When I watched the results show for Group 2 of American Idol Season 8‘s Top 36 yesterday (for the third time), besides Adam Lambert who always ‘steals’ the spotlight and Allison Iraheta, I could very well remember Kris Allen‘s performance after having been voted to the Top 12. The repeat was actually much better than during the performance show the night before; he was on pitch, more relaxed and even more charming. I’m beginning to love him. Having said that, this post is a tribute to Kris Allen and a sort of introduction to one of the least featured contestant this season. He may not have carried with him a tear-jerker backstory but he is one tough contender.
Born on June 21, 1985 (Jacksonville, Arkansas), Kristopher Neil Allen, married, is a singer/songwriter from Conway, Arkansas. He is a business major student of the University of Central Arkansas.
His passion for music began when he taught himself to play the guitar at age 13, and he has since learned the piano, viola and ukulele. His talents and soulful voice have given him the opportunity to perform at numerous music venues as well as the chance to share his gifts and faith with many of the under privileged and oppressed people of the world. His travels to Spain, Morocco, Thailand, Burma, Mozambique and South Africa have influenced his music and inspired him to share it with others. Kris debuted his first full-length CD, “Brand New Shoes”, in September 2007. The album spotlights his musical capabilities in songwriting, guitar, piano and vocals. Kris is known for his laidback and unassuming personality, and his music itself is full of depth, energy and soul. (source)
He first auditioned for American Idol in Louisville singing A Song For You by Leon Russell and advanced to the Hollywood rounds. While his first Hollywood round (individual) audition was not featured (well, he got at least 15 seconds I think), his group’s (White Chocolate) performance in the following round was highlighted and shown first. Together with Matt Giraud, India Morrison and Justin Williams, his group has one of the best performances during that round and probably the best that I’ve seen. They did some great harmony to Jackson 5’s I Want You Back.
Unfortunately, he was still not fairly featured even during the last round of Hollywood auditions. Even then, I thought he was brilliant with Michael Buble’s Everything, oozing with much soul.
His Top 36 performance was a surprise for the many and the lack of enough exposure made the voting America wonder who is this Kris Allen. And the America was impressed with his performance of Michael Jackson’s The Man In The Mirror and gave him a slot in the Top 12. Here’s an interview he did with MTV.com, discussing about Simon’s comment among others.
Kris Allen is not just another pretty, commercial face in the competition. He is a capable, unassuming and soulful singer that America might want for their Idol this year.