Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Is Kris Allen really a dark horse going into “Idol” finale?

May 13, 2009

USA/“American Idol” on Tuesday entered the last week of competition before the finale, and we at “Fan Fare” had the good fortune to land second-row seats in the talent show’s live studio audience. (For the record, this twist of fate had nothing to do with our coverage of the show — it was good old-fashioned standing in line combined with almost two years of being on a waiting list.)

Watching “Idol” in its natural habitat revealed dozens of quirks imperceptible to the 25 million or so viewers who tune in at home. First off, the studio was smaller than expected — even more intimate than watching a live show in a theater. One audience member in our row even remarked that it was smaller than her college lecture hall.

Also, the judges seemed to spend more time out of their seats than in them. Accompanied by massive bodyguards, they walked backstage at every commercial break, rushing back to their seats sometimes with two seconds to spare. Judge Paula Abdul at least spent some time greeting celebrity audience members such as USA/Kim and Kourtney Kardashian and their mom, Kris Jenner, as well as “The Hills” star Audrina Partridge.

Many in the mostly young, female audience also appeared to be partial to one contestant — supposed dark horse Kris Allen. There were more Kris-themed homemade signs (“Krazy 4 Kris”, for instance) being waved than those for either of the other contestants. And, one young fan was overheard after the show gloating that she had waved to Allen — and that he had smiled back!

So is “Idol”‘s resident pretty boy Kris really a dark horse after all? His acoustic performance of Kanye West’s “Heartless” received universal praise from the judges, with Randy Jackson deeming it “better than the original.” His first song, “Apologize,” however, was less well-received.

But Allen rival Danny Gokey’s performances were by no means stellar, getting similar mixed reviews from the judges. They loved his version of “You Are So Beautiful” but were less enthused by his take on Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Dance Little Sister,” for which he was criticized for his dancing.

USA/Golden child Adam Lambert, predictably, got rave reviews for both of his performances. Judge Simon Cowell, however, warned “Idol” viewers not to assume that Lambert would sail through to next week’s finale and reminded them that they needed to vote.

So who will be sent packing tomorrow night? Host Ryan Seacrest, toward the end of the show, made a point of saying that he had no idea what would happen on Wednesday night.

Is Lambert really the juggernaut he has been made out to be, and does Allen have a stronger wind at his back than many expected? Gokey is the only contestant never to be placed among the show’s bottom three vote-getters — but has he finally run out of steam?


I really love Kris’s voice and what he does with the music. My favorite was “ain’t no sunshine” but the song he did tonight was just as good and had that wonderful intensity to it. I just want to hear more and more!

Posted by Tracy | Report as abusive

Who do you dislike more – Simon or Paula? There’s no need to choose. You can despise them both!!
Watch “Hey Paula (American Idol Mix)” at 0o

See more parodies at

Posted by Bruce Hopman | Report as abusive

Kris Allen is the dark horse. The judges, Randy and Simon, have said that the two in the finale is going to be Danny and Adam. In an interview Nigel, ex-producer talked about Danny, Adam and Allison, but never once mentioned Kris. When Adam was in the bottom 3 the media went wild about Adam being there for the first. What the media forgot was that Kris was also in the bottom 3, and that was also Kris’s 1st time. The media was so upset about Adam, they completely forgot Kris. Kris did not have a backstory like the other contestants. Kris has been flying under the wire even though he has played the guitar, piano, re-arranged songs, and picked obscure songs and took risks, yet every week the judges would praise Danny and Adam. They were hoping for a Adam/Danny finale and still are pushing for that. Kris was always in the way for that finale and he is not going away.

Posted by Gurmit Singh | Report as abusive

Why Kris could win American Idol (Emphasis on “could”):

1. Kris just stands in the background of Danny and Adam while at the same time giving stellar performances, reminding me of how Kelly Clarkson won American Idol Season 1 according to Simon’s comments on Kelly Clarkson, Tamyra Gray and Justin Guarini in his book, I Don’t Mean To Be Rude But… According to Simon (if I remember correctly), Kelly Clarkson was not exactly the frontrunner of American Idol Season 1. In fact, Season 1 was supposed to be a battle between Tamyra and Justin. Kelly just stood behind Tamyra and Justin without compromising her performances. That’s what Kris actually did. He never tried to steal the limelight from the two people predicted. What he only did was to give his best shot.
2. Kris is contemporary. Let us not forget that Idol is still a money-making machine. It wants to find stars who can earn them hair-raising profits. By giving makeovers to classic and contemporary songs. Kris’ performances have made an indelible mark to viewers that he is a force to be reckoned with.
3. Kris was like the Kelly Clarkson/Jordin Sparks/Vonzell Solomon/Jennifer Hudson/Elliot Yamin (notice the simile) of Season 8. Although all the media attention has been on Adam (and his sexuality) and Danny (and his deceased loved ones- Bless their souls), both of them have reached the apex of their potential. Kris grew up the most artistically out of all contestants. You can see it from his performances of Falling Slowly, She Works Hard For The Money, Ain’t No Sunshine and recently Heartless.

Posted by Max | Report as abusive

Never voted for anyone in Idol before now. Voted my fingers numb last night for Kris and will next week too!

Posted by Pat | Report as abusive

I agree Kris is much more talented then Gokey, much more. But my vote is still for Adam, his talent is off the charts. Even though I wasn’t crazy about either of last nights songs by him. I need to listen to the studio version before I truly can say whether I liked his version or not. They are usually much better.

Posted by Karin | Report as abusive

I have no idea who is going home. My favs are Adam and Kris but if Danny ends up in the finale, he deserves it just as much as the other two. Last night was the best episode yet. The competition has never been this exciting. I hated to see Alison go last week tho. She and Adam would have made an awesome finale!

Posted by J | Report as abusive

First time I’ve watched this show. I’m really impressed with Kris Allen’s take on Heartless. Who would have think someone could make that song listenable?

Posted by Albert | Report as abusive

You Are So Beautiful is one of my favorite songs from Joe Cocker. So I was quite excited when I heard it’s Danny’s choice considering he has the voice for it. But sorry to say, I was not swept off my feet and wondering what the judges are praising him for. I watched and listened over again but to me it was a let down.
Danny’s first song was a non-event. I was hoping he will do justice with it. Maybe if he made the tempo slower, it would have been a sexy danceable number.
So, Danny was forgettable last night.
I agree with the judges about Kris’ rendition of Heartless. It was faultless unlike his Apologize. I would remember Kris after last night because of Heartless.
With Adam, I can’t find fault. The two numbers are memorable after last night.
I would say the contest is who would make it with Adam in the finals. It should be Kris. But we all know, it all depends who got a bigger religious voting machine.

Posted by Mari | Report as abusive

Soooooo don’t get Kris and never have, other than his obvious teeny-bopper-appeal, pretty boy looks. He sings decently. The other two have flair, style, presence and talent. I’ve never voted either until last night, but voted for the others in hopes of sending K-boy home

Posted by Cris | Report as abusive

Two words for Kris:

Tracy Chapman

Just sing any of her songs off the first album…

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

Two of the girls I work with that do not have at&t said they called for a straight two hours to vote for Kris and
was unable to get even ONE call in!! Don’t know if that’s a good sign or not but it seems unfair that Kris will now have missed hundreds of votes just because they couldn’t get through!! Makes you wonder how many people that may have had the same problem. We can only hope that Kris’s lines were just smoking!!

Posted by LLK | Report as abusive

It will absurd for the voting public not to include Adam in the finale. Between Danny and Kris, it will be a toss-up. Kris is the dark-horse in the group. Judging from the performance last nigth, he has a shot to be in the finale. As for Danny, a shoe-in ever since the season started, but as i can see and feel he does not have the entertainment factor for the finale. Will see………… may the best MAN win.

Posted by norman | Report as abusive

Hi there! I’m a mother and a devout Christian, too! As viewer, I recognize that American Idol is a singing talent contest open to all, regardless of gender orientation or religion. It is not supposed to be a popularity contest for a certain class of persons. Among all of Season 8′s contenders, Adam Lambert is the amazing artist and the best singer, gifted with a powerful voice. America’s vote for Kris, or its vote against Adam, seems to be a contemptuous hate vote against that portion of America that Adam stands for. ADAM LAMBERT DESERVED TO WIN. Even Kris Allen himself knows this in his Christian heart: that is why, as soon as he was unexpectedly handed the undeserved crown, he admitted in open public that “Adam deserves this…” — instinctively repudiating the ridiculous vote results that were surely no act of God and faithfully adhering to what he knows is glaring truth. Adam Lambert is the true winner!


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