‘American Idol’s’ bigger message
Finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen help illustrate how people with cultural differences can make beautiful music together.
The two-part finale of hit series “American Idol, ” which begins tonight, is the most talked-about thing in television right now, partly because this season’s contenders, Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, are exciting performers. But it’s also because they have done something unexpected: Their unlikely friendship has presented America with a new vision of itself, beyond the deepest divisions of the culture wars.
Adam3 Lambert is a rocker from the liberal urban Southland with roots in musical theater and the Hollywood club scene. Allen is a collegiate evangelical Christian from Arkansas. Lambert has been compared to Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Elvis Presley; Allen recalls John Mayer and the Jonas Brothers.
‘American Idol’ Power List: Who will get the confetti shower? Adam or Kris?
Five months of unhealthy obsession, knuckle-damaging speed-texting, and forays into the disco, movie-soundtrack, and Rat Pack oeuvres has led us to this: This week’s two-night, four-hour-plus American Idol season 8 finale. Word on the street mjsbigblog is that Tuesday, the last two contestants standing will perform three songs apiece: The Idol “victory song” (possibly written by Kara DioGuardi); one track selected by producer Simon Fuller; and one “greatest hit” from earlier in the season (although I’m hoping Kris and Adam go the David Cook route and select a song we haven’t heard ’em do before). Let’s also hope Mr. Fuller doesn’t saddle Kris with an album cut from the Happy Feet soundtrack. After all, a level playing field should make for a totally awesome, wickedly entertaining finale between two very worthy vocalists. So without further ado, the final Power List of 2009:
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
‹Idol Final Raises Extra Question
As tens of millions of …American Idol fans tune in to watch Adam Lambert and Kris Allen face off Tuesday evening in the program final round of competition, at 8 on Fox, the overhyped media question of the moment is whether the country is ready to hand the crown to an androgynous, seemingly gay 27-year-old fireball from San Diego. Or will his sexual ambiguity (…I know who I am, Mr. Lambert has replied to questions about his orientation) be an impediment? If Mr. Lambert eventually comes out, the way has been paved by the former contestant Clay Aiken, whose career hasnt suffered for it.
‘American Idol’ Bloggers Pick Their Favorite Season-Eight Moments
Jim Cantiello live-blogs “American Idol, ” brings you his instant reactions to each episode’s action, and delivers his special 60-second show recaps. Basically, there’s not a minute that goes by without Jim obsessing over Simon, Paula, Randy, Kara and all the “Idol” contestants.
Thankfully, he’s not alone. There is a whole host of independent “Idol” bloggers out there, and on the eve of Tuesday’s finale between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, Jim brought in two of his favorites ‘ Rickey Yaneza from Rickey.org and MJ Santilli from MJsBigBlog.com ‘ for an in-depth discussion about all things “Idol” season eight.
Calling All Adam Lambert And Kris Allen Fans: We Need You!
Are you a self-described Glambert?
Do you frequently use the phrase …Kick Awesome?
Well, then youre exactly the kind of person were looking for.
On Wednesday night, in what many are calling the most compelling finale in the show history, …American Idol will crown a new champion: either flashy, flame-piped Adam Lambert or soulful everyman Kris Allen. It a battle of contrasting styles and techniques ‘ vocal pyromania vs. straight-to-the-heart songsmanship ‘ and were waiting with baited breath to see who comes out on top.
And were pretty youre going to be, too ¦ So here what were looking to do. On Wednesday night, as the results are read by Ryan Seacrest live on air, we want you to turn your cameras on yourselves ¦ were looking for your instant reactions. The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. Tears, screams, blood ¦ the more fanatic (and, in the case of the Glamberts out there, dramatic) the better. Well collect the best and feature them right here on our Newsroom Blog.
Kris Allen Vs. Adam Lambert: A Week-By-Week Comparison
Tuesday night’s “American Idol” finale will have season-eight finalists (and roommates) Kris Allen and Adam Lambert going toe-to-toe in three rounds. Lambert is the odds-on winner come Wednesday night’s results show, but we say Kris still has a fighting chance. Taking a cue from “America’s Next Top Model, ” in which Tyra Banks does a side-by-side comparison of the two finalists’ portfolios, we thought we’d break down Adam Lambert’s and Kris Allen’s “Idol” repertoire week-to-week to help determine who’s really in the lead.
Adam Lambert, Kris Allen ‘American Idol’ Showdown Starts Tonight
No matter who is crowned the next American Idol on Wednesday night, season eight has already been one for the books.
After a wild season that has included emotional breakdowns from almost-finalists, a comedian/singer who almost crashed the top 13 with his over-the-top shtick, the first top 13, a wild-card round, a judges’ save and some serious bickering among the expanded judging panel, you’d think that whatever happens on the finale would be an anti-climax.
But thanks to the surprise exit of early favorite Danny Gokey last week, Tuesday night’s (May 19) sing-off between Kris Allen and Adam Lambert has injected some late-season drama into the still top-rated U.S. show. Host Ryan Seacrest said on Friday’s “Larry King Live” that Tuesday’s show will consist of a first round of the contestants’ favorites from this season, followed by songs chosen by producer Simon Fuller and then a round in which they each sing this year’s yet-unannounced winner’s single. The format should give both guys ample opportunity to play to their strengths and have a shot at the big, emotional moment while tackling the predictably sure-to-be-schmaltzy and over-the-top winner’s tune.
‘American Idol’ duel: Glam Adam Lambert takes on red-state Kris Allen in blockbuster election finale
Now comes the real blockbuster election – one that will hinge just as much on complex demographic, technological and geographic factors as last year’s epic presidential battle.
We are talking, of course, about “American Idol, ” the season finale of which will begin Tuesday night and end Wednesday night with the crowning of a new Idol.
Theories abound over who has the inside edge – the neo-glam, San Diego-bred Adam Lambert, 27, or the younger, more down-home Kris Allen, 23, of Conway, Ark.
Veteran political consultants say the 2008 presidential election is a useful prism through which to view this high-profile faceoff.
‘American Idol’ finale preview – Sepinwall on TV
“American Idol” is a show that’s more or less idiot proof, as demonstrated by how interesting the end of this season promises to be despite all the backstage idiocy leading up to it.
There have been tweaks aplenty, virtually all of them blowing up in the show’s face, and yet here at the end, we have the most compelling, and maybe evenly matched, finale the show has had in several seasons.
In one corner, we have Adam Lambert, who wrested the crown of presumptive winner from Danny Gokey early in the finals with his flair for dramatic, if polarizing, performances that showcase one of the greatest vocal ranges of any “Idol” contestant ever. In the other corner is Kris Allen, who got no screen time before this season’s semifinals, but whose non-threatening good looks got him voted through, at which point he demonstrated the season’s greatest growth curve, impressing with his passion and his ability to turn songs by artists as diverse as Donna Summer and Kanye West into energetic coffeehouse jams.
It glam vs. cute for the Idol title
Good vs. evil. Safe vs. sassy. Cuddly vs. crazy. An American Idol battle of epic proportions begins Tuesday night.
OK, that an exaggeration. But the Adam Lambert/Kris Allen matchup looks to be one of the show most wildly contrasting evenings of combat ‘ even more than last year double-David (Cook and Archuleta) pairing.
Lambert is all heavy makeup and rock swagger and high-pitched drama. Allen, on the other hand, is sweet, safe and acoustically adorable. It should make for an interesting (awkward) duet during Wednesday two-hour results spectacular.
Whoever takes home the Idol crown, it a pretty sure bet that both singers will get shots at the big time. Expect albums from both before the end of the year.
Rock & Roll Daily, Your non-stop music news source.
Adam Lambert and Kris Allen final performances as American Idol contestants are only hours away, and the debate over who will win one of the most exciting contests in the show eight-year history is still raging. The pair will perform three songs apiece: a personal pick (their favorite from the season), show creator Simon Fuller selection and the coronation song. Then Black Eyed Peas, Santana, Carrie Underwood and more will join the show for Idol star-studded finale.
Screamer or strummer?
It’s said we get the Idol we deserve. So who’s it going to be, America? The glam screamer or the shy strummer? Adam Lambert or Kris Allen?
This week’s finale offers the most dramatic matchup in eight years of Idol, more pronounced than country gal Carrie Underwood vs. rocker Bo Bice in season four.
The soft-spoken Allen, 23, is the worship leader at his hometown church in Arkansas. Lambert, with his shockwave hair, raccoon eyes and black fingernail polish (a fashion statement that really threw Idol mentor Randy Travis), seems like an envoy from Sodom and Gomorrah.
You never want to underestimate the importance of the cute guy factor in determining American Idol results. Let’s face it, young girls can dial eight times, send six texts and check their hair in the time it takes the rest of us to locate our cells.
Review: ‘American Idol’s’ season is all about Adam
(CNN) — This season on “American Idol, ” there’s a huge question looming around Adam Lambert.
Kris Allen, left, and Adam Lambert are battling it out to become the next “American Idol.”
Kris Allen, left, and Adam Lambert are battling it out to become the next “American Idol.”
No, not that one. The one about whether this season would have been as exciting had he not been a part of the show.
Love him or hate him, Lambert has added an element to the competition that has been woefully lacking in seasons past: a contestant so unique that you can’t wait to see what he will pull next out of his bag of tricks.
Regardless on how the season concludes, with Lambert being named “American Idol” or losing the title to competitor Kris Allen, it’s obvious that a star has been born, and we all got to watch.
Lambert And Allen To Sing For ‘American Idol’ Crown
A showy musical theatre actor and his clean-cut acoustic guitar-playing rival get their last chance to woo viewers and votes on Tuesday night in the final performance episode of U.S. television talent show “American Idol.”
After 100, 000 people auditioned last summer and five months of broadcasts on the Fox network, Adam Lambert, 27, and Kris Allen, 23, are expected to sing three songs each before “Idol” viewers call in their votes to anoint the eighth winner of the TV ratings juggernaut. The winner will be announced at the season finale on Wednesday night.
The Lambert-Allen matchup marks the third time in “American Idol” history — and the second year in a row — that the show’s finale has come down to two male contestants. The two finalists reportedly roomed together for much of the season at the so-called Idol Mansion, apparently because they both have a penchant for neatness.
Kris vs. Adam: The final ‘Idol’ showdown
Will our eighth American Idol be flashy, soaring Adam Lambert or underdog popster Kris Allen? Looking to tonight’s performance showdown and Wednesday’s finale (Fox, both 8 ET/PT), we handicap the highs, the lows and the outlook for the final two, with reporting by Bill Keveney, analysis by Brian Mansfield and Ken Barnes, and comments from Idol judge Kara DioGuardi.
Styles collide in an ‘Idol’ finale that’s closer than it seems
Bold vs. understated. Trailblazing vs. traditional.
American Idol’s eighth-season finale (Fox, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 ET/PT) will be one of contrasts. Adam Lambert, a favorite for weeks, takes on Kris Allen, the rising underdog, in a contest that could be closer than it appears.
Video: ‘American Idol’ roundtable talks
On the eve before what could be the biggest shock in “American Idol” history, or one of the most anticlimactic competitions the show’s ever put on, “Idol” pundits gather in huddled masses to discuss the possibilities, the angles and the future of the show. We’ve assembled some of the industry’s top “Idol” minds to discuss this pop culture phenomenon. The panel includes Richard Rushfield (The Times’ “Idol” tracker), Ann Powers (Times chief pop music critic), Kate Aurthur (Times television editor), Adam Vary (Entertainment Weekly writer) and Rickey Minor (“American Idol” music director). Here are their discussions:
24 hours to showtime: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen offer final thoughts
Photo With less than 24 hours to their final …American Idol performances, last men standing Adam Lambert and Kris Allen took a timeout to meet the press.
And mostly, they tried to prop each other up.
Allen dismissed the idea that his background as a Christian church singer would give him a boost.
Winning …has to do with talent, he said. …It not about religion or all that stuff.
Lambert said, …Id hope people would vote based on what they hear. It’s an equal opportunity situation.”
American Idol Hairstylist: Adam Lambert’s Hair Shocked Me, Kris is a Breeze
Adam Lambert’s hair is so thick it “shocked” American Idol’s head hairstylist the first time she felt it, while Kris Allen’s so casual about his hair it takes about 13 minutes to do each week.
Oh, and Adam–yeah, he’s a strawberry blonde!
So says Raissa Patton, 42, who gave us a little inside scoop on the much-discussed hairstyles of American Idol’s top two finalists.
Adam has a long-term relationship with an L.A.-stylist (nobody giving out names) who cuts his hair and is a friend, says Patton.
…He also knows exactly what he wants to achieve. For …Tracks of My Tears, he described it to me although I dont think he said like ‹Elvis. He wanted that classic, slicked back style, says Patton, who adds she had to run to her car mid-styling session to get a product she rarely uses to create a …hard hold.
Simon and Kara arent leaving ‹American Idol
Well-placed sources with ties to …American Idol are saying that the hype about Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell leaving is just that ‘ hype.
…Every year there are rumors right before the finale, said one source. …That all they are ‘ rumors. It makes for good buzz.
The current point of contention is a recent statement from Fox entertainment exec Kevin Reilly, who was asked about DioGuardi return. “I can’t comment on that right now, Reilly said, leaving plenty of room for interpretation.
‘Idol Tonight’ has all-star lineup this week, Bo Bice tonight!
The TV Guide Channel’s “American Idol” program, “Idol Tonight, ” has a huge list of former Idol stars appearing on their show this week. Below are tonight’s guests and check back here all week for each night’s lineup.
Tonight, hosts Kimberly Caldwell, Justin Guarini and Brandon Rogers welcome season 4 finalists Bo Bice and Mikalah Gordon, season 5 finalists Paris Bennett and Kevin Covais, season 6 finalist Haley Scarnato, season 7 finalist LaKisha Jones and “Entertainment Weekly” writer Whitney Pastorek.
Top 10 Highlights From ‹American Idol Season 8
The end of …American Idol Season 8 is near. Glam rocker Adam Lambert and soulful folk-pop singer Kris Allen will vie for the crown on Wednesday night finale (May 20, FOX) , which will also feature performances by Black Eyed Peas, Carlos Santana, Keith Urban, Queen Latifah and, rumor has it, Britney Spears. But before this year ‹Idol is finally revealed, Billboard is looking back on all of the highlights’ good, bad and ugly’ of the 2009 season. See if yours made the cut.
The Year’s Top-Earning ‘Idols’
LOS ANGELES — For Adam Lambert or Kris Allen, winning this week’s much-anticipated American Idol finale will mean a short-lived media frenzy and the sudden adoration of millions of fans. It could also mean a big paycheck down the road.
David Cook, the scruffy rocker and winner of the last Idol competition, earned an estimated $2 million since June of 2008. That’s a huge boost from what Cook made as a struggling singer-songwriter in Tulsa, Okla., before the winning the Idol crown last May.
Adam Lambert’s New Boyfriend!
This is the dude that Glambert was with when we went to his party at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, and they were very affectionate.
He didn’t introduce him to us as his boyfriend, but he did call him “my boy”.
He’s probably the same dude Lambert was spotted with elsewhere!
His name is Drake. And he’s a total hottie.
Score one for Adam!
LaKisha Jones Reveals Name of Second Child, Compares Lambert to Elvis
LaKisha Jones is one busy former ‘Idol’ contestant. The singer, who finished 4th on season six, is promoting her new album ‘So Glad I’m Me’ (Listen to her album on AOL Music) and expecting her second child in August, while gearing up for the ‘American Idol’ final showdown between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. Jones talks to PopEater about her record, songs, ‘Idol’ and more.
Michael Johns Proves ‘Idol’ Voters Wrong, Returns With New Rock Album
When ‘American Idol’ contestant Michael Johns was kicked off last season, his departure caused quite a stir. He was shockingly voted off the show, despite unanimous praise from all the judges after his performance of Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On.’ Looking back, Johns admits to PopEater that getting kicked off “was actually a new beginning for me.”
Jennifer Hudson finds the right vibe
Jennifer Hudson defining onstage moment could have come at several points throughout her 45-minute set Sunday night inside Reliant Center ‘ during roof-raising opener One Night Only, amid the searing emotion of You Pulled Me Through or via the pop-soul perfection of radio hit Spotlight.
Instead, Hudson musical vision came into focus during a soul-fueled reading of I Believe in Music, a signature tune by country singer Mac Davis.
…That was my congregation song, Hudson told the crowd. It was clear she vibed with the lyrical credo. (…I believe in music/I believe in love.)
Ruben Studdard’s Fourth Album LOVE IS Hits Stores Tomorrow 5/19
Ruben Studdard’s soulful ‘Love IS, ‘ his fourth album and first release since 2006, is out tomorrow, May 19 on Hickory Records / 19 Recordings. Entertainment Weekly says Studdard is in “fine voice” with “a romance-themed mix of crafty originals and sturdy covers.”
Studdard is wrapping up a tour with the critically acclaimed musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ and will perform June 13 at New York City’s Central Park Summerstage. His music video for “Together” is being played nationwide on BETJ, VH-1 Soul and MTV Hits. Watch “Together” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3X5YCQY18E
Bo Bice Talks “Ego Inside, ” Idol Days and More
Bo Bice is a busy man. In the four years since his run on American Idol (in which he was the runner-up, behind Carrie Underwood), the Southern rocker has overcome health issues, has had a second child, built a recording studio in his Nashville home, performed for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times and appeared on American Idol Rewind. TVGuide.com caught up with him to find out how he views the Idol experience, what he thinks of his competition ‘ and what advice he’d give to newly minted alums.
Kelly Clarkson Trusts ‘Myself And My Gut’ When Making An Album
With Kelly Clarkson’s latest album, All I Ever Wanted, a hit with fans and critics alike, the singer admits that four albums into her career, she’s happy that all her hard work is still paying off.
“I’m pretty proud of it, ” she told MTV News backstage at Z100’s Zootopia concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey. “We worked really hard on it ‘ really hard on it. So it’s cool when it pays off. … I don’t ever want to do something I’m not proud of in 10 or 20 years. I want to make music I want to sing and I’m gonna be proud of.”
Clarkson stays proud of the work she puts out by making sure she has a hand in every aspect of the album. “I don’t listen to anyone on any records. I listen to myself and my gut, ” she said.
‘Dancing With the Stars’: Shawn Johnson Flips Things by Tying With Gilles Marini
On the last performance show of season 8 of …Dancing With the Stars, gymnast Shawn Johnson overturned many people expectations by tying with actor Gilles Marini for first place with a total judges score of 58 for two performances. …Bachelor star Melissa Rycroft came in third with a score of 56.
This is the first time that Shawn has come in first this season since week 3, when she tied with Gilles and Melissa. Gilles has now finished in first place eight times and Melissa three.
‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Freestyle!
Last night’s Dancing With the Stars performance finale saw finalists Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini, and Melissa Rycroft face off in a group paso doble and a largely ridiculous freestyle round that featured disco ball masks, a rubber shirt, and Flashdance. Of course. It was my great disappointment to see the once-per-season delight of head judge Len Goodman’s vanity license plate for less than two seconds this time around. (You didn’t think I knew DANCMSTR’s real name, did you?) In order to maximize the finalists’ readiness for the PASO FACE OFF, Cranky’s fellow judges/dwarves, Weepy and Dopey, had to get in on the master class action, too.
Julianne Hough Isnt Leaving DWTS
Fans of Dancing with the Stars pro Julianne Hough havent been happy ever since the 20-year-old two-time champ said she would not be back next season.
Hough, who danced with her boyfriend, country singer Chuck Wicks, this season, now says she in no way meant to imply that she was leaving the show for good.
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Hough said: …I am appreciative to be taking this coming season of Dancing with the Stars off to focus on my other career paths like touring in support of my album and recording my next one. I look forward to returning to DWTS in early 2010.
‹Dancing finale remains too close to call
All together now: This week brought a group paso doble and a freestyle performed individually. And nothing could have benefited Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke quite as much as a group paso doble. While all three couples performed well, Gilles has a brand of confidence and assurance ‘ he the only actor, remember, in a dance that all about projecting theatrical intensity ‘ that was particularly conspicuous when he danced next to Shawn Johnson, who always battling a little bit of teenager shyness, and Melissa Rycroft, who always battling the desire to be a ballerina or a cheerful cheerleader. Ultimately, Shawn and Mark Ballas received two 9s and a 10 (from Bruno), Melissa and Tony Dovolani received two 10s and a 9 (from Len), and Gilles and Cheryl received predictable straight 10s.
‘Dancing With the Stars’: The final countdown
Ten weeks of competition and were down to the final three, ballroom fans! And as Tom and Samantha have not-so-subtly burned into our brains, this is one of the tightest competitions ever. Now that we’ve made it to the finals, the Mirrorball trophy has been taken out of its high-security vault and perched in front of the judges desk for all to see. It’s all so tantalizingly within reach. (Though did it always say …Dancing With the Stars on the mirror ball itself? It’s so very …Scarface. Were they afraid that the trophy would be mistaken for another award?)
On this first night of the two-night finale, each couple performed two dances ‘ a paso doble set to the same song (Pink …So What), and a crowd favorite: the anything-goes freestyle. And this, truly, is when the wheat is separated from the chaff, folks. What all these weeks of training, injury and competition come down to. Who has what it takes to win it all? (Dont forget to join us for the live chat today at noon PDT / 3 p.m. EDT, for any of those who want to share their thoughts about this oh-so-exciting eighth season!)