The “American Idol” season finale was fit for a Queen, only Adam Lambert didn’t get his tiara.


With nearly 100 million votes cast, Kris Allen was named Season 8’s winner.

The “American Idol” season finale was fit for a Queen, only Adam Lambert didn’t get his tiara.

With nearly 100 million votes cast, Kris Allen was named Season 8’s winner.

It seems each season’s finale tops the one before. This one certainly delivered, with a star-studded affair of who’s who in the music business including the likes of Keith Urban, Cyndi Lauper, Queen Latifah, Rod Stewart, Lionel Richie, Carlos Santana, Steve Martin, Jason Mraz, Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas, Queen and a little ol’ band called Kiss.

Who’d have thought Kiss would do “Idol?" I wouldn’t, but then again, we never had someone like Lambert on the show, either.

It was impressive to see the Idols hold their own with these stars. They all did a superb job, some even as well as the stars themselves.

The two-night extravaganza began with a showdown between Lambert and Allen.

Lambert, or Glambert as I liked to call him, was a favorite of the judges from Day 1, so you kind of knew he’d wind up at the finale, but Kris Allen was the dark horse. He stood back for the most part, letting the others soak up the limelight. Yet each week he stepped up his game. Still, no one saw him as viable.

I wasn’t on the Glambert bandwagon this season, but I’ll give him props on his take of Tears For Fears’ “Mad World.” That song and maybe Motown week’s “Tracks Of My Tears” were really the only songs he didn’t scream his way through. I liked the toned-down side of him; the only problem is, with Glambert you never knew what you were going to get. Some people liked his mysterious and sometimes gothic allure, but the only thing I seemed to get from most of his performances was a headache.

At the finale, though, he was in his element. His performance with Kiss was impressive. His theatrical style blended well with the glam-band rockers on “Detroit Rock City” and “Rock And Roll All Nite.”

Allen’s monumental finale performance paired him with one of country music’s finest, Keith Urban. The two cranked out Urban’s latest single “Kiss A Girl.”

Allen’s progression throughout the season led to this moment, making me believe he was worthy of the title. Both Glambert and Allen took risks each week, but I felt Allen’s were better. My favorite Allen performance was “Falling Slowly.” He definitely tapped into his own relationship with his wife when he sang the Oscar-winning song by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Danny Gokey and Lionel Richie were my favorite performance of the night. Gokey’s elimination was the real shocker of the season, so it was cool to see him get his day in court. “Hello” sounded so good, as did “All Night Long” and Richie’s latest single, “Just Go.” Gokey will become a star after Idol.

Lil Rounds tore up the stage with Queen Latifah, and Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace traded turns with Mraz on “I’m Yours.”

Kalamazoo’s Matt Giraud shared the stage briefly with Carlos Santana on “Black Magic Woman” before being joined by all the Idols on the mega-hit “Smooth.”

Even Allison Irehat shone. She performed with Fergie and later with Lauper on an acoustic version of Lauper’s “Time After Time.” Irehat seemed to want to rock the song out more than Lauper intended.

To narrow this impressive group of talent down to just one “American Idol” doesn’t seem fair to me. They all did well in my opinion and deserve to make it. Allen’s first single, “No Boundaries,” says it all.


David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. E-mail him at farrboy@hotmail.com.