After pulling off a shockeroo upset on "American Idol" over Adam Lambert, Kris Allen said, "The only thing I want to do is to be respected in the music industry and my music be respected. Whether that means selling albums or winning Grammys or just people liking your music — that's all I really want to do."
So far, only two of "American Idol's" eight champs have grabbed Grammys. Carrie Underwood won one of that award's four highest honors — best new artist (she's the only "Idol" contestant ever nominated in that race) — plus three trophies in the country categories. Kelly Clarkson has won two in the pop field.
Among "Idol" losers, seventh-place contestant Jennifer Hudson won a Grammy in February for best R&B album for her eponymous disc. Of course, she also has an Oscar, Golden Globes and slew of other golden statuettes.
Kris Allen won't be joining the above stars if two New York Times writers are correct in their assessments of his talent. Frank Rich calls him bland and Jon Caramanica adds, "At best, Mr. Allen is a harmless singer — he makes Kenny Loggins look tough. At worst, he’s indefensible, utterly lacking in texture and range and interpretive imagination."
But, oh, come on! Allen demonstrated impressive singing chops while crooning such numbers on stage as "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Heartless," which suggests that he has true promise that could lead to Grammy greatness someday.
In addition, Allen, personally speaking, is a winner in another, very appealing way. I agree with the assessment of Richard Rushfield, who says in the L.A. Times' Idoltracker blog, "Kris Allen, more than any winner since Carrie Underwood, brought the show back to its original promise, its central narrative; that all this could be given to someone truly plucked from the masses, and that they could take it all, live the fantasy, while remaining true to themselves. Kris, in the quiet power of his performance, and his humble, unmistakable personal goodness, gave the show back its heart and a story that will bring tears to the eyes of all who behold it for ages to come."