The eighth season of American Idol came to a sensational conclusion tonight as Kris Allen was crowned the winner during the live two-hour season finale on FOX. A new record was set after almost 100 million votes were received following Tuesday's performance show. In addition, 624 million total votes were cast during Season Eight - more than any other season in the show's history.
It was a duel between Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, who each performed three songs on Tuesday night's final competition show. Allen, from Conway, AR, emerged as America's choice in a competition that began with more than 100,000 hopefuls who turned out in San Francisco, CA; Louisville, KY; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; San Juan, PR; Kansas City, MO; Jacksonville, FL; and East Rutherford, NJ.
Allen capped his coronation on Wednesday's finale by singing "No Boundaries," co-written by American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, Cathy Dennis and Mitch Allan. The song is available for download exclusively on AmericanIdol.com and iTunes.
Last year's winner, David Cook, returned to the American Idol stage to perform his new single, "Permanent."
The broadcast from the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles also featured appearances by Queen Latifah, Jason Mraz, Keith Urban, Fergie, The Black Eyed Peas, Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Richie, KISS, Carlos Santana, Steve Martin, Rod Stewart and Queen.
Lambert and KISS rocked the house with a medley of "Beth," "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock and Roll All Nite," while Allen took the stage with Keith Urban to sing "Kiss a Girl." Third-place finisher Danny Gokey performed "Hello," "Just Go" and "All Night Long" with Lionel Richie, and Allison Iraheta sang "Time After Time" with Cyndi Lauper. Finalists Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace sang "I'm Yours" with Jason Mraz, while Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah performed "Cue the Rain." Reunited for the first time, the Top 13 joined Carlos Santana for his hits "Black Magic Woman" and "Smooth." The Top 5 girls joined Fergie on the chart-topping songs "Glamorous" and "Big Girls Don't Cry," and The Black Eyed Peas performed "Boom Boom Pow." Rod Stewart joined the Top 8 guys on stage to perform a medley of "Hot Legs," "Some Guys Have All the Luck," "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" and "Maggie May." In addition, finalists Megan Joy and Michael Sarver performed "Pretty Flowers" with Steve Martin. To cap off the night, Allen and Lambert joined Queen in a show-stopping rendition of "We Are the Champions."
On Tuesday night's final competition, Allen and Lambert each performed three songs. Allen sang "Ain't No Sunshine," "What's Going On" and "No Boundaries," while Lambert sang "Mad World," "A Change is Gonna Come" and "No Boundaries."
Kris Allen is the eighth American Idol to win the coveted title and a record contract with 19 Recordings. He joins Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks and
American Idol Season Nine auditions will be held this summer in Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, Los Angeles and Denver. Specific dates will be announced.
American Idol is created and executive-produced by Simon Fuller, founder of 19 Entertainment; and executive-produced by Cecile Frot-
Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia North America; and Ken Warwick, executive producer, FremantleMedia North America.