Kris! Adam! Simon! Randy! David! Ryan! Kara! American Idol's Morning-After Roundtable
No boundaries? Not for newly crowned American Idol Kris Allen. Or even Adam Lambert, despite (or, depending on who you ask, because of) his second-place finish in last night's finale.
While neither winner nor runner-up seemed as thrilled or outraged as their respective fan bases over America's choice of a new Idol, the emotional floodgates inched open this morning. The final two, along with judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi and last year's winner David Cook, opened up about the show's outcome, the ever-sappy winner's single and, yes, the Danny Factor to Ryan Seacrest—who let loose with what's sure to be a controversial opinion of his own.
"I was numb, I was totally numb, I had no idea what to feel," Allen told Seacrest on his radio show this morning. "Adam deserves this as much as I do. It was crazy, I never thought this would happen."
It seems the winner's incredulity didn't stop when the cameras did. Neither did the mutual lovefest between Allen and his one-time Idol roommate.
"I told him, I was like, 'You deserve this,' and he was like, 'No, you deserve this.' We love each other, man. We've been friends ever since the Top 36, we were in group two together, and we both made it. I'm really proud of him, and I know that he's really proud of me as well."
And while Allen said he wants "definitely to do the pop singer-songwriter thing" with his career, it will take some time for his reality coronation to sink in. He said he has "not at all" processed his win.
Failing to process right along with him is the angry Adam faction—of which, it should be noted, Lambert himself is not one.
"I couldn't be happier for Kris," the glam rocker said. "I really, really mean that. He's one of the most open-minded, embracing of all types of people person…He's just an old soul.
"I really was prepared for anything to happen. I knew it was such a tight race between the three of us—Danny [Gokey], him and I—and I just kinda was prepared, you know."
Plus, as Paula Abdul would and no doubt has said, Lambert is already a winner.
"You know, the whole thing for me in this competition is that it wasn't a competition. It was like a platform every week, an opportunity for me to get up and do my thing for everybody. It was fun, and it wasn't about, Oh, I'm gonna beat this guy or beat that girl, it was about, Oh, I get to stay on another week to do another thing."
As for whether his outsize image or refusal to address rumors of his sexuality played a part in his losing, Lambert said he was "a little worried about it" before his audition, but said he was fortunate that fans were quick to embrace him.
"I think there's always other things in the works, you know. It's about music, but it's also the personality of the artist, about how the artist looks, how the artist dresses, it's about all of it, it's a package deal."
As for how the Idol journey has changed Lambert, he says one small tweak has taken place.
"My dad thinks I'm cooler than I was beforehand."
Meanwhile, the question on everyone's mind and blog this morning is whether or not the best man won. For the PC-savvy Idol minds, the answer was yes.
Or rather, "yes, but…"
"I have to say I wasn't surprised, and I don't mean that with any disrespect to Adam," relinquished Idol titleholder Cook said. "I don't know that either one of them would have surprised me. I don't think it's the end for either one."
That covers best man. But what about best singer?
"I don't know. Singing is an aesthetic thing for me, it kind of depends on what you like. They're both great performers."
Count on Cowell to give a more straightforward answer.
"[Kris was] probably the right win in terms of being a nice guy. Was he the best singer in the competition? No.
"If you allow America to vote, you live with the vote. I wouldn't have said he was the best singer in the competition, though. I think he was like a little puppy dog."
He didn't have quite as kind words about the winner's single, however, which happened to be cowritten by fellow judge DioGuardi.
"By the way, how awful was that song, though?" he said of "No Boundaries."
"'Mountains, hurricanes, rivers, oceans…it's probably the most clichéd song I've ever heard in my life."
Fellow judge Randy Jackson agreed.
"Let's not talk about the song, Ryan. My mom said if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything."
For the defense…
"It's a song about dreams and attaining the impossible and what these kids go through to get this far is extraordinary," DioGuardi said, turning the conversation back to the boys.
"I think that they both won. For me, this was a very interesting year, because you had such different artists. You had the soft side of rock and the hard side of rock, and it really wasn't about winning, it's about, what's your preference?"
Still, she does think there was a deciding factor to the competition and it had nothing to do with Allen or Lambert.
"I think that the Danny vote probably swung the competition," she said. "If you were a Danny fan, you probably aligned more with Kris' music."
"Listen, I wasn't shocked, because I was also thinking Danny and Kris were kind of close in who their voters were. I think that's really what happened."
Asked where she sees the second-place artist fitting into the music scene, DioGuardi believes he has potential to follow in the successful footsteps of another Idol also-ran.
"You know, when I watched him with KISS, I almost thought, this guy could front a ridiculous rock band à la Daughtry—when you know it's Daughtry, but it's a band. He's such an incredible frontman. This is his thing, to be able to reach thousands and thousands of people in an arena-like setting. He has the voice for that. He's also learned how to pull it back and come from his heart."
Jackson, too, sees nothing but big things coming for Lambert, describing him as "Robert Pattinson from Twilight meets My Chemical Romance meets Guns 'N Roses."
"I actually think it's better for him that he came in second."
Oh, and about Seacrest's controversial weigh-in...put on the spot by Cowell (who else?) as to where he would rank Allen in the annals of American Idol winners, the host didn't exactly place him near the top.
"Probably in the middle," Seacrest said.
Falling below him? "Justin, Kelly," he presumably joked, before clarifying, "That year, that year. Who's won the show? I can't remember."
Also falling prey to Seacrest's discerning ear: "Ruben. Taylor Hicks."