Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

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


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!