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

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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