American Idol: We have a winner!

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 21st 2009 12:22AM

American Idol - Season 8 Finale

At long last, the season 8 finale of American Idol has arrived! It's been fun watching all of the Idols grow in their musical prowess (that's a Paula word), especially Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, the final two performers who couldn't be more different, but are both awesome in their own way.

Ryan started things off by introducing the judges, along with a funny video clip for each of them -- Randy Jackson saying "For Me" throughout the season; Kara DioGuardi saying "sweetie" and "honey" to people who didn't make it past the audition process; Paula's round-up of colorful adjectives (vocal prowess, masterful and effortless, palette, etc.); and Simon's issues with hearing what people say (as in, he could probably use a hearing aid!).

American Idol' Show Photos

    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Danny Gokey performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Matt Giraud performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Allison Iraheta performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Adam Lambert performs in front of the judges. Airs Tuesday, April 28, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Anoop Desai performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Danny Gokey performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Kris Allen performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Matt Giraud performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Adam Lambert performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


    AMERICAN IDOL 8 Allison Iraheta performs live. Airs Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


Both Kris and Adam wore white and looked fab in it. Back in their hometowns were past Idol contestants Mikalah Gordon in Conway, Arkansas, and Carly Smithson in San Diego, California. Then the top 13, all clad in white, performed Pink's "So What." They either trashed it or did a good job. I'm not really sure which, but then, not a big fan of the group numbers here.

David Cook sang "Permanent," dedicated to his brother, Adam, who died on May 2. Proceeds from the iTunes downloads of the song will go towards ABC2, an organization searching for a cure for brain cancer.

Next up was "The Golden Idol Awards." This is the part where they basically make fun of all the people who bombed out in the audition process. I'm not sure I like it, because I'd rather give props to people for at least having the guts to audition in the first place.

That said, it was fun seeing Nick "Norman Gentle" Mitchell again. He gave a funny acceptance speech, ripped off his black outfit to reveal a sparkly shirt, then sang an abridged version of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." Then the camera panned back to Ryan, who was wearing Nick's trademark glasses and headband.

Tonight's show featured several duets with celebrities, and I really enjoy these, for the most part. Queen Latifah and Lil Rounds sang "Cue the Rain," and I love that Queen wore a skintight black bodysuit. You go girl! (Though I'd be lying if I didn't say I wondered how many layers of Spanx she had on underneath it - it's a girl thing.)

This was followed by another group number, then a video of Kris Allen's journey to the Idol stage. I love that he started out humble and he's still humble. In his words, "Opportunities are given, and I feel like I'm just kinda running wtih this one."

The next duet was Keith Urban and Kris Allen singing "Kiss a Girl." They complement each other well, though it seemed like maybe Kris was more into it than Keith. Still, I can see Kris doing this kind of music.

The Idol girls performed next, then Fergie joined them for a medley of "Black-Eyed Peas" tunes. I like Fergie's new dark 'do, and her legs are to die for. I think I have a little girl-crush on her after watching this. The Black-Eyed Peas joined Fergie for "Boom Boom Pow," and they had these dancers dressed in black-and-white striped bodysuit things. They're definitely a high-energy group and seem like they'd be a lot of fun to see in concert. Ryan agreed, saying "Three Grammys – That is how you do it!"

Oh dear. More Golden Idols. "Best Attitude" went to Bikini Girl, who came out (in a bikini, of course) and kissed Ryan on the lips. He took one look at her new boobs and said, "I was gonna ask you what's new, but I think I know."

Then there was a funny bit where she sang the song that she and Kara sparred over in the auditions, and then Kara came out singing it, too! At this point, this is my favorite part of tonight's show. Bikini Girl did NOT look happy to have her spotlight stolen, and I sort of wondered if she knew Kara was going to make an appearance. To top it off, Kara ripped her dress open and revealed a black bikini! I'm not sure what to think about this, but both Ryan and Kara assured us that Kara only did it so a bunch of money would go to charity. What do you think? Was this in poor taste, or done for a good cause?

Allison Iraheta and Cyndi Lauper sang "Time After Time," with Cyndi playing a a very cool Appalachian-type lap instrument (anyone know what it was?), and she looks great. I love the version of this song, too. It's a hard song to mess up.

Danny Gokey and Lionel Richie were next, followed by Adam's video journey. Then Adam took the stage in a black outfit with these wild iron-pad shoulder things. He was joined by KISS, sporting their trademark makeup, sparkly guitars, and platform shoes. That's when I noticed that Adam was wearing platform shoes, too. It must have been a blast for him, though I was secretly worried that he might trip and break a bone or something. Not to worry. He's a platform-shoe pro.

Carlos Santana performed next, followed by the Ford commercial - a compilation of all the previous Ford commercials -- and then David Cook presented Adam and Kris each with a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. Nice.

Awww, I love Steve Martin! He played his banjo, as Megan Joy Corkrey and Michael Sarver sang "Pretty Flowers," which is on Steve Martin's album released yesterday (and he wrote the song, too). Then Rod Stewart performed - he'll be on tour this summer, with a new album in the fall. Apparently, anyone with either an album or a tour coming up is on tonight's Idol.

More Golden Idol awards, with Tatiana Nicole Del Toro winning for "Outstanding Female." Ok, do you think this was a set-up, or did they actually have to drag her off the stage while she was singing? I think it was probably a set-up, but Ryan sure looked serious about having to cut to commercial break!

Then Kris and Adam sang their last song together, "We Are the Champions" with Queen backing them up, which was cool.

Finally, at long last, an official-looking guy strolled out with the official results envelope. Almost 100 million votes were cast, and Kris Allen is the winner of American Idol season 8!

I'm really happy for Kris, and he was so awestruck that he didn't know what to say. Adam doesn't seem too sad, and I'm sure he has a big career ahead of him.

Both Kris and Adam sang "No Boundaries," written by judge Kara DioGuardi, Cathy Dennis and Mitch Allen, and produced by Eman. The song will be available for purchase on iTunes, but you can hear Kris sing it at

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on tonight's finale!

Did America get it right by making Kris Allen the next American Idol?
Yes! I love Kris! 802 (57.4%)
No! Adam should have won! 594 (42.6%)

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kris won because he can sing a variey types of music.
adam is very talented but he is an actor and is stuck in
a tytpe of music that he can show the actor part of him.
he will do great on broadway or with a heavy medal band.

May 24 2009 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was so happy that it was Kris that won!!! Adam is alright but he could get rid of the scream. He is too much of a screamer for me. Keep it real and that is what Kris is!

May 22 2009 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil Leitch

Wow, if everybody stays true to their words AI viewership is going to be down about 50% next year.

May 22 2009 at 1:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The instrument Cyndi Lauper was playing is called a lap dulcimer.

May 21 2009 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kande kane

I was told before the show aired here in Vegas from someone in New York that Adam lost. I did not watch the show. I have not missed one show since the first season. Something is not right here. I will never watch American Idol ever again, however will still watch so you think you can dance, at least until that gets screwed up too. TOTALLY BULLS__T!

May 21 2009 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NO MATT GIRAUD OR SCOTT MCINTYRE DUET???? I heard they were practicing but got cut for Rod stewart, don't know if that's true.

But how insulting to matt fans....

May 21 2009 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally 100% agree. I was thinking that right up to the announcement. Kris should win because he needs the boost that the win would give him and Adam should come second so it allows him the freedom to do whatever the heck he likes. Fronting Queen for a Vegas stint wouldn't be a bad start!

I think the really bad song actually sounded much better second time round when he was singing it to all his mates. I have SO enjoyed this year. The competition was so much better, the singers were the best since season 5 (IMHO) and I've been thoroughly entertained throughout. And I might even buy their albums...which I have never done for any Idol contestant previously!

May 21 2009 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great observation! Adam conducted himself as a gentleman throughout the competition, as did Kris. He was always polite and respectful to the judges and to everyone else, he was appreciative of the praise he received but also quick to share it with the band, the songwriter or whoever helped with the arrangement of the songs he performed. He was anything but a diva. And, despite the sound and fury of many of his performances, he seemed to me to be a quiet, even shy person. And to anyone who faults him for the guyliner, the nail polish or his wardrobe, remember, Elvis wore makeup, off stage, and wore flamboyant pink clothing, in the 50's for heavens sake! Why should this be an issue now?
Also, thanks to soonerwife for your comments.

May 21 2009 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone ever think that part of the reason that Kris won (besides the fact that he's talented, more broad-based marketable, and a very good performer...) was the fact that he got all of the Danny Gokey votes.

I wouldn't think that fans of Danny Gokey would switch their votes to Adam...While much different stylistically, Gokey is MUCH closer to Kris's style than Adam's...

Also, knock it off with the whole "adam lost because he's gay" BS....he got second place for cryin' out loud, and he'll be get off the excuse bandwagon, it's annoying and childish.

AAAND....Adam's a great singer, yadda, yadda...he's more talented...etc. It's not a matter of chops or skills, because Adam does win that's what you do with it....mostly in terms of marketability.

Look at the music out have Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews, Matt Nathanson, John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, and a slew of others in that acoustic, poppy types. Those are all in the range/style of Kris Allen.

How many Adam-styled artists do you see today - and I mean TODAY, and not the early 90's....NONE. Is it because his vocal styling (the way he USES his talented voice) is SOOOO unique? Sorry, that's not's because people aren't buying those records anymore.

Maybe his stint on AI will change that, but I doubt that. I smell a 1-album wonder for Adam Lambert, unfortunately. I still wish him luck though....

May 21 2009 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sigma982's comment
Phil Leitch

I think the minute it was a Kris-Adam-Danny competition Adam had lost. Adams only chance would have been if Kris-Adam-Allison were the final three and Allison was eliminated.

That way her votes would have likely tilted more towards Adam.

Also I like how now people seem to think it is a conspiracy that Kris won, even though up until a week ago the general thought was that the show was rigged for Adam or Danny to win. Strange how things change overnight.

May 22 2009 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You keep saying Kris is so humble and quiet....the implication being that Adam is not. I totally disagree. They both are humble and quiet. Adam may sing louder, but that has nothing to do with humility and being quiet - Adam never spoke in a loud, arrogant tone "ever". On the contrary, he was quiet, humble and very supportive of all the other contestants.

May 21 2009 at 12:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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