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Lambert vs. Allen Idol matchup has Gokey factor

LOS ANGELES Flash back to last season s American Idol finale, the duel of the Davids, and Simon Cowell s confident proclamation.

You came out here tonight to win, and what we have witnessed is a knockout, he told David Archuleta who then proceeded to lose to David Cook.

Could Adam Lambert, cooed over by Cowell and the show s other judges Tuesday, as he has been all season, be another front-runner who falters? Could low-key Kris Allen swipe victory Wednesday from the bold theater actor who brought guyliner to family TV?

The answer may be found among Danny Gokey s supporters, according to Paula Abdul: Gokey s elimination after making it to the top three sent them in search of a new favorite.

After the third one leaves, you wonder where do the votes go from that third contestant, the Idol judge said backstage after Tuesday s singing showdown.

Allen and Gokey seem more aligned than Lambert, in both style and substance. Allen, 23, of Conway, Ark., and Gokey, 29, of Milwaukee, shunned Lambert s elaborate staging and wardrobe when they performed, and both have traditional public images.

Allen is a married college student and has worked as a church worship leader. Gokey, a widower, is a church music director.

Lambert, 27, of Los Angeles, has largely kept his life under wraps, saying I know who I am when asked to dish. His talent, however, is there for all to see.

That was the best I ve ever heard you sing ever! Abdul exulted Tuesday.

Allen said Monday that he hoped the outcome isn t decided by having the Christian vote.

I hope it has to do with your talent and the performance that you give and the package that you have. It s not about religion and all that kind of stuff, he said.

Lambert concurred, saying, It s about music. That s really important to keep in mind.

Allen got respect from the judges Tuesday on that score, even if Cowell s praise for his version of Ain t No Sunshine sounded like a consolation prize.

When your name was announced last week, I wasn t sure that America had made the right choice, Cowell said. I absolutely take all that back now after that performance.

Will the acerbic Brit find himself recanting again after the final audience vote?

Fox is a unit of News Corp.

On the Net:

http://www.americanidol.com/

/AP-CS-05-20-09 0720EDT

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