I make no excuses, I love American Idol. I have since it first came on the scene 8 years ago. It’s something I really enjoy and can watch with my children and talk about with anyone. I think it comes from the old performer in me. I tend to put myself in the contestants positions and enjoy living vicariously through them. I also tend to be thinking exactly what Simon is thinking, so his analysis is generally my sarcastic bad side with a British accent.
Anyway, this season, as I watched, I caught glimpses of this goth guy during Hollywood week who was unbelievable. We didn’t really see much about him early on. They focused on other contestants, but after hearing him a couple of times I predicted he would win. He was that good.
Once we started moving through the weeks, it was evident that this guy, Adam Lambert, was head and shoulders better than his competition. His vocals were always amazing, he had a killer stage presence, a glam look, and could hit notes that no one else on the show could even dream of. Oh, and pictures surfaced of him kissing guys. So he was either gay or bi-sexual. *GASP*
One of the other favorites early on was Danny Gokey. Danny is a widower (something we were reminded of approximately five billion times) and could wail pretty well. He was also very religious, and was a music director for a church and had recorded some gospel music. He got a huge following, and for quite some time, everyone expected a Danny Gokey / Adam Lambert finale.
During this battle, a nice unassuming guy by the name of Kris Allen quietly put in great performance after great performance. He turned songs like ‘She Works Hard for the Money,’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and even Kanye West’s ‘Heartless’ into awesome acoustic/adult-alternative tracks. He could play guitar and piano, and on some tracks he did so without any help from the Idol band. Creatively he matched Adam Lambert and blew Danny Gokey out of the water. To me, he very much reminded me of Jason Mraz, one of my current faves. And in kind of an upset, he beat out Danny Gokey for the finals.
So now we had two genuinely nice guys, Adam and Kris, both very creative with arrangements and such with Adam having the better vocal ability, and Kris having the ability to play musical instruments. But Adam, vocally was still phenomenal and Kris could sometimes falter and not be able to push through soaring choruses. Adam also worked a stage like he owned the place, and Kris seemed kind of shell shocked at times to be there.
So to me, the American Idol victory should still go to Adam. He’s the better singer and showman, and has been far more consistent all year long than Kris. But I think Kris will win. And the reason is simple. The Danny Gokey voting juggernaut, many of whom are deeply religious, will never vote for a gay man. So many of this huge voting contingent will go Kris Allen’s way, and I think that will sway the victory for him.
If Adam actually wins, I will have a lot of faith in our country to have voted for the openly gay guy. But right now, I don’t have that faith. Kris, although he’s very good and deserves to be in the finale, wouldn’t have quite the votes to win this, but I fear bigotry will push him over the edge.
I hope America proves me wrong.
Now make no mistake, both will get good recording contracts so it really doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things. And quite frankly I love both Kris and Adam and look forward to buying both of their albums. I just think that based on talent, most everyone agrees that Adam is the best. It would be a shame for him to lose simply because of his sexual orientation.