Was it really such a surprise?
It’s over two years since Kris Allen was crowned the winner of American Idol 2009. Whilst, for his fans, his win may have seemed undoubtedly well-deserved, many were surprised at what was reported to be a landslide victory. However, looking back, does it still seem like such a surprise?
Aside from his obvious singing talent, Allen also had the advantage of being easily likeable throughout the entire series. The support which turned out for his homecoming was visual proof of this, but no doubt this overwhelming backing was there all along. OK Magazine even cited Katie Holmes as an A-list celebrity fan of the singer – so why was everyone so surprised at his win?
Perhaps it was the fact that odds-on favourite, Adam Lambert, also had an A-list fan, on the form of slightly more outspoken pop songstress, Katy Perry. Lambert also received a huge amount of praise from the judges each week. Entertainment weekly stated that Allen won the contest “underdog style”, and maybe this is why as it came as a shock to some of the nation.
Meanwhile, NY Daily News tried to suggest that there may have been more political forces at place. Lambert was much more likely to be considered the most ‘blue state’ of the two, due to his eccentric style, guyliner and ambiguous sexuality, whilst Allen came from a strong Christian background, and was see as much more ‘clean cut’. Rather than American Idol being based simply on musical talent, or even just basic preference from those who watch with one eye on the TV screen whilst playing Cheeky Bingo, it was seen a politically motivated battle in some viewers eyes. The political climate in 2009 should still have swung the vote in favour of Lambert, although it is worth baring in mind that perhaps blue-state would-be supporters may have been less likely to vote.
Therefore, despite much talk of Allen’s surprising win, it seems that the singer had much of what was needed to pull off such a victory from the very beginning. Perhaps his continuing success since the end of the competition might serve as proof that Allen’s fame and success was simply a long time coming.