "Kara, nice stomach"

Lisa de Moraes: Are you suggesting they don't want to hear that? I was thinking it was pretty high on the list of things women like to hear..


Wynne, Arkansas: re: Conway, Arkansas.

Yes, Conway is in a dry county. There aren't that many left in Arkansas and the number of them is growing smaller over time.

Lisa de Moraes: Wow, that is so retro....Do they allow satellite TV?


Silver Spring, Md.: Paul Rodgers left Queen last week. There have been rumors (a/k/a wishful thinking?) of Adam joining them, which seems somewhat more plausible with his loss. Any substance?

Lisa de Moraes: Queen should be so lucky... I think that would be a mistake. He needs to go out on his own and forge his own career...


Washington, D.C.: Lisa, I was discussing the Black Eye Peas performance last night with a friend and was reading him your article about why the AI logo popped up for a few seconds. His opinion was that if the BEPs agreed to be on the show then they should have agreed to make the changes the studio wanted. What do you think?

Lisa de Moraes: No, not necessarily. It appears BEP did not want to be seen caving to The Man and changing the lyrics, so they agreed there would be the silence and cutaway...I loved it. It's kind of like being a dry county and Arkansas -- so retro...


Washington, D.C.: I have a theory that Kris, with his thin voice and low-key style, is kind of a "recession idol." Maybe people think Adam's extravagance doesn't fit the current mood of economizing and "getting back to basics."

Lisa de Moraes: Interesting theory! I like it...


London, U.K.: I'm simply gob-smacked... I felt Adam Lambert would easily sail through and become the sad.

He clearly WAS the best singer ... performer .. and star of the show... I don't understand why people didn't vote for him.

Although, Kris will fade away in the due future, coz people like Adam don't come along everyday.

Lisa de Moraes: Wait just a minute. People did vote for Adam. Let's not forget they copped a total of around 100 million votes. Kris just got more. He's more mainstream, more easy-listening. A lot of people like that and they turned out and voted. I don't think Kris will fade away -- at least not any faster than any other pop singer does...It's not exactly an industry most people have a long career in.


Bracknell, England: Send Adam over to us in the U.K.! He is an absolutely outstanding talent! Awesome performance week after week! Would absolutely love to see him live!Has a brilliant future ahead of him. Total respect to you Adam -- you are amazing!

Lisa de Moraes: it's a deal, if you will send Susan Boyle over here! I'm out of time. Thanks for joining me...


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