Arkansas Town Celebrates Kris Allen’s American Idol Win

The first syllable of Kris Allen’s name was all anyone needed to hear. The rest was drowned out by shrieks of joy in the “American Idol” winner’s hometown.

Kris Allen

Allen’s unlikely victory Wednesday night delighted the spirited crowd that gathered in downtown Conway to watch the FOX competition’s finale on a big screen. When Allen was announced as the winner, fans shouted their approval in a delirious scene that included fireworks overhead.

“I just couldn’t stop jumping up and down. I was so excited — and just screaming,” said 20-year-old Tina Banks. “And now my throat hurts.”

Banks and her mother came downtown at 5:30 p.m local time — the results weren’t announced until around 9.

Jamie Butler, 32, was there as well. She said she started watching “American Idol” this season and wasn’t about to miss Allen’s chance to win.

“I was very, very, very nervous. I mean, sweaty hands, you know,” she said. “And then they announced it, and it was just like … eruption.”

Allen, 23, was the surprise winner over fellow finalist Adam Lambert.

The crowd was gathered at the same park downtown where Allen performed a couple weeks ago during a homecoming trip to Arkansas. A crowd of around 20,000 showed up for that visit.

“At his home concert, I was the first one out here at 10:30 in the morning to get a front row spot while my kids were in school. I ditched them and I came,” said 44-year-old Lisa Eason. “My family all over the country — I’ve been mailing out T-shirts and all kinds of stuff to them.”

On Wednesday, the crowd could have probably been measured in the hundreds, and fans had a hard time seeing the big screen at first because of the sun’s glare early in the evening. But it was dark out by the time the winner was announced, and the crowd in this small town about 20 miles north of Little Rock went home happy.

“Now I can stay in Conway,” Eason joked. “Because it’s not boring anymore.”



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  • I’m a mother and a devout Christian, too. As TV viewer, I recognize that American Idol is a singing talent contest open to all, regardless of orientation or religion. It is not supposed to be a popularity contest for class of persons in society. Among Season 8’s contenders, Adam Lambert was consistently the amazing artist and the best singer, gifted with a powerful voice. America’s vote for Kris, or America’s vote against Adam, seems to be a contemptuous hate vote against sectors of America that Adam stands for. ADAM LAMBERT DESERVED TO WIN. Even Kris Allen himself knows this in his Christian heart, so much so that as soon as he was unexpectedly handed the undeserved crown, he contrarily declared to the public that “Adam deserves this…” — righteously adhering to glaring truth and instinctively repudiating the ridiculous vote results that are far from the truth. You could actually count the seconds before perplexed Kris acquiesced and finally received the crown, but only after the Adam graciously encouraged by placing his arm around his shoulder. Adam Lambert is the true winner! What is wrong with America? Or what is wrong with this American Idol TV show?

  • Beth

    Whoever deserves to win in a competition is always a matter of opinion. Of course, we always feel that our favorite deserves to win otherwise why is he our favorite for? In the end, the winner (in AI at least) is the one more people can appreciate musical-wise and as a person. I PREFER KRIS ALLEN because his music makes me feel relaxed, he sings with just his guitar or piano yet people listen and they listen well. I think that’s what gave him the edge over Adam who always relied on his ability to sing high notes (with tendency to overdo it sometimes) and his theatrics (dry ice and eerie backgrounds), that in the end it’s just not enough anymore. Kris puts his heart and soul into his songs, and hope that people will appreciate it. And they did, BIG TIME. For me, KRIS IS THE AMERICAN IDOL 2009. He was voted by close to a 100 million voters, I don’t think they are all from Arkansas because the state has only 3 million people. I’m not from Arkansas, and I love Kris Allen and his music. So does a lot of people I know. And we’re not tweens or Christians, and we don’t hate gay people. WE JUST LOVE KRIS ALLEN MORE.

  • Helen

    Kris is totally inferior to Adam musically. Kris will always be known as the cheater who stole Adam’s title. The universe will give kris what he deserves for what he has done. It is shameful.