Two finalists. Three songs each. One final night of performances.
American Idol will crown its eighth champion tonight. But, first, Adam Lambert and Kris Allen each had a few chances to leave viewers with a winning impression. Let's review each finalist's renditions from last night...
ROUND ONE: We start with the contestant's choice, as both Lambert and Allen brought back classics from earlier this season.
Lambert chose the Tears for Fears song "Mad World," making a fog-filled entrance and donning a long, black overcoat. Once again, the performance showcased this singer's sultry voice and unparalleled range. It earned an "A-plus for Adam" from Randy.
Allen, meanwhile, played to his strength. Seated behind a piano, he went with "Ain't No Sunshine." Simon appeared to favor this routine over that of Lambert, while Kara gushed over how well Kris connected with the audience.
Which opening performance did you prefer on the American Idol finale?
ROUND TWO: Time for American Idol creator Simon Fuller to play a role. He chose the songs for this round.
Kara wasn't shy about deeming Lambert's rendition of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" as his best performance of the season. We wouldn't go that far, but the crooner held himself back from changing the arrangement too much, or overly relying on his patented screams. A great showcase for his versatility.
Here's where Kris lost ground to Adam. Strumming his guitar to Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," Allen didn't put on a finale-worthy performance. We agreed with Simon and Randy assessment: it was fine and all, but not memorable enough, given the circumstances.
Which round two performance did you prefer on the American Idol finale?
ROUND THREE: Both contestants were stuck singing the cheesy Kara DioGuardi-penned winner's single, "No Boundaries."
Due to his incredible range, Lambert was at least able to de-cheese the song a bit. (Still, climbing mountains? Taking breaths? Really, Kara?!?) We could even see this single having a rock feel to it, assuming Adam gets to be the one to release it after tonight's victory.
For Kris, it was simply too much. His voice strained to keep up, as each of the judges focused on Allen's overall Idol run during their comments, making it clear they didn't love this rendition.
Following the finale, who do you think will win American Idol?