The biggest show on television crowned its eighth champ Wednesday night, and in what most considered an upset, everyman dark horse Kris Allen took the title over presumed frontrunner Adam Lambert.
It was a surprise, to be sure. But I’d stop short of calling it a shocker. After all, Allen’s from Arkansas, and six of the first seven Idols came from the American South or Midwest. Combine that with the very real possibility that Allen and this year’s third-place singer — white-bread Wisconsinite Danny Gokey — were splitting the heartland vote, and it doesn’t take a demographer to guess that Gokey’s supporters flocked to vote for Allen in the finale.
Or perhaps they flocked to vote against Lambert, a high-singin’, goth-leanin’, drama-embracin’ character from California. Maybe in this era of supposed post-partisan politics, we’re still really a country of red states and blue states. This time, the red states won.
That’s no knock on Allen, who was solid and likeable as he steadily climbed the “Idol” charts all season, even if he doesn’t exactly ooze star power. Of course, everyone knows it doesn’t really matter who wins and who loses this show. What matters is finding a future star, and I suspect “Idol” did that this year. He just finished in second place.
— Ben Salmon