Entertainment behind the scenes
“Idol” singers have “chill” attitudes ahead of finale
They went head-to-head in the final showdown of “American Idol” on Tuesday night, but if any animosity exists between finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen, it was not apparent when they spoke to reporters backstage after the show.
The only moment of friction, and it was all a joke, came when Lambert, the taller contestant between the two, lowered the microphone for the shorter Allen after the two stepped onto a speakers’ podium. Allen laughed at the gesture.
Allen summed up his and Lambert’s attitudes when he was asked how he was handling the hype surrounding the finale.
“I think both of us are kind of chill guys, so we can totally deal with it,” Allen said.
The two finalists had been roommates until recently, and as a joke question a reporter asked which contestant looks better naked.
“We don’t get naked together, sorry,” Lambert said, to laughter from reporters.
As for the singing, the stuff that really matters in the competition, Lambert said that he found symbolism in the songs he performed on Tuesday, which included “Mad World” by Tears for Fears and “Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.
“I think ‘Mad World’ is kind of symbolic, it talks about people that don’t feel like they fit in,” Lambert said.
“I think ‘Change is Gonna Come’ is also symbolic in that anyone who feels oppressed can relate to that song. It’s been a civil rights anthem for a long time, and there’s all sorts of new civil rights issues that are coming up right now,” he said.
When it came to praise from the judges, Lambert and his falsetto stylings seemed to edge out Allen, his more homespun competitor from Conway, Arkansas, in their final competition on Tuesday.
While alpha judge Simon Cowell called the first round of the competition for Allen, assailing Lambert’s first performance as too theatrical and comparing it to “The Phantom of the Opera,” Cowell’s criticism of the Allen’s second song, “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, was notably harsh for a season finale.
“If I’m being honest with you, it was like three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye,” Cowell said.
Judge Paula Abdul, appearing at the backstage news conference, provided the sunny view of the competition that she is known for, sidestepping a question about who she thought would win. Then Abdul was asked if all the judges will be back next year, an important question because Abdul’s own contract expires this season.
“Tune in,” Abdul said, as a handler dragged her away from the microphone.
Photo credit: Fox/Michael Becker