Although much of the finals have seemed like a formality on the way to crowning Adam Lambert this year's "American Idol" champ, to hear one of the singer's friends tell it, Lambert wasn't so sure he was going to make it to next week.
"I knew he would be there; it wasn't an issue at all," said Lee Cherry, one of the co-creators of "The Zodiac Show," a Los Angeles cabaret revue that has frequently featured Lambert. "It was just a question of whether it would be Danny [Gokey] or Kris [Allen]. But I talked to Adam last night, and he's over the moon. He can't believe it ... but he genuinely didn't know how this was going to go. For all he knew, he was going to go home last night."
Cherry, who is hoping to go to next Wednesday's finale to cheer Lambert on, said he's happy that Allen is the other finalist. "At this point, it's just a demographics contest," he said. "As far as pure vocals, it's not a contest, but it's just a question of people's taste. Kris represents one kind of person, and Adam represents a different kind of person. My personal opinion is that Adam will win."
Though he spent time hanging out with Lambert on Wednesday, Cherry said he didn't watch his DVR recording of the show until later, when he caught Katy Perry's sneaky shout-out to Lambert in the guise of his name plastered across her satiny Elvis cape. "I don't know if he knew that was going to happen," he said. "But that's what Adam has going for him: All the legit people in the business really like him, and that's definitely a first for 'American Idol.' "
Another person who was overjoyed at the news and very proud of Lambert's advancement was Kathie Urban, executive producer of San Diego's Metropolitan Educational Theatre, where Lambert got his start on the stage as a child and which was featured in the home-visit segment on Wednesday's show.
"I think it's hard to know what will happen," Urban said. "The West Coast and East Coast seem like they're Adam fans, but then for middle America, Adam's a bit edgy and rock and roll, so that makes me a little nervous."
Urban said friends of hers who have never voted for or even watched "Idol" have pledged to get behind Lambert, who she praised for spending time with the MET kids last week. "Those kids will remember that for the rest of their lives," she said. "He told me one thing he realized as this has gone on and exploded is that he has a great responsibility as a role model to young people. He told them to not be afraid to be who you are and be one of those creative, artistic kids."
Lambert's legion of fans, the self-proclaimed "glamberts," responded in force to his advancement as well, posting numerous comments on MTV's report about Wednesday's results show.
"Adam fans have GOT to rally!!!" wrote Guinea. "Kris fans are doing that. That's why he's where he is. He's got more talent than Danny. But Adam's got more talent in his little finger than both of the other 2 put together. I think Gokey fans will back Kris. This could be another Daughtry upset. BEWARE!!! Adam Lambert is #1. We gotta get it together and vote next week! Adam has GOT TO win!"
Dmitch had a more reflective take on the showdown, pointing out Lambert's long theater career and experience on the stage. "Adam in my opinion will last much longer, his entire life has been devoted to what he loves and reflects upon him as an artist," the commenter wrote. " ... There's that line between good and GREATNESS and Kris does not (in my opinion) have what it takes to be a musical legend. Adam is one of the only people I've ever heard in my life be able to sing a Michael Jackson song and actually own it ... his vocal range is astounding."
While a number of respondents said they were hoping for a tie, MCarpo had no doubt how things were going to end up: "Talent-wise, this is the most lopsided finale since Fantasia/ Diana DeGarmo," Carpo wrote. "Kris will be playing the county-fair circuit this time next year."
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