Recap of American Idol Finale Show with Kris Allen Named Winner

American Idol Recap: The Final Moments of Season Eight

This season of American Idol started with a girl in a bikini and ended with a bona fide surprise ending. So in some ways, Wednesday's two-hour finale — which packed in performances from Cyndi Lauper, KISS, Queen, the Black Eyed Peas, and all of the year's top 13 — was the perfect culmination.

You're already telling me what you think of the winner, but what did you make of Wednesday's blowout finale? To see some of my thoughts, flip through some pictures, and chat about the show, just read more.

  • I'm sure finding out you've won Idol is always a surprise, but Kris looked truly shocked (and later said as much in the press room). It was funny to watch his reaction having just seen the clip of him being modest at his audition — even as the winner, he seemed so humble.
  • Kris had a great duet with Keith Urban relatively early in the show, but from then on, I felt like the show morphed into Adam Lambert Sings With His Musical Heroes Night. I mean, KISS? Queen? He had to just be in heaven. And honestly, between that and Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" playing over his "Idol journey" clips, it seemed enough like Adam's night that I was genuinely surprised when Kris was announced as the winner.
  • As for the other duets: Megan Joy, Michael Sarver, and Steve Martin get points for blowing my (low) expectations out of the water — though I might credit that mostly to Steve Martin. I would actually download Allison's performance with Cyndi Lauper. And Danny Gokey and Lionel Richie cracked me up, because that song was so lovey that I thought the two of them might consider jetting off to a private island somewhere when it was done.

  • But! The best duet of the night has to go to Kara and Bikini Girl, which probably gets my vote for best Idol moment of the season, right down to Kara briefly baring her bikini body. That's the greatest thing Kara's done on the show, hands down, and for that alone I'd support bringing her back for season nine.
  • Speaking of awards, I was really hoping we were done with Golden Idols, but this year, it seemed like little more than an excuse to bring three of the season's most memorable characters — Bikini Girl, Tatiana, and Nick/Norman — back for a victory lap. And you know what? I was totally thrilled to see Nick/Norman. There's really no better word for it: He's a character. The best part of Tatiana's appearance, meanwhile, was Ruben Studdard's "wait, what?" look in the audience.
  • Is it weird that Matt Giraud didn't get a duet — or even much of a spotlight in that Santana performance? I also wish Anoop had gotten his own duet, like Lil did — they were eliminated the same week, after all.
  • Speaking of Fergie solo or with the Peas: Where would you rank Fergie with the Idol season eight girls? And oh, by the way, if your TV cut out for a second, it's apparently because Fergie sang a lyric with "sh*t" in it.
  • What can I say? I love me some snappy suits on the Idol boys, so I was happy to see them back in action.
  • I'm assuming Rod Stewart's appearance was a present for all the moms who had to watch the show with their tweenage kids all season long.
  • And since I still have "No Boundaries" stuck in my head, I'm wondering: Could you actually imagine Kris's version on the radio?

That's it for season eight! Talk back about Wednesday's show, the results, and anything else Idol-related in the comments!

Photos courtesy of Fox