The British Had Their Own “Adam Lambert vs. Kris Allen”

Things aren’t look that great for Adam Lambert going into tonight’s American Idol finale against Kris Allen. According to DialIdol – a website that “measures the busy signal to determine which Idols are getting the most votes” – the predictions for tonight’s finale are “too close to call.”

People have been pegging the final as yet another “Red State/Blue State” battle. In one corner, you have Kris Allen, a married Christian from the Bible Belt. In the other, you have Adam Lambert, an eyeliner-wearing glamour god from Cali who could become the first “openly gay” Idol.

But if you look to Britain’s X FactorSimon Cowell‘s British version of Idol – you can find an antecedent for this “Clash of the Titans.” In the 2007 season of X Factor, the last pair standing couldn’t have been more different. You had the platinum blond Welshman Rhydian Roberts, a flamboyant, classically-trained opera singer who, like Lambert, was criticized by Cowell for being “theatrical.” Actually, Rhydian makes Adam Lambert seem like an introverted, guitar-strumming singer-songwriter. After all, Adam Lambert never had a performance quite as camp as this one.

Or this one.

Rhydian’s competition was the fresh-faced Scotsman Leon Jackson, who, like Allen, had a perfectly pleasant voice but was well, boring.

Guess who won X Factor that year?

Just sayin’, folks. But there’s an interesting addendum: Rhydian went on to become a platinum-selling success, and Leon Jackson? He was dropped by his label.

In other news:

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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