Going into Tuesday night's (May 19) final "American Idol" singing round, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert feel pretty loose and confident about their chances.
Looking chummy and seeming relatively relaxed amid the typically chaotic final days of "Idol" madness, the two singers perched on stools Monday afternoon for a press conference, during which they talked about their chances, what impact religion might have on the final outcome and how they're dealing with the pressure. Both, however, remained coy about what songs they would sing in their bid to become this season's champ.
Asked if he were feeling the pressure amid the massive support he's gotten from his home state of Arkansas, Allen demurred. "For me, I don't feel too much pressure right now," Allen said. "We've made it. ... I do feel like we've accomplished exactly what we wanted to accomplish. It's not a competition anymore. We're going to go out there and have a good show."
Lambert laughed and admitted that "it is possible" that Allen could benefit from the shifting of votes from last week's eliminated contestant, Danny Gokey. But he joked that although he's not from Arkansas, both men have fans from all parts of the country. "We'll see what happens," he said.
Both admitted to being a bit nervous before the show, with Lambert putting his jitters at about a "five ... I'll get more nervous right before." Allen said he's at "five or six," which would probably crank up to a 10 by the time the show rolled around.
Though much has been made of how different the two finalists are, Lambert said they were also alike in the most important way. "We both love music," he explained. "I think we share that. We get along really well. We were roommates early on in the competition. We're different, I think, as artists."
Allen chimed in: "We're totally different as musicians, as artists. ... I think we both have a passion, we want to do this, we wanted to do this for a long time, and we're both accomplishing that right now."
In a season that has featured a top 10 dominated by singers with close ties to the church, Allen reiterated that viewers should be basing their votes on the quality of singing on the stage. "For me, I hope that having the 'Christian vote' doesn't help with anything," said Allen, who has worked as a worship leader at New Life Church in Conway, Arkansas. "I hope it has to do with your talent and the performance that you give and the package that you have. It's not about religion and all that kind of stuff."
Lambert agreed and hoped viewers would vote on what kind of music they like to hear. "I don't think it has anything to do with your religious background, what color you are, your gender. It doesn't have anything to do with that. It's about music. That's really important to keep in mind."
With nearly 20 years of stage experience in musicals and plays in San Diego and Los Angeles, reporters asked Lambert if his performance background might give him an advantage over Allen.
"This isn't theater, so I don't really see how it affects it at all," Lambert said. "I've had experience onstage performing, but so has Kris ... just in different venues. Kris has worked clubs and worked with a band. ... The thing that's really cool about this competition is that it's an equal-opportunity situation."
Though no one addressed the elephant in the room — the persistent reports about Lambert being the show's first openly gay contestant — the guyliner-loving singer once again brushed off the tabloid focus on his private life.
"Everybody knows everything now," Lambert said, in response to a question about what secrets each could reveal about the other. "It's been cracked open. I don't know if there's any more secrets."
Allen said he's been saving his voice by texting instead of talking too much on the phone, and Lambert vowed to order a "really big room-service breakfast" on Tuesday morning. "The butterflies come later," he said. "I need a firm foundation, so I'll have a big hearty breakfast."
Lambert also said it was "really cool" to see his name on Katy Perry's cape during her performance Wednesday night — though the close-up of the cape has reportedly been removed from the version for sale on iTunes.
Neither would spill on what they would sing Tuesday night. "They're good songs," Lambert offered. "I think everyone will like them."
"Idol" spokespeople have confirmed that season-four winner Carrie Underwood will sing her farewell cover of Mötley Crüe's "Home Sweet Home" on Tuesday, while Wednesday night's show will feature performances from Black Eyed Peas, Lionel Richie, Carlos Santana, Cyndi Lauper, Queen Latifah, Keith Urban, last season's winner David Cook and Jason Mraz, who announced his participation on his Web site.
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