AMERICAN IDOL 2009: And the winner is…the biggest upset in history!
AMERICA has spoken and the people have voted in favour of Kris Allen, the guy-next-door crooner from Little Rock, Arkansas to be the eighth American Idol. Yet even before the confetti shower has settled, fans worldwide were already discussing on the Internet about whether or not the clean-cut soft rocker deserved the accolade.
Even Allen was shocked when his name — instead of Adam Lambert’s — was announced by host Ryan Seacrest as the winner. His first response: “Adam deserves this”.
If Allen himself doubted the results, then perhaps America did get it wrong this time. There are a million reasons why Lambert should have won the contest.
The San Diego native’s winning streak started the day he sang Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody during his audition a few months ago.
Lambert’s almost limitless vocal range and spellbinding performances have been hard to ignore, let alone forget, since then.
Rock and Roll week was predictably a walk in the park for Lambert. His rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love received the approval of those who grew up listening to the band and sent them marching to iTunes to download the remade single.
In the months of being on the reality TV series, the veteran theatre actor had always risen to the occasion.
On Country week — in which many contestants stumble and fall — Lambert showed that he was no “one trick pony”.
He picked up from where Rock Star: Supernova contestant Dilana left off and turned Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire into a “sexually charged, Far Eastern inspired number”.
He also sailed through Motown and Rat Pack Standards weeks and even moved mentors Smokey Robinson and Jamie Foxx with his interpretation of Track of My Tears and Feeling Good.
Simply put, Lambert had shown a great body of work throughout the competition and did so without missing a single note.
Although fans have seen their fair share of talented contestants, they have never met one quite as charismatic and enigmatic as Lambert.
On stage, he looks like an edgy superstar with a penchant for black eyeliner and nail polish as well as “jumping off cliffs, creatively speaking”. Off stage and during interviews, he transforms into an eloquent and a well brought up gentleman.
Lambert is refreshing and appeals to the rebel in fans young and mature. He shows that it is possible to be both a rock star and a role model — just ask the children from the community theatre group which Lambert attended as a boy.
Lambert revisited the theatre group recently as part of his homecoming to (his hometown) San Diego.
Regardless of what rumours about his sexuality and the incriminating pre-Idol photos circulating the Internet may suggest, footages of Lambert patiently answering questions from preschoolers about “how he got so good at singing and dancing” gave fans a sense of the kind of mentor Lambert would be.
But in the land of reality television shows, even an early favourite such as Lambert is not “safe”.
That American Idol traditionally favours contestants who are “a little abashed, nervous and demonstratively relieved when they survive” — a description one would use on Allen but not Lambert — may have stacked the odds against the self-assured performer.
The result announced on Wednesday night (Los Angeles time) confirmed that while America adored his “theatrics”, it could stomach Lambert’s brand of music up to a point.
America may not be ready for an androgynous rocker to be its Idol but there is a general consensus on the World Wide Web that, win or lose, Lambert will have a long and healthy music career unencumbered by “mountains and hurricanes” (see this article).
In the words of judge Paula Abdul, “whatever happens with this Idol journey, I know with every fibre of my being that you are going to be iconic”.
You’re the real Idol, Adam Lambert. Can’t wait to see you at your sell-out tour!
*Read the follow up to this article on http://www.nst.com.my