Hey there J-14ers!
What a journey this year's American Idol has been -- from the wacky Norman Gentle (aka Nick Mitchell) and sassy Megan Joy to the heart-tugging Danny Gokey and the err, interesting Tatiana Nicole Del Toro... and of course, the attention-grabbing Bikini Girl (heck, did anyone bother to learn her name?! Ha!).
But the entire way, the quietly charming Kris Allen was the little engine that could. And just hours ago the 23-year-old Conway, Arkansas, student captured the American Idol title that most people predicted would go to the 27-year-old San Diego showman, Adam Lambert.
And to be honest, I breathed a sigh of relief when Ryan Seacrest read out the name. (Okay, I shed a tear of joy too. ;) ). But it's not that I was on Team Kris because I was against Team Adam. In fact, Adam was one of my early favorites -- his unique take on anything and everything was so fearless that I admired him (and wished I could be like him!). He has that one-of-a-kind nature that Blake Lewis did on season six with the music -- plus he can work the stage like no other. I defy you to blink during any of his performances... Adam knows how to get your attention -- and keep it. And he's just so frickin' likable!
But there was just something about Kris from the first time I spotted him in one of those group numbers in the Hollywood round. Maybe it's because I always root for the underdog... or maybe it's because I tend to judge people on how they handle fame and Kris is 110% modest... but when it comes down to it, whether he planned it or not, Kris' strategy on the show was perfect: starting out slow and shy and transforming into a super star -- and that's what American Idol is all about.
Unlike most competitors who have their off weeks -- Kris grew every single week. Sure, he had his not-so-good performances, but his overall projectile was the perfect course and he peaked exactly when he needed to in order to capture that crown. (Seriously, have you ever seen the guy sing his heart out the way he did on Tuesday in "Ain't No Sunshine"?)
Kris comes as a package artist -- you already know the kind of music he's going to bring on his debut album. One part pop, one part rock, with that tinge of country. He'll give artists ranging from John Mayer and The Fray to fellow Idol alumni David Cook and David Archuleta a run for their money since his genre mixes them all together.
I have no doubt that Adam's album is going to be spectacular as well -- yet at the same time have no idea what to expect. Adam is all about the surprise, which is perfect for a show like American Idol, but may not translate so well post-Idol.
Both Kris and Adam are going to be super successful in the next year... we definitely have a Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood on our hands as opposed to, errrr, some other past winners I won't name. ;)
But perhaps the most appealing part of the season was the true friendship between Kris and Adam. Have you ever seen two contestants genuinely support each so much? David Cook definitely seemed to look out for David Archuleta like a big brother -- but this was different. Kris and Adam seemed to truly appreciate and understand each other's talent and be rooting for the other one. Kris even said on Tuesday night they weren't competing!
Yet when it comes down to it, Kris still didn't believe he could win. One of the first things he said after the results was "Adam deserves this! I don't know what to say, this is crazy!" Fellow finalist Alexis Grace confirmed, "[Kris] did look dumbfounded. He was definitely shocked. He thought Adam was going to win!"
And that's why Kris deserved to win... the little engine that could.
Congratulations, Kris on your American Idol win! And congrats to you too Adam on an amazing season!
What do you guys think of Kris Allen's win on American Idol?
Can't wait to hear from you!
PS- How brilliant was the Jason Mraz, Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace trio sining "I'm Yours"? I would have died to be in Alexis' place! ;)
Photo: Courtesy of Fox