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May 20, 2009
'American Idol': Don't count out Kris


I remember it like it was yesterday - only it was last year at this time on "American Idol." Judge Simon Cowell fired off his prediction during the epic "Battle of the Davids" and proclaimed teen David Archuleta a "knock-out winner" over David Cook.

The big question then was, what would happen with Syesha Mercado's fans? She was the second runner-up. Where would their votes go?

I've gotten the "You-must-be-crazy" line from plenty of "Idol" campadres who think I'm waaaay off the mark that another upset (if you can call last year an upset) might happen on Season 8 - with Kris Allen shocking "Idol" nation with a win.

Adam Lambert was pretty much crowned after Tuesday night's three-song sing-off. He's been the front-runner almost since his audition in San Francisco. But what will happen with Danny Gokey's fan base? He left the show last week, so they need someone to side with.

After last night's show, judge Paula Abdul dropped this to the Associated Press: "After the third one leaves, you wonder where do the votes go from that third contestant?"

For sure, Danny and Kris have more in common with each other than they do with Adam. That includes singing style, their own style and - dare we go there - lifestyle. I'm speaking specifically about Danny and Kris's faith-based backgrounds. One is married; the other widowed. In an interview with "Idol" reporters when Adam made the Top 13, he kept his private life pretty much to himself, saying, "I know who I am."

Of course, none of the contestants pushed for any particular voting segment.

One of the best comments about last night's show came from Simon, after Kris sang his first song, "Ain't No Sunshine."

"When your name was announced last week, I wasn't sure that America had made the right choice," he said. "I absolutely take all that back now after that performance."

I thought the competition was pretty much a dead heat after the guys' first two performances. Then they both had to sing that horrific "mountains and hurricanes" ballad "No Boundaries," which was co-written by judge Kara DioGuardi.

Adam used his massive high octave and slayed it. But it was too high for Kris, and Kara even admitted it was out of his range.

All the judges said viewers should vote based on the whole of the season, not just last night, which could send the decision either way.

It bears repeating that tonight's two-hour finale (8 p.m. FOX40) will definitely exceed that time limit. Ryan Seacrest alerted DVR users to program accordingly so as not to miss the actual announcement of the winner!

And if it's all the same to anyone who cares, I'd just as soon not be surprised by a Britney Spears performance.

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