In a just world, at the end of a season that featured the most raw talent they’ve ever assembled, Kris Allen would be this season’s American Idol in a landslide and authenticity would be hailed as the new black.
Period. And shut up. (Especially you, Kara DioGuardi!)
Of course, we don’t live in a just world — if we did, it would be Kris vs. Allison Iraheta — and Adam Lambert is supposedly the prohibitive favorite going into the finale.
Here’s three reasons I think Kris will pull off the “upset” that really should be a no-brainer:
1) Kris is authentic; Adam is a poseur.
Kris is as American Pie as it gets, the epitome of “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” He’s clean-cut and humble, letting his talent speak for itself, never over-compensating with a lot of unnecessary flair. Adam is a carefully calculated patchwork of “influences”, the singing equivalent of Quentin Tarantino.
2) Kris is an artist with range; Adam shrieks a lot.
Over the course of the season, Kris has tackled an impressive range of music, cannily putting his own spin on some classic songs while taking a more straightforward approach to others, always conscious of his strengths and weaknesses. He’s played guitar and piano to great effect, and his takes on “To Make You Feel My Love”, “She Works Hard for the Money” and “Heartless” were amongst the series’ all-time highlights. Adam is a shrieker with limited range or originality, a one-note character actor who will become an odd TV footnote like his spiritual brother, Jesse Camp.
3) Kris will get more of Danny Gokey’s fans.
Kris and Adam have both spent only one week in the bottom three, together, yet conventional wisdom is that Kris has been slipping through while Adam has been leading the pack from the beginning, partly due to the judges’ embarassing fawning over his antics, especially Kara DioGuardi. (Nice experiment; please replace her next season.) Danny hadn’t ever been in the bottom three, leading many to assume that it would be him vs. Adam in the finale. I believe Adam’s fanbase is pretty limited and likely hasn’t grown as much as Kris’ has each week, and he’s more likely to pick up votes from fans of Danny and Matt Giraud, as well as fans of the show itself after their eyes and ears are left bleeding from three over-the-top performances from Adam in one show.
Barring any truly unexpected performances by either of them, I’m predicting Kris Allen wins a close one and goes on to become the first Idol winner to have a debut album that’s as successful as Chris Daughtry’s first and Kelly Clarkson’s second. And for the first time ever, I’m planning to back up that prediction by voting.
That said, even if Adam wins, Kris making it to the finale is proof that people will embrace authenticity, a point that seemingly has to be proven over and over again instead of being accepted as the norm.
Who do you think is going to win?
And did you pick up the marketing lessons in each point?