LOS ANGELES (AP) — Folksy singer Kris Allen is the new “American Idol,” turning judges’ favorite Adam Lambert into an also-ran.
Host Ryan Seacrest said on Wednesday’s finale that nearly 100 million votes were cast for the finalists. The 23-year-old Allen, a student from Conway, Ark., bested the 27-year-old Lambert, a theater actor from San Diego.
The two-hour finale included performances by the Black Eyed Peas, Cyndi Lauper, Carlos Santana and Rod Stewart. Lambert performed with Kiss and Allen dueted with Keith Urban.
Before the announcement, the two finalists dueted on “We are the Champions” with the surviving members of Queen.
Allen gets a record contract along with his “American Idol” title.