Kris Allen wins American Idol Season 8 (video)

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The underdog, the dark horse, wins the nation over!

Kris Allen, the 23-year-old college student from Conway, Arkansas beat theatrical powerhouse Adam Lambert in the season finale of American Idol.

A hundred million votes were cast overall, Ryan Seacrest told the Nokia Theatre audience and viewers watching at home.

Kris wins a record deal, although this won’t be the last time we hear from crowd favorite Adam either.

The night before the results show, the two finalists faced off for their final performances wherein they sang three songs each.

In the first round, Adam performed Mad World by Tears For Fears, a song he sang during the earlier stage of the competition; while Kris sang Bill Withers’s Ain’t No Sunshine.

In round two, Idol creator Simon Fuller picked Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come for Adam, and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On for Kris.

Then the two performed No Boundaries. It was the final song they sang on Tuesday, and left the final impression in the audience’s mind as everyone went off to dial or text their votes.

Kara DioGuardi, who has worked in the past with Kelly Clarkson and co-wrote Ashlee Simpson’s hit single Pieces of Me, is credited as co-writer of the victory anthem.

Before the results were announced, Kris and Adam had a moment of musical camaraderie: They joined together with Queen on the rock anthem We Are the Champions.

“Adam did win. So did Kris. Nobody lost tonight. These are two champions,” said Paul Stanley backstage.

And thanks to some performances by well-known artists: KISS joining Adam for Detroit Rock City and, for an encore, Rock and Roll All Nite; Jason Mraz joining Anoop Desai and Alexis Grace on I’m Yours; a duet featuring Danny Gokey and Lionel Richie and a lot more.

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