As American Idol celebrates its final season, Kris Allen was invited back to help judge and report on the audition rounds. Kris attended the initial and celebrity judging rounds back in his hometown area of Little Rock, AR. The contestants and Kris both did Arkansas proud, as the city was featured in several audition episodes. The youthful-looking 2009 champ took exception to being called "sir" by the teen-aged hopefuls but was his usual congenial and charismatic self.
Memorable clips from the celebrity judges round included Kris holding a contestant's baby girl, a glimpse of him with his own family, and an impromptu duet as he directed the cameras to another contestant rehearsing in the famed acoustics of the restroom. All of the audition episodes are available for viewing on the American Idol site.
Idol's farewell has garnered plenty of supplemental media, including the following fun articles/interviews. (Of course the finale came up in the album release interviews as well - those can be found here.)
- Kris and other past finalists reflected on their Idol experience, revealing interesting insights, in this Vulture.com article.
- Kris, Clay Aiken, and Taylor Hicks all spoke about the final season and coming back for the auditions in a video featured onTVLine.
- In a wonderful essay posted at Yahoo! Kris writes in depth about his strategy and song choices while competing.
- Billboard took a look back at the audition videos of a number of successful contestants, including Kris, here.
- Billboard also reflected on past group round standouts, including Kris in the lovable White Chocolate quartet.
- HitFix did a fun piece on past Top 24 dance montages, with a special appreciation for Kris in all his dorkiness.
- American Idol's YouTube channel features Kris and Scotty McCreery discussing how they got on Idol and working with Ryan Seacrest.
- Kris shares a surprising pre-show ritual from his Idol days in this video tweeted by the show.
- Another awesome first-person essay was posted at Yahoo! - this one about surviving Rock Week.
- Kris and other former contestants choose favorites (their own performance, performance by someone else, judge in their season, judge not in their season) in this video from E! Online. And this video has a few more. And another.
- BuzzFeed collected comments from Kris and a host of former contestants on what Idol meant to them.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune reflects on the chance Idol gave to unknowns, features an interview with Kris.
Kris was also on hand for the American Idol panel as part of Fox's presentations at the Television Critics Association winter gathering in Los Angeles. Getty images from the panel and after-party can be found here. Jordin Sparks posted a sweet group photo here.
- Fox 24 - video interview, Kris reflects on what the finale is like
- The Hollywood Reporter - interview with show producer Nigel Lythgoe - fun paragraph about the WGWG number
- Examiner - Kris talks about Idol memories
- Video of Kris's performance with the other guys in the David Bowie tribute.
- Video of the opening number - Kris is in front, next to Melinda Doolittle.
- Ruben Jay Presents - video interview on finale night
- Just Jared and Huffington Post - articles on the Bowie tribute
- Vanity Fair - article on the end of Idol, opens with a comment from Kris
- Hollywire - video interview on red carpet