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Reaction as Kris Allen wins over Adam Lambert and is crowned the latest “American Idol”

Why does the American Idol vote sort of feel like the 2004 electi0n? Obviously the stakes were not the same but the feeling of a clearly divided country is.

Adam Lambert, the front-runner all season and expected to win from the start, lost to surprise finalist Kris Allen. Judges – including the influential Simon Cowell, gave Adam far higher marks during Tuesday’s finale.

So people are wondering, is this result because Adam is gay and Kris is a Christian?

There’s no way of knowing for sure. But there were 100 million votes cast – more than double last year’s total. How much of it was anti-Adam?

It’s a big break for Kris and just a temporary setback for Adam who will certainly follow in the footsteps of other successful Idol non-winners including Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry. It is less certain if Kris will follow Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood’s superstar path or fade away like Taylor Hicks and Ruben Stoddard.

Adam Lambert, American Idol

The emotions are quite raw on Facebook and Twitter. A sampling that I found in the hour or so after the show aired on the West Coast:

popbytesi can’t help but feel that homophobia played a part in tonight’s #americanidol with kris allen winning – adam lambert should have won

Nick Adams Call the police! Adam Lambert got Robbed!

Jason Boegh It’s an upset and you bet I’m UPSET!!! America you suck!

Neil Giuliano Too bad for Adam, but not surprising. Idol is the same as real politics/campaigns when there’s more than two in the election: to win you need a strong base of support, but more importantly you must be all the other voters’ second choice– and Adam wasn’t. Danny’s voters were always going to align more with Kris’ style. Kris will be fine as the Idol, Adam will become the big superstar. Congrats to them both~~

Allan Brocka American Idol was like watching Prop 8 win all over again.

Del Shores I just wanted to tell all of you that “played” Idol with me, I LOVED IT! I think Kris is adorable and “most improved” and I still think Adam is the best vocalist on the show since Jennifer Hudson. And I love Kelly, Fantasia and Carrie! Here’s wishing both of them success and may they both have Carrie’s gratitude.

FILE UNDER: Controversy, Music, Reality


(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

42 Remarks

  1. We all know who the winner was. I mean, in the singing competition, that is. Lambert. No doubt in the judges minds. Or anyone who can judge impartially. In the popularity competition, it was necessary the gathering of dozens and dozens of millions to make the gay lose against the good missionary Christian guy.
    But hey, what makes gays brilliant? That they learn to impose their talent against all the hardships of life! So this is gonna make Lambert a bigger star, far further, when no one even remember who the cutie of Arkansas was.

  2. I think people simply voted for who they liked the best. That includes vocal ability, likability and musical style. Obviously, America voted and more liked Kris.

  3. Adam is clearly more talented and it is frustrating that he did not win because Kris’ win was not based on merit. Although, I believe that Adam is a huge winner regardless of the title and will be far more successful than Kris. Most things happen for a reason . . . not winning American Idol will provide Adam with more freedom to pursue the type of career that truly suits him. He is beyond American Idol–it is too bubble gum pop.

  4. May 21st, 2009 at 5:25 am
    babs wilkinson says:

    Ridiculous result. Apparently all Danny’s votes went to Kris when Danny left?? Adam was CLEARLY the star of the entire season!!! Wouldn’t it have been amazing if Adam had won and on the stage came OUT officially??!! “This is for all my gay brothers and sisters”….
    He did a European tour in “Hair” with someone I know, and was the same incredible singer, plus a very nice guy I am told. He could sing lead with Queen, star on Broadway, make movies…he reminds me of a young Kurt Russell playing Elvis (facially) but MUCH stronger

  5. My comment is relevant, because homophobic arrogance played a role in Adam’s defeat:

    I have just uploaded the 2009 (3rd) edition of my textbook, CHRISTIANITY AND HOMOSEXUALITY RECONCILED! at This is the 10th year that my book has been available for free on the web. To date, it has had 100,000 (one hundred thousand) downloads. Please make sure you personally download this .pdf and send it to all prospective readers as well as provide a link on your organization’s website.

  6. Stop hating, I see Kris singing and making it in the long run. He did a great job. Adam is more of an Axle Rose wannabe, eyeliner and all, lol
    God loves all including Gays. It’s America whom doesn’t. Get it right.

  7. Well Ms. California wasn’t crowned Ms. America because Perez Hilton and the Gay community was upset, and because she was honest and not politically correct when aswering her question. So I guess now it’s the other way around.
    No one is obligated to accept Homosexuality just like no one is obligated to accept God.

  8. Stop hating on Kris, God loves all including Gays.
    It’s America whom is Homophobic.

  9. May 21st, 2009 at 6:28 am
    Todd McGreggor says:

    I am a music recording engineer. I don’t need to put the title “Dr.” before my name or offer a free book about my personal philosophies in order to be “relevant”.

    Adam is a brilliant performer as well as likeable and gracious. Kris Allen has a great voice for the style of music he sings; and he is just as likeable and gracious. Adam was ALWAYS entertaining on the show. When he sang with KISS last night, he outperformed them. But Kris was also wonderful when he sang with Keith Urban and gave a very rich vocal performance that included great charm on stage. The bottom line is, in the current music industry, a song like Kris sang with Keith Urban is going to get more radio air play than an Adam/Kiss type performance.

    Adam has an amazing vocal range, but he ends up wailing a lot. He has been compared to Freddie Mercury (late great lead singer for QUEEN) and Jim Morrison. He has the stage presence of a Mick Jagger. BUT he does not have the clear vocal quality of any of those three talented lead singers. Freddie Mercury had an even more amazing range than Adam, but he did not wail on the high notes. Adam’s wailing and tongue wobbling was endearing the first handful of times he did it on the show, but it got old.

    Let’s face it, the top four contestants on this year’s American Idol were all great vocalists. Allison, wow. Gokey, great voice. But Adam and Kris had the whole package — great singing voices and charismatic, appealing stage personas. Kris simply appealed to more voters than Adam did. They will both be successful and are both well liked. Let’s not turn this into another reason to divide the nation along socio-political lines. It was a singing competition, not a political election. A lot of AI fans and voters are tween girls who saw Kris as a cute heart throb. Please show the graciousness that the two finalists displayed and give all the shallow accusations a rest.

  10. The AI viewer is age 30-50 who are too tired at the end of the day to vote. The voters are 12-year-old texting fanatics, who hit “send” 100 times. That is the disconnect. The results should be based on number ofdownloads…how many actually pay for each performance.

  11. This is ridiculous. Should have known all the Adam supporters would pull the “homophobic” card if Kris won. Seriously, can it NOT be because America just liked Kris’ style more? Me, I found Adam really annoying. Sure he had a voice, but he was so theatrical and he completely butchered a few really good songs. Need I remind you of the creepy, disgusting rendition of “Ring of Fire”? I’m sure Johnny Cash rolled over in his grave.

    Adam fans… get over it. He’ll still go far. Put the gay card away.

  12. People got sick and tired of hearing how Adam was a sure winner. I think that made them vote for Kris (out of spite).

  13. May 21st, 2009 at 7:06 am
    musicloverextraordinaire says:

    I do not have a “doctorate”, but AM a classically-trained musician who loves ALL performers in ALL genres who show natural raw talent. It was quite obvious to me that Adam was THE ONE from the beginning. Having watched the final performances with 2 complete homophobes from Texas (one of whom slammed Adam the entire time he sang the Sam Cook song, therefore missing possibly the greatest performance EVER on this show), I realized Kris would win and thought how very unfair that was. However, I thought it would be the teeny-bopper vote that got it for him-are “grown-ups” REALLY that judgmental and vicious as to pick a straight guy with the bare minimum of musician-ship over someone so clearly endowed with the massive talents of Adam? WOW!!! Oh well, at least everyone on the planet with a television set has now heard of Adam Lambert, so CONGRATULATIONS, ADAM-I HOPE TO SEE A LIVE PERFORMANCE OF ANYTHING YOU DO IN ANY GENRE ASAP!!!

  14. The first time I saw Adam perform on Idol I knew in my heart he was going to have a successful career. He is amazingly talented.
    I never voted for him because of this, I’s in the bag for Adam.
    I figured I would vote for someone else who actually needed my vote to give them a leg up.

    I voted for Kris but I beleive Adam will have world wide fame.
    By the way, for anyone to make this political by implying it is a Gay vs Christian is pathetic.
    Truthfully, both of these men have gifts to share with the world. They each move me in different ways and I am looking forward to hearing THEM on the radio.

  15. Adam Lambert is and always will be better than Kris!! The real test will be how many albums they both make and see how long Kris can hang on. I do believe Simon will pick him up in the recording studio and shows the WORLD that he kicks ass as a singer no matter if he is gay.

  16. Idol needs to really fix their voting system. They need to start limiting to 10 votes per line from 1 phone number and either 5 or 10 texts.

  17. May 21st, 2009 at 8:56 am
    Marg Kennedy says:

    Yes, Adam was a front-runner all along, but so was Kris. Kris was solid from the start–yet not much was made of that because they were too busy fawning over Adam. Adam has an amazing stage presense and deserves all the attention and votes he received. YET millions of people were voting for Kris all along–nobody was paying attention to that. Danny was a favourite too, but when he lost out to Adam and Kris, I believe a lot of Danny’s voters probably put their votes into Kris in the finale because the style of music was more to their liking. It has nothing to do with being gay or Christian. you are looking for excuses when you needed. It was a fun fair fight. I think Adam would tell you that himself.

  18. May 21st, 2009 at 9:09 am
    Starry Eyed says:

    I, too, feel like Adam was robbed. There is no doubt he will get a record contract and surely be a SUPERSTAR but I think acceptance wise this would have been hugely important to Adam on a personal level. He clearly outperformed everyone the whole season, mentored and helped the other contestants with their arrangements–more than likely helped Kris with his stratigizing of “HEARTLESS” that’s the kind of wonderful caring person Adam was from day one on the show. If Gokey had not been voted off who knows what would have happened,but I couldn’t endure him having won AI. As he so stupidly confessed “he was watching someone,”he wouldn’t say who” DUH! it was apparent he was copycating Adam up to the belt thingy on the finale show. ADAM is truly MY IDOL and I cannot wait for his first album. Yes, it felt a lot like the the 2004 election results! I wish Kris well, but this was so so WRONG!.

  19. I definitely feel idol needs to fix how the contestants are voted for. I feel that the judges need to have MORE of an impact as to who wins. In this case, ADAM should definitely have been the winner. He was the MOST talented individual ever to have been on the show. I feel that America is in the wrong being so homophobic. What does being gay have to do with being talented? This is why judges need to have more say bc we all know who the real winner is :)

  20. May 21st, 2009 at 11:14 am
    Patricia Carlson says:

    Kristin, I will put the “gay card” away when you put the “he was so theatrical” card away. Could be you know the superior singer lost.

  21. Prejudice was factor. Whoever denies it lives in a bubble. But it’s part of the game. How would have been the competition if Adam was a natural hair color guy, with no eyeliner, a Christian practitioner and NO (NO) gay rumors, no photos? Come on.
    Ryan Seacrest kept the eyeliner pun in every show. “The guy with the eyeliner or the guy next door” he said the last voting night. He didn’t said the “theatrical” one or anything else, he chose that thing that made Adam, well, far from the macho stereotype.
    The theatrical criticism is as shallow as to criticize a draftsman for trying the use of color, its completely ludicrous. This was a T.V. show, not a radio contest.

  22. May 21st, 2009 at 1:24 pm
    Daniel Hines says:

    Adam was far and away the best talent…he had the Elvis feel…you just knew he was something special…but when I saw Kris with all those little girls between 8 and 12 screaming, I sensed trouble…Idol screwed up this time…limit the age to at least puberty and above for someone to vote…Kris has no vocal projection, plays like a kid in a glee club…and who can stand all that phony cuteness?

  23. You can try to hide it all you want, but Kris won because Adam was gay. There is really no way around it. Kris was cute, no doubt, but not even in the same talent league as Adam. Its definitely an upset, and upsetting, but I’m not pissed because I know Adam will get the superstardom he deserves, Idol winner or not. In fact I think the only person to lose out was Simon Cowell because he won’t have Adam locked in contract for the next year when he makes millions.

    America will vote for a black idol, a female idol, a fat idol, an old idol.. its obvious the only prejudice still widely accepted in America is against homosexuals. Though just like blacks and women, their time will come when it is no longer accepted to publicly ostracize gay people. I just hope I get to see it in my lifetime.

  24. America turned its back on a true star tonight. But in the hearts of those who recognize incredible talent, he lives on. Adam, the title should have been yours and everyone deep inside knows it. You are amazing and will go further than you can possibly imagine. America did not vote for the most talented tonight. America voted for the underdog, the uncomplicated guy in need of a boost. Keep being yourself kid. You are beautiful, unique and you have been given this special gift which is your voice. We, your fans, will be waiting anxiously for your recordings and most certainly your concerts! Your spirit shined this evening as it has from the first day your fans heard you sing your heart out. Adam Lambert, You are the true American Idol and even Kris Allen knows it and I for one appreciate his sincerity in acknowledging this. Your fans await the amazing career that you earned and deserve. THE REAL AMERICAN IDOL, ADAM LAMBERT!
    PS My 8 year old daughter was watching AI last night in hopes of seeing the great finale with you singing as the star you are. When your name was not called she actually had tears in her eyes and she said:” Mommy, I don’t understand…”
    Her name is Lorelei and yes, you have fans of all ages Adam. Good luck in your bright future. Love, from all of your fans.

  25. I really don’t think Adam was the most talented. He had a big voice and I thought he was incredible showman, but Kris was a musician. He played multiple instruments and his vocal technique was amazing. My husband learned to sing from Pavaratti’s understudy and he thought Kris was the most talented musically.

    I think the fact that everyone is turning this into a political debate is kind of ridiculous. I would have voted for a gay person without hesitation if I thougt they were the best, and I’m a devout Christian, so it doesn’t make sense to say this is a Christian vs. Gay contest. Kris won. It’s not his fault he happened to be up against a gay guy. Let him have his moment! Adam will no doubt be extremely successful which is great too!

  26. To all those who think Allen won because Lambert might be gay – get a life! While Lambert might be the better vocalist, Allen is quite the musician and he took just as many risks as Lambert. Yes, the judges loved Lambert – and yes, he is awesome – but he had their help. Many peeps thought it would be Danny vs. Adam in the finale – but Paula’s choice all but did him in. I wonder if they purposely gave him a song nobody knew and Adam a song that everyone knows and loves – thinking that Lambert would win in a landslide over Allen. To the guy who thinks Allen is a phony – wasn’t Allen praised week after week for staying “true to himself” and criticized for being humble? Do us all a favor and give us a mercy flush – that crap stinks!

  27. Kristen, speaking as fan of both Kris and Adam, please don’t troll forums seeking to defend Kris by trashing Adam. The two of them greatly respect and support each other. Warring fans could learn a lot from these two.

    Adam’s “Ring Of Fire” was one of the finest performances in American Idol history. I think Johnny Cash would have been very impressed with Adam’s interpretation (which was based in part on that of Dilana on Rock Star Supernova). Cash wasn’t always welcome in the country music field. Early on, he was felt to be too radical and different. In his later life, Cash was also embraced by the indie and alt rock scene. His music covered many diverse genres.

    Btw, Greg, last year’s Top 2 generated 97 million votes, only 2-3 million less than this year.

  28. May 21st, 2009 at 10:02 pm
    Starry Eyed says:

    To Candice: This was a “SINGING CONTEST” and like Randy Jackson said on the finale “Adam can sing his face off.” It was not about playing musical instruments. Adam’s instrument IS his VOICE and it is unbelievable. Chris’ voice is mediocre and it was Danny’s votes given to Chris and the tweenies who voted based on their hormones or their inability to recognize true talent that got Chris the win. His fame will last about as long as David Archuleta’s but Adam is headed for lasting fame and Paula called it right when she says “he will be iconic.” A talent like Adam comes along once or twice in a lifetime.

  29. ADAM should have WON!!!!! WTF????

  30. Most of the posters here that are playing the ‘gay card’ are probably the ones who voted down the gay marriage bill. Does rock and roll make suddenly cause you to be a sympathetic gay rights supporter? If you are going play the gay card then play it across the board! Do something constructive if you truly believe that people are alienated by their sexual preference. Go support gay rights, do not use a television show loss as a platform to convey this.
    Everyone here should quit whining and putting so much effort into bashing people that don’t deserve it and channel all that energy into something worthwhile-in your own life and in the world.
    I am sure this is the most bitter sweet win for Kris, knowing that no one gives him credit. I truly feel sorry for him, but Jamie Foxx has already validated his talent by wanting to do a duet with him before he even made it to the top two. Everyone it seems is a critic and more than likely most of you have no real ‘professional’ knowledge of the music industry…I think I will go with the opinion of the guy that does.

  31. I just want to say, Adam, if you read this, you have fans all over the world – even as far away as India. I truly truly LOVED watching you and listening to you this season. You made very other idol pale in comparison. You are a phenomenon and I wish you the very very best always! It was definitely an unfair result and I loved you all the more for your graciousness even in the face of that injustice. You were robbed and the world knows it. Simon Cowell and Paula know it. Perhaps even Kara and Randy. May your music reach across the world. I will be waiting for your album!

  32. America Voted. Kris Won. Get Over it.

    Can we please get passed this? Adam and Kris both have! Why can’t the rest of us? Why do have to turn this into “Gay vs. Anti-Gay” Conservative vs. Liberal, “Christian” vs…what, not Christian? I don’t buy it. I am LDS (Christian and VERY conservative!) and I LOVED Adam (who, by others’ definitions, is my complete opposite) and yet I LOVED Kris too!

    It comes down to style and music preference.

    Both men are talented artists, both brilliant in their own right. Adam is the consummate performer – flashy, showy, and with the big, powerhouse voice, insane range and vocal control that blows many current artists out of the water! Kris is a very different artist, but incredibly talented nonetheless. He is understated, his subtlety and craftsmanship and his ability to suck you in on an intimately emotional level just mesmerize you. He is more like a Carol King, John Lennon, Norah Jones type of sing (none had huge but vocals but blew people away with their – dare I use Kara’s word? – artistry!) Like Jamie Foxx said regarding Kris and the audience: “They’ll be blown away and not even know it!”

    This is not a gay issue, or a political issue. It shouldn’t be about religion or lifestyles. It is about music and individual taste. When it all comes down to it, ironically enough, it is just like religion or politics – it is and should be a personal choice.

  33. Adam was clearly better. Kris was not expected to be in the final two. So those of you who say he was so great are forgetting his performances. His performance on the last show was one good one, one so so, and the last one he seemed like he had lost steam and he could barely hit the notes. but you know when you find money on the street you don’t give it back – so he takes the title. Personally he reminded me of the the singers who sang songs in the 70s who were like Peter Paul and Mary. Outdated. I don’t think he is going to be big. Adam is iconic. Yeah it bothers me a little that he is gay…but I can’t deny his singing ability. I’m going to listen to the guy sing because that is what entertainers do..entertain,and that is what he is a class act.

  34. i am a christian to the core but i was rooting for Adam the whole way through, the sad thing was when i went to my christian school the next morning everyone was cheering, when i said Adam was a better singer than Kris the response was “but he’s gay!”. i find that sad, the world is full of extremist on both sides. Adam deserved it but lets not make this a Christian v.s. Gay battle that goes on forever

  35. it was pretty clear that adam is the better singer, probably the best on the show since carrie underwood. i don’t think the results have anything to do with religious vs gay. the results have everything to do with power texting. kris’ supporters were more organized and got his supporters to text message thousands of times using group lists. american idol needs to catch up to technology. i would love to see details of the vote – by state, text versus phone.

    as for their careers, i believe adam will be one of the most successful alums ever. kris is a nice singer, but his talent and career will be like taylor hicks. only time will tell though

  36. Adam is a cut above most performance wise. I’m not sure I was too crazy about Ring of Fire, but for the most part, I couldn’t find anything wrong with his other performances. He is more visual. He’ll do fantastic on stage and in videos.

    Kris was ok to me. He wasn’t over the top, but again, it’s a personal choice. I could see why a lot of people would vote for him.

    As for this gay issue. Has Adam ever come out and admitted he’s gay, or is this just speculation because of different photos, etc? Do we know this for a fact? He’s a performer, and could have done any number of things to enhance his performance. He could be gay, bisexual, or straight. Either way, it doesn’t diminish him in my eyes as a very talented young man. It’s crazy to think, in these days and times, something like this would sway voters, but sadly predjudices will probably exist until the end of time. Talent is talent. No other factors should come into play.

    While I do think that Adam should have won, he was so gracious when Kris did. He’s a cut above a lot of people. You can tell that he and Kris have a friendship beyond AI. I wish them both much success.

  37. Adam deserved 2 win… he had stage presence, looks everything.. and those who didnt vote 4 him cuz hes gay-grow up! wat if hes not? wat if the pictures are a fake? he hasnt confirmed wid his own tongue he is gay! cum on, if he was, why wud he ever cooperate wid the female contestants onstage? and as far im concerned- he has a decent family!! boy…. i cant blv people are so worked up about this………..

  38. Kris Allen is like a simple, beautiful calender painting of a farm with a rustic gate and a lovingly rendered stone barn. You can’t help but admire it. Adam Lambert, on the other hand, is like Picasso’s Guernica, a masterpiece that changes the world.

  39. who ever even said Adam was actually gay? He wouldn’t admit it personally and sure if you have your gay radar on it seems to be that way but I don’t believe the votes were swayed in that manner. They were both great at what they did, Adam was however very staged and performed from birth. Kris was all natural, it’s an amateur competition. It’s really pathetic of all of you to blame it on one thing or another, it’s quite immature. And if you don’t remember… Danny Gokey was the incredibly religious guy…NOT Kris Allen. Go KRIS!

  40. However, I do wish Adam won. He was better prepared for the Idol Machine than Kris was and now I bet kris will be like every other idol who didnt get anywhere (minus Carrie and Kelly). Adam was ready for that, runner ups always get a better option. Adam was lucky.

    ps. if you all love Adam sooo much why would you bash him like that and blame it on his sexuality.

  41. I’ll say this.

    Kris had better style. He could take music and make it unique. I mean.. he did Kanye West.

    Adam had a great voice, but all I can see him doing is glam rock. Kinda 20 years ago.. ya dig?

  42. Kris has a nice voice for low notes; however, as soon as he tries to sing higher, it is like hearing nails on a chalkboard. Adam has a phenomenal range and is capable of most any genre of music. Hopefully, Kris will be a very successful songwriter, and someone else (Adam, perhaps) will sing his songs. It is a shame this is a political/religious event – I thought it was a singing/talent competition. If it were the latter, Adam would have won. Either that, or a lot of people have hearing problems. Kris seems to be a very nice guy, and at least Idol will give him the opportunities he probably would not have had, where Adam will go far. If you haven’t listened to Adam singing in the “Ten Commandments,” also starring Val Kilmer, as well as several other beautiful performances including “Dust in the Wind,” everyone would understand who the true performer is.

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