Kris Allen Triumphs on 'American Idol'—in More Ways Than One
If you are one of the 28.8 million people who watched American Idol's season finale Wednesday night, you already know that Kris Allen, the 23-year old worship leader from Conway, Arkansas, beat out Hollywood rocker and musical theater vet Adam Lambert for the eighth season's title. Many saw this final battle as yet another chapter in the red-state/blue-state struggle, pitting Christian wholesomeness against bombastic worldliness. But in the days following Allen's surprise victory, the conversation has shifted from questions of whether devoted Christian voters propelled Allen past the season-long frontrunner, to the strong friendship the two performers have forged during the season.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the role of faith on American Idol. While contestants like Allen may benefit from "the Christian vote," non-Christian performers like Adam Lambert have been similarly embraced by voters who do not share his worldview. By allowing him into their homes (via TV) for the past few ...1