Kris Allen is the new “American Idol.” Just under 100 million votes — a new world record according to “Idol” — were cast on Tuesday night, but in the end, it was 23-year-old Kris Allen, from Conway, Arkansas who walked home with the title of the Season 8 “American Idol.”
Kris appeared shocked as he learned the news, delivered by show host Ryan Seacrest, and he struggled to find words to express himself.
“Are you serious? Are you friggin’ serious? It feels good man, but Adam deserves this. I’m sorry,” Kris said as he looked around wide-eyed. “I don’t even know what to feel right now. This is crazy. Thank you so much.”
With the news still just sinking in, Ryan presented Kris with the new “American Idol” winner’s trophy, which was introduced and given out to “Idol” winners 1-7 earlier this year.
“What do you want to say now?” Ryan asked after Kris caught his breath.
“Oh my gosh. All these guys… I’m not here… Ah! I don’t even know,” Kris said pointing to his fellow Top 12 finalists, but struggling to find the words to complete his sentences.
“Thank you! You guys are the reason all of us are here,” Kris added, referencing the fans who voted. “Thank you so much.”
Adam gave Kris a quick handshake and hug before Kris sang the Kara DioGuardi co-written song, “No Boundaries.”
The two-hour “American Idol” Season 8 finale packed a punch at the end, but it thrilled throughout as producers paired up the Top 12 finishers with some big musical celebrities.
Allison Iraheta, who finished fourth, dueted with Cyndi Lauper on “Time After Time,” and Danny Gokey, who made it to third, sang a medley of Lionel Richie hits with the artist himself.
Other musical guests included Season 7 winner David Cook, The Black Eyed Peas, Queen Latifah, Jason Mraz, Santana, Steve Martin and Rod Stewart. And the final two also tackled several superstar duets.
Kris sang with country star Keith Urban, while Adam Lambert rocked out with KISS. Later, both sang “We Are the Champions” with Queen.
Tune into Access Hollywood on Thursday for all the action from backstage at the Season 8 finale!