Allen, 23, a college student from Conway, Ark., came into Idol's final week as a hardworking underdog. Even on the last night of competition, judges favored Lambert in two of three performances.
Though Allen visibly struggled with the coronation song, No Boundaries, written by judge
Tuesday's performance show drew 23.8 million viewers, a 12% drop from 2008's 27.1 million, but the singers' supporters at home cast a record number of votes for the two, just under 100 million.
Going into the finale, much of the media and many fans dwelled on their obvious differences. But ultimately, their similarities carried them to the finale. Both took musical cues from last year's winner, David Cook, frequently taking great liberties with their chosen material. That approach made them the season's most interesting contestants.
Lambert grabbed early attention when, vowing to "fearlessly just give 'em a show," he auditioned with
Allen, on the other hand, got all of nine seconds of face time for his audition. But his semifinals performance of
Many observers considered Allen the safe option of the two, challenging few pop-culture conventions. But Idol fans have always liked dark horses and fast learners, and Allen blossomed from an unsure singer into a confident interpreter in front of their (and the judges') eyes. In the end, they rewarded him.http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-05-20-american-idol-winner_N.htm