The 2009 'American Idol' Winner Is Kris Allen

by Kelly Woo, posted May 20th 2009 7:00PM


The dark horse surged ahead at the last minute to win it in a photo finish.

With almost 100 million votes tallied, Kris Allen defeated front-runner and judges' favorite Adam Lambert to become the 'American Idol' season 8 winner.

Click to read the full story!The dark horse surged ahead at the last minute to win it in a photo finish.

With almost 100 million votes tallied, Kris Allen defeated front-runner and judges' favorite Adam Lambert to become the 'American Idol' season 8 winner.

The 23-year-old student from Conway, Ark. was so stunned by the surprise outcome, he was almost speechless. But he did manage to thank his fans. "You guys are the reason that all of us are here," he said.


American Idol' Season 8 Results

May 13, 2009: Danny Gokey Is Eliminated
"Danny Gokey should have been in the final two, not only in the final two but he should be the winner in my book.With his fantastic voice he will achieve super stardom anyway!!!! I will buy his first CD."

-- betty

Fox

May 13, 2009: Danny Gokey Is Eliminated
"I think voting Danny off tonight was the right thing. He was just getting kind of 'stale' in my opinion."

-- @bethanyrayle

Fox

May 13, 2009: Danny Gokey Is Eliminated
"I have voted for Kris throughout this contest. I am so happy he made it. He may be the upset winner in the finals. I hope so. He is a really good guy."

-- Sandra

Fox

May 13, 2009: Danny Gokey Is Eliminated
"Folks if you don't see talent in Adam then you should have your head examined. Danny was voted off not because of his talent but because of his looks. He just does not look the part ... Adam is by far the better singer of all of them. Adam will hit the charts just like Carrie Underwood. He will go far."

-- fburr4054

Fox

May 13, 2009: Danny Gokey Is Eliminated
"It was time for Danny to go. He had yet to blow me away, was extremely similar to Taylor Hicks, and just can't hold up against the force that is Adam. Looks like Kris Allen may be the dark horse though."

-- o'donnell_w

Fox

May 13, 2009: Danny Gokey Is Eliminated
"Danny Is the best singer on IDOL and was consistent every week ... But he will have more options now..sell millions. Kris got the tweener votes ... he had a few good weeks vocally I think he will get the Danny votes and probably win."

-- Lee

Fox

May 13, 2009: Danny Gokey Is Eliminated
Justice HAS been served. Gokey totally blew it and Kris Allen has earned the right to fight for the win. Go Kris!"

-- sandy

Fox

May 6, 2009: Allison Iraheta Is Eliminated
"For the first time this season I was really upset by the vote. Hopefully Allison will put out a cd soon! It looks like I'm going to have to jump on the Adam bandwagon now."

-- William

Fox

May 6, 2009: Allison Iraheta Is Eliminated
"I was really hoping to not see an Allison :-( face tonight.. Danny should have gone based on last night's performance."

-- @lindsay_self

Fox

May 6, 2009: Allison Iraheta Is Eliminated
"Danny stays....aaaarrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

-- @teechabc

Fox



Over the course of the season, Adam wowed viewers and the judges with his technical prowess, showmanship and interpretations of songs like 'Mad World,' 'Tracks of My Tears' and 'Ring of Fire.' In Tuesday night's finale, Simon Cowell declared him to be "one of the best and most original contestants we have ever had. You are a star." And Simon repeatedly declared on talk shows like 'Ellen DeGeneres' that Adam would take the 'Idol' title.

Meanwhile, underdog Kris flew under the radar until a breathtaking rendition of 'Ain't No Sunshine' during the Top 9 week. He began to get more notice with performances of 'Falling Slowly,' 'She Works Hard for the Money' and 'Heartless.'



And in a similar fashion to last year, when Simon tabbed David Archuleta as the winner and then hedged his bets in the finale results show, he told both contestants tonight that "I thought you were both brilliant. Unusually, incredibly nice people. And I think both of you should be very proud of what you achieved last night and the future's all yours."

The finale results show was packed with performances by the Top 13 finalists, including the usual duets, like Allison Iraheta with Cyndi Lauper and Danny Gokey with Lionel Richie.

But the most eyebrow-raising pairing (and the one that got the Twitterverse chattering) was when "Bikini Girl" (aka Katrina Darrell) made an encore -- with nemesis Kara DioGuardi. At the end, the judge unbuttoned her dress and flashed her own bikini.



After appearances by infamous contestants Nick Mitchell (aka "Norman Gentle") and Tatiana del Toro, the show got down to business. The Top 2 finally teamed up to sing together -- alongside the band Queen, no less.

The song? 'We Are the Champions.' How fitting.




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