As Adam Lambert has been singing his socks off, and his heart out, for weeks on American Idol, our staff has been singing the praises of this unique contestant.
The season eight title is clearly his to lose. But should it be?
Having already graced the cover of Entertainment Weekly, and made headlines around the country, Lambert has already won Idol. He will get a recording contract, he will top the charts for years to come and his musical dreams will come true.
Considering his talent and popularity, these goals will undoubtedly be accomplished, regardless of whether or not Adam takes home the crown Wednesday night.
Heck, one could argue that NOT being named American Idol will open Lambert up for the kind of versatile career he appears to be striving for.
Remember Chris Daughtry? He's often said his early elimination from season five allowed for a certain artistic freedom; he could instantly embark on a rock album, without the constraints often in place on American Idol champions (whose first single, in most cases, is the cheesy ballad they sing on each season's finale).
It's not hard to imagine Lambert actually benefiting, in the same way as Daughtry, from falling just short of victory.
But Kris Allen needs that crown. Kris Allen has worked hard for that crown. Kris Allen deserves a long, successful career, one likely not possible without that crown.
Allen is an incredibly talented artist, but he doesn't stand out like Lambert.
He's flown under the Idol radar all season, finally receiving true, overwhelming recognition last week for his cover of Kanye West's "Heartless," an especially brave performance considering Kanye himself performed the same single on the same stage just a few months ago.
Adam Lambert and Kris Allen left Danny Gokey behind in the semifinals. The competition is down to two!
Could Kris have a John Mayer or Jack Johnson-like career, even if he comes in second? Of course. He reminds us of those guitar-playing singer/songwriters, mostly due to his style and musical arrangements, though the fact that he's easy on the eyes doesn't hurt.
Still, contrary to his attention-grabbing competition, Allen would really benefit from the American Idol title.
It would separate him from other aspiring artists in his genre; not merely because he won the most popular competition on television, but because he pulled off the greatest finale upset in the show's history to do it.
Will this victory take place? It's highly unlikely. And we certainly won't shed any tears when Lambert is named the winner. He's a great performer and talent.
But here's one vote for Kris Allen. It's our way of hoping season eight produces two champions.