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Last night's American Idol results show featured what many would consider another surprising elimination. Were you in favor of who voters sent home?

But do you know what did not come as a surprise to any veteran viewer of this Fox hit? That former champion Kris Allen took to the stage that made him famous and impressed once again, this time with the debut of his latest single, "The Vision of Love."

Watch the performance now and then pity poor Taylor Hicks, who helped introduce Allen after awkwardly telling the crowd he'd be performing in Las Vegas this summer... to pretty much no reaction. How did that guy beat Katharine McPhee again?

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Over the last couple years, American Idol has made impressive use of its forum to raise money for important cause with its Idol Gives Back special.

That event will take place again on April 21. But Kris Allen and Fox will help bring attention to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti long before that.

Last season's champion has headed to that ravaged nation and will perform on the February 25 edition of Idol. He'll share live footage from his trip and ask viewers to make donations online or via text message during the episode.

"It is heartbreaking to see the devastation that Haiti is currently facing," Allen said. "I am truly honored to be traveling to Haiti to see the U.N.'s relief efforts firsthand and to help out any way that I can."

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Music fans are in for a three-week treat, beginning on November 17.

On that date, Kris Allen releases his debut CD. A week later, Adam Lambert does the same; and fellow American Idol finalist Allison Iraheta completes the trifecta on December 1 with her debut album.

The trio of talented young singers recently gathered for a photo shoot and interview. This time, no naked women were involved with Lambert.

Allison, Kris and Adam really do seem like they get along, however. Click on each pic below for a larger version of it...

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE'S JUMP TO WATCH AN INTERVIEW WITH ALL THREE SINGERS.

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Take this, gay-hating bigots!

Just a few days after he and his fellow American Idol tour mates overcame a church-sponsored protest of their concert in San Jose, Adam Lambert led season eight's top 10 artists into L.A.'s Staples Center.

Lambert was often joined in front of the crowd by winner Kris Allen, as well as Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta and other favorites. His set of songs included:

“Whole Lotta Love, “Starlight," “Mad World,” “Slow Ride” and a medley of David Bowie singles. Below, Lambert and Allen take center stage on the tour stop:

Touring Idols

Will you purchase the debut albums of Lambert and Allen? Each will hit stores this fall.

As you ponder those additions to your iPod, click on the following photos of these rising stars in Los Angeles:

  • High Note Hitter
  • Finalists and Friends

[Photos: Getty Images]

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Amidst growing controversy that AT&T helped to rig this season's American Idol results, the show wants to make it clear:

Kris Allen is the champion.

Earlier today Fox, Idol producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia issued the following statement:

"Fox and the producers of American Idol are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified. Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol. We have an independent third-party monitoring procedure in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition."

Kris Allen won American Idol. Up next? A debut album.

AT&T also defended itself:

"Last week, countless parties were held in homes, bars, and other public places across America to watch the American Idol finale. In Arkansas, a few local AT&T employees were invited to attend two local watch parties organized by the community. Caught up in the enthusiasm of rooting for their hometown contestant, they brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested.

"Going forward, we will make sure our employees understand our sponsorship celebrates the competition, not individual contestants. That said, it's quite a leap to suggest that a few individuals could have impacted the final results."

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We mean no disrespect to Kris Allen or his supporters, but might the reigning American Idol champion have unfairly earned his crown?

According to a report in The New York Times, one of the show's biggest sponsors may have played a vital role in Allen's victory.

AT&T, by its own admission, provided phones for free text-messaging services at parties organized by fans of the Arkansas native.

At a pair of gatherings in Allen's honor - held during, and immediately following, last week's Tuesday night performance show - representatives of AT&T (whose network is the only one that can be used to cast American Idol votes via text message) passed around free phones.

No such efforts were made on behalf of Adam Lambert.

Trophy Holder

No one doubts Kris Allen's talent. But questions are being raised about the fairness of his American Idol victory.

Moreover, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette states that AT&T employees actually instructed Allen fans on how to send 10 or more text messages at the press of a single button.

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Kris Allen is your new American Idol.

Left speechless when Ryan Seacrest initially asked him how it felt, Allen continued to express utter consternation backstage.

"I felt shocked almost every week that I made it, and to be the American Idol, I’m completely shocked."

The champion also had nothing but kind words for fellow finalist Adam Lambert: "I feel like he deserves this just as much as I do. He’s an amazing performer, gifted guy and really just an amazing guy. It was fun doing this with him."

Where will Kris go from here, in terms of making an album?

"I think it’s pretty obvious that I’ve done a lot of the singer-songwriter, pop-rock kind of thing and that’s something I want to do."

Do you think Kris Allen is a worthy champion?

 

Lambert, meanwhile, isn't about to shed any tears over his second place finish.

"I felt so good. I got to sing with Queen and KISS!" he told OK!, reflecting on the two-hour finale. "First or second, it doesn’t matter to me; I got to sing with two great, heroic rock bands."

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From handsome also-ran to American Idol champion.

Kris Allen completed an incredible journey this week by being named the eighth-ever winner of the most popular show on television.

Overlooked when the competition began - at the outset, Simon Cowell even suggested that Allen should keep his marriage a secret because he would only advance based on his looks - Allen shed his underdog label and overcame Adam Lambert in a tightly-contested finale.

What was Allen's reaction upon winning? He said: "Adam deserves this. I'm sorry." Class act (and we agree!).

Will Kris follow in the successful footsteps of past victors such as Carrie Underwood? Or the anonymous footsteps of champs such as Reuben Studdard?

Only time will tell. For now, let's just wish a hearty congratulations to one of the most unexpected winners in show history!

True Idols

Did Kris Allen deserve to be named the American Idol winner? Answer the poll and then leave a comment. Let us know!

 

Take a look back at Allen's American Idol journey. Click on the following photos to enlarge images of the champion:

Kris Allen, American Idol Photo
  • Idol Finalists
  • Kris Allen and Megan Corkrey
  • To Make You Feel His Love
  • Hunky Guitar Player

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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.
EDGE: Even.

His Mad World

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.
EDGE: Lambert.

Which round two performance did you prefer on the American Idol finale?

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Adam Lambert and Kris Allen take on each other in tonight's American Idol finale.

The day before this monumental showdown, however, the pair of finalists faced the media together. Here's a summary of the responses they gave a series of journalists outside Hollywood's Nokia Theatre...

Kris, on being nervous: “I don’t feel too much pressure right now. We’ve made it. I feel like we’ve accomplished exactly what we wanted to accomplish, and we’re going to go out there and have a good show. It’s going to be a lot of fun.” 

Adam, on comparisons to Kris: “We’re just very different types of artists, and at this point, it’s not about out singing each other. It’s not like a direct competition. It’s about both of us staying really true to what we do.”

Adam vs. Kris

FRIENDS & FOES: American Idol comes down to Adam Lambert vs. Kris Allen. Who do you want to win?

Adam, on his theater experience: “This isn’t theater, so I don’t really see how it affects it at all. I’ve had experience on stage performing, but so has Kris... just in different venues. Kris has worked clubs and worked with a band... The thing that’s really cool about this competition is that it’s an equal opportunity situation.”

Kris, on if his Christian background will lead to votes: “I hope that having the Christian vote does not help with anything. I hope it has to do with your talent and the performance that you give and the package that you have, and it’s not about religion and all that kind of stuff.”

Kris Allen Biography

Kris Allen, American Idol Photo Kris Allen won season eight of American Idol! Dude has major talent! The singer auditioned in Louisville, Kentucky originally, choosing... More »
Full Name
Kris Allen
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