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May 22, 2009
'American Idol': Kris and Adam look ahead


Two days after the "American Idol" finale, there's no looking back for winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert (pictured). They've been on every L.A.-based TV/radio show possible, and now it's time to head to New York and all the folks who want to interview them there.

But one thing's for sure: The competition is over, they wouldn't change much - and making a living off of singing is where their heads are now. That, and saying what a total sweetheart judge Paula Abdul was.

The two guys took an hour out of their crazy schedules to speak to "Idol" reporters today. Here's what they had to say.

Adam Lambert

Q: Theatricality is now a positive word! You've been compared to the likes of David Bowie, Kiss, etc. That said, how have you made theater and rock work so well together?
A: It's just good entertainment. It's still about the music, but theatricality packages it in a more flashy, dramatic way. It's just one way of performing - not better, not worse. Bowie is a great example. As is Michael Jackson and Madonna. A slew of artists have tried it. I'm just glad "American Idol" embraced it.

Q:OK, so once you do the summer tour, what if you get a nice fat offer to do a Broadway show this fall? Would you jump at that opportunity?
A: I did the theater thing for a number of years, and I'm not turning my back on it. But my direction is to become a recording artist. I could see myself coming to Broadway eventually. That was my family and community for years and years. Whenever I come to New York I plan to sit in the front row and cheer them on. For now, I'm on a new journey.

Q: A psychic in Hollywood says you're the reincarnation of Elvis. Would you consider singing and making movies like him?
A: That's such a compliment! I don't know if it's the case, but it's a beautiful idea. I would love to go in that direction - eventually. People mention Elvis because it was the heyday when artists did music and movies. That would be amazing.

Q: You've got such an amazing ability to interpret not only music but your look. Can you talk about both and did anyone hold you back?
A: No, everyone at "Idol" was 100 percent supportive, from the music to what I wore. It was very positive and creative. I never felt stifiled. (Musical director) Ricky Minor would suggest something and I'd say, "Hey, let's do it," and vice versa. The shoulder pads (or wings) I wore in the finale for the Kiss song were from the Bob Mackie showroom. The boots were my own. I also have friends in L.A. who ended up styling most of the jackets I wore - for "We Are the Champions" and "Whole Lotta Love." They own a company called Skin Graft Designs. They get my style.

Q: How do you feel about resurrecting the glam rock genre from the '80s and '90s?
A: Maybe bits of it. I don't want to do one specific genre (of music). I'm more about fusion and adding new elements to the final mix. I'm more fond of the '70s glam, even though I've got '80s-style vocals. There are lots of artists using this vibe; I'm just part of the wave. But there aren't many guys doing it.

Q: Would you like to work with any of the mentors or performers you met on "Idol?"
A: Slash. When we did the shot at the Roxy I felt so at home. This guy is so rad. Even though Queen wasn't a mentor Brian May was on stage, and I was so honored because that's one of my favorite bands. I was starstruck every time. I met Lady GaGa backstage and Fergie. Smokey Robinson and Jamie Foxx were amazing. They all knew me and I'm like, "I'm a fan of yours. You're not supposed to know me!" Katy Perry gave me great advice about surrounding myself with friends and people I know who will keep me grounded.

Q: Would you have changed anything about your performances on Tuesday night? And is coming in second really OK with you?
A: I had a blast that night. The "Mad World" thing was fun because I changed it from the first time I sang it. I think Simon (Cowell) was confused. I don't like to recycle; I like to re-create. "Change Is Gonna Come" was a style of music I hadn't done before. "No Boundaries" is a hard song to sing live. I would have wanted more rehearsal time with it. As for winning, I know it sounds cliche but I felt like I won getting to the finale. It's not about the title, it's about the experience. I made music and got to do a different performance every week. Now I have a career. And, yes, Kris is a very good friend of mine!

Kris Allen

Q:A pre-finale poll had you with 52 percent of the vote. After the announcement on Wednesday, you said you thought Adam deserved to win. Do you still think that?
A: Yes, I still feel that way. Let me put it this way: He deserved it as much as I did. He's been the most consistent, most gifted performer I've ever met. We became great friends. The vote could have gone either way. I know it was really close because Adam was a huge front-runner. Plenty of people were voting for him.

Q: Your performance with Adam and Queen was amazing. How much rehearsal time did you get for that song and the "No Boundaries" song?
A: We met Queen the night before. We went through the song ("We Are the Champions") twice, I think. Seriously, it was the best moment of the year for me. It was like an exhale. We had a great time together. How can you not have a great time with Brian Mays next to you? "No Boundaries" was hard to sing. I don't think me or Adam were happy with our performances. I don't think they (the judges) were trying to judge us on that song but on the season. I sang it that morning and it was fine. It's a high song. Both of us were really tired, and there were some sound issues when we couldn't hear ourselves.

Q: You've said if you could change something about yourself it would be your lack of chest hair. Are there plugs in your future?
A: That's hilarious! You never know about transplants. I do have a little bit, a patch. But I want man chest hair!

Q: Your solo performance of "Heartless" is a big hit on iTunes. How did you come to remix it?
A: I listened to Kanye's (West) album, which I love, and decided I'm just going for it. Be bold and risky. It got a lot of good reviews and it showed people what I can do. I haven't heard from him, but I know he posted a video of me singing the song on his blog.

Q: What kind of record are you contemplating for your debut?
A: For me, I felt like I did exactly on the show what I would do on a record. Just change it up, like "Ain't No Sunshine." Something bluesy. I don't know if there will be any covers. I write my own music, but I don't know if that will happen on this CD.

Q: What did you learn about yourself through the "Idol" experience?
A: I guess, seriously, the biggest thing is that I'm a procrastinator. The times on the show when I worked the hardest were times I did the best. The harder you work for the thing you love most, it will come true.

Q: Are you ready for this change? Is your wife ready? Heck, you're still newlyweds!
A: It's definitely a topic of conversation - all the time. We've been dating forever and married eight months. She's been out here during the whole thing. Things will change, but we're strong. She's cool. Actually, I've been getting ready for this all my life. Life gets you ready. "Idol" has been everything coming to a culmination. Now I'm excited to move on.

A couple of final notes: As for the judges, Randy Jackson said the other day that all four would be back for Season 9. Then I saw newcomer Kara DioGuardi say on the red carpet before Wednesday's show she hopes to be back - and get a phone call in August. After going along with the producers on the whole "Bikini Girl" stunt on the finale, it would be hard to tell her "No!"

Last, I completely disagree with those "Idol" bloggers/pundits/experts, etc. that America is, as one TV critic put it, a "nation of weenies" because we can't handle "art, ambiguity or men who wear too much makeup."

Both guys were talented and Adam said it best today: "I never really listen to what people say."

And guess what? He'll probably release a CD that's not over the top, but totally different from what he did on the show. Expect the unexpected. And yes, come January, you'll be watching - again.

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