Newsweek speculated that there was a Christian voting bloc that would affect the outcome of the American Idol finale -- and others pondered that there might be an anti-gay backlash against Adam. (Although no one but he knows for sure what his true inclinations are...)
I'm not going to suggest that there wasn't a whole bunch of conservative folks voting for Kris -- I'm certain there were, considering that Idol is one of the few shows that (for the most part) is family friendly and appeals to all ages. But honestly that would be a "Pro-Kris" vote, not an "Anti-Adam" vote.
Adam obviously was the more talented singer, with much greater range, and was more of a flamboyant showman. We know there is a contingent out there that likes that sort of performance -- David Cook was the more edgy performer and he prevailed. (Although that, arguably, may have been Revenge of the Rockers, inspired by the early exit of Chris Daughtry the previous season.)
But Kris was more universally appealing, and he also performed on both guitar and piano. When he was done with a song, everyone in the room could at least say -- well, that was nice, and often even more. With Adam, as much as I admired his vocal talents, I often fast-forwarded through the last minute of his performances. It was all too much, and I'm sure there were many others who felt that same way. And many were probably baffled by some of his performances. ("Ring of Fire" anyone?!)
But I truly believe that the tipping point for this contest had to be the female tweenage fans of the show. They were heart-broken last season when David Archuleta lost to the more talented edgy guy, and they were NOT going to let it happen this time! What else did they have to do last night? I would venture that many dialed, got through, hit flash, hit redial, got through, flash, redial, got through, flash, redial... For four... straight... hours.
In one way that bothered me this season -- that more talented singers were losing out to a teen heart-throb. But if that's what it took for the underdog -- the wholesome, came-out-of-nowhere boy next door -- to defeat the affectatious darling of the entertainment crowd and the media... Well, so be it. And maybe today's youth isn't as dumb as I thought.
Adam will still be huge. He didn't need to win. Plus, he can console himself: He never has to sing that "No Boundaries" song ever again!
Congratulations, Kris! May your career shine as brightly as your smile, and your life be filled with even more of the joy that is apparent with your wife and family.