“American Idol” Season 8 winner Kris Allen shrugs off the fact that his two favorites for this year’s winner — Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams — didn’t make it to the final showdown. “It is what it is. The people in the finale are great, too — Lauren and Scotty. I can’t imagine going through what they’re going through at that age, so kudos to them,” adds the 25-year-old peformer, speaking of 16-year-old Lauren Alaina and 17-year-old Scotty McCreery.
“She’s a sweetheart, really nice. When they sang that Carrie Underwood and Randy Travis song together, Lauren just blew away everyone in the audience,” adds Kris — who happens to be Lauren’s favorite past “Idol” winner.
Kris says he’ll be at both tonight’s (5/24) final performance show and tomorrow night’s (5/25) crowning of this season’s “Idol” as an audience member. “There’s always a party after the results show and I think I’ll go to that,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun, and great to see all the people you don’t get to see very often.”
The singer-songwriter will be among the stellar lineup for this Sunday’s (5/29) National Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C., performing before an estimated crowd of some 300,000 — and millions more watching live, here and abroad.
“That will be, without question, the biggest crowd I’ve sung for — by far,” he notes with a laugh. “They asked me and, when you think of something like that, it’s kind of a no-brainer. I’m really excited to be out there that day.” Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna cohost, with a lineup that also includes General Colin Powell, “Idol’s” Pia Toscano, Forest Whitaker, Dianne Wiest, B.B. King, Jason Ritter, Hayley Westenra, Daniel Rodriguez, Yolanda Adams and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Kris will sing “God Bless the U.S.A.” at the event honoring those who have served or are serving in the military, particularly those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Lending a particularly emotional personal note to the event, Kris notes that his wife’s brother is just now coming back from Iraq. “Everyone’s really happy. I’d love to have him at the concert, but he’ll probably want to just be home chilling with his wife.”
ALSO: Kris found out recently that “Still Got Tonight,” which he cowrote, and which has become a single for Matthew Morrison, is going to be performed by Morrison in [TONIGHT'S]
the June 8 season finale of “Glee.” “I met Matt not too long ago and we had lunch together. He’s a really nice guy. And then I hung out on the set of ‘Glee.’ That was really cool. That it’s in the finale is even better. It’s nice to be on this side of things, for once,” he adds, speaking of his behind-the-scenes role.
Kris has been focused on writing songs for himself of late, in anticipation of recording another album, soon. He tells us, “I’m hoping that — it should be — out sometime this year. If not, I’ll look at it as a failure.”