Simon Cowell gave the first round to Kris Allen and the second to Adam Lambert but chose to go silent on the final stage and let America determine it.
Tuesday, May 19 would be the last chance for Adam Lambert and Kris Allen to prove to America why they deserve the title of "American Idol". The final showdown required them to sing three pieces, one picked by producer Simon Fuller, one chosen by themselves from one of the songs they had performed in the season, and another one is the winner's song which is co-written by judge Kara DioGuardi.
Kris won the coin toss last week, and he chose to go second. The show begins with Ryan Seacrest naming the final two "The Acoustic Rocker" versus "The Glam Rocker". A montage of them talking about their journey from the audition to the last stage was played before the performance.
Adam began his set with the song that had garnered him a big applause before, "Mad World" by Tears for Fears. Randy Jackson said it was an A plus performance. Both Kara and Paula Abdul raved on the performance but Simon Cowell said, "It was a little bit overtheatrical."
Kris sang Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" with piano on and ended it with a falsetto. Randy deemed it Kris' best performance of the season. Kara said, "If you can't feel a Kris Allen performance and he doesn't move you, there's something wrong with you." Paula loved the performance and Simon said, "When your name was announced last week, I wasn't sure that America had made the right choice. I absolutely take all that back now after that performance." Simon then declared the first round belongs to Kris.
Adam then took the stage again for a rendition of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come", a Simon Fuller's choice. Randy liked the performance a lot, thinking it was incredible. Kara thought it was his best performance of the season. "That was the best I've ever heard you sing ever!" Paula raved. "I know with every fiber of my being that you will be iconic." Simon said that Adam was back in the game.
Fuller chose "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye for Kris. Randy didn't like the fact that it was light for such stage of competition. Kara and Paula focused their comment on the song, with the latter saying that Kris made Marvin proud. Simon agreed with Randy, calling it "was like three friends in their bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye." He gave the second round to Adam.
The winning song is called "No Boundaries" and Adam got to debut it live. Randy called it "pitchy" and it was not his favorite performance of Adam's. Kara was happy on the fact that her song got sung by Adam. Paula said, "Adjectives can't express what you've brought to the show." Simon said, "I'm not going to judge that song."
Kris brought his version of "No Boundaries" a little slower than Adam's but he too, wasn't able to pull off the song. Randy thought the key was not right, too high for Kris and Kara gave a nod to this. Paula told Kris to be proud of himself while Simon thought that the first performance was the best.
On the final note, Kris said "Me and Adam said we're not competing, we're just coming out to put on a good show tonight." The winner of season 8 will be determined by audience votes on Wednesday, May 20.