Why Adam Lambert, David Cook Were Absent From ‘American Idol’ Finale

Cook had a previous engagement, while Lambert is on vocal rest before tour.

It was an unprecedented gathering of “American Idol” royalty . On Wednesday night, all but one of the former “American Idol” winners took to the Nokia Theatre stage to sing a song in honor of departing judge and mentor Simon Cowell .

Lined up side by side were Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen and Taylor Hicks giving a rousing performance of Delta Goodrem’s “Together We Are One.” The “Idol” icons — mostly dressed in black — were joined by nearly two dozen finalists from past seasons, including such favorites as Jason Castro, David Archuleta, Michael Johns, Bo Bice and Elliot Yamin.

But where was season seven winner [artist id="3080428"]David Cook[/artist], the only champ missing from the crew? Cook explained that he was unable to attend because of a previous commitment to a cancer charity event in Kansas City. During his time on the show, Cook famously paid tribute to his late brother, who was battling the disease during the singer’s “Idol” run. He did tweet his congratulations to winner Lee DeWyze though, writing, “Congrats to Lee Dewyze! So sorry I couldn’t be there to see all my fellow idols. I’m there in spirit!”

Also conspicuously absent was last year’s runner-up, [artist id="3188063"]Adam Lambert[/artist]. Earlier in the day, a report surfaced that Lambert had been dropped from the number because he failed to attend rehearsals. Later it was reported that he’d been ordered by his doctor to rest his vocals. It was also reported that he’d not been invited to attend.

Lambert vigorously denied all those rumors in a fiery series of tweets, explaining, “Would have loved 2 have been at the Idol Finale to wish Simon farewell and support the finalists, but this tour for my fans is my priority.” He later elaborated, “I have now just been made aware of more gossip and rumormill: First of all, I was never asked to appear on the finale in any capacity. 2nd: I DID come down w a throat bug most likely caught on my flight back from this past weekend’s concert in Boston.” He also explained that he’d been put on vocal rest on Tuesday after tour rehearsals.

Lambert also lashed out at what he considered the irresponsible reports on his absence. “Sad that I’m forced to defend myself bout situation no one pointing fingers knew any factual details about. I’m working so hard on this tour!! All i ever heard was: ‘you’ve not been asked to perform on finale. Would you like to sit in the audience?’ Me: sorry-Too much work to do today.”

Much of the drama was created by PopEater.com, which claimed an exclusive earlier in the day on the “bedlam” behind Lambert’s alleged no-show. A rep for Lambert lambasted that report, telling EW.com that the story about Lambert failing to show up to rehearsals was full of “false information.”

Spokesperson Roger Widynowski said that like most “Idol” finalists, Lambert was approached by producers about being part of the alumni tribute to Cowell, but that the singer came down with a case of laryngitis over the weekend, and with his “Glam Nation” tour set to begin on June 4, he was placed on vocal rest. “He was never confirmed to do the show. He never skipped rehearsal,” said Widynowski. Though he disagreed with claims that it was diva behavior that led to Lambert’s absence, Widynowski did confirm that the glammy singer sent out a provocative tweet on May 19 announcing that he would not be at the finale. “Unfortunately not performing on ‘Idol’ Finale,” Lambert wrote. “Guess they have plenty of artists booked.”

Get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.

Often guilty, never convicted. 15 years behind bars at MTV News.