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At the "American Idol" Season 8 Finale With Blake Lewis


Season 8 of "American Idol" premiered on January 13, 2009, and concluded on May 20, 2009. Judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson continued to judge the show's contestants, along with Ryan Seacrest as host. The season introduced Kara DioGuardi as the fourth judge on the panel. It was also Abdul's final season as a judge. Kris Allen, a native of Conway, Arkansas, was announced the winner of the competition on May 20, 2009, defeating runner-up Adam Lambert after nearly 100 million votes were cast. This was the second season where both of the final two contestants had been in the bottom three or two at least once before the finale, with the first being Season 3.

Season 8 saw numerous changes to the format of the show. There were 36 semi-finalists instead of 24, and 13 finalists instead of 12, 9 contestants chosen by the public, and 4 by the judges in a wild card round. Another addition was the "save", which was used on the top 7 results show to veto Matt Giraud's elimination.

Multiple contestants from this season were signed to record deals. This included winner Kris Allen, who was then signed to 19 Entertainment/Jive Records, runner-up Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai, Michael Sarver, and Mickey Guyton.

The Season 8 finale took place at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, located in downtown Los Angeles, California. While Shefik was employed as Technical Producer at TIME, he produced a video highlighting the "American Idol" pre-show red carpet event, where he secured Season 6 runner-up Blake Lewis as the correspondent. On the red carpet, Lewis beatboxed for the crowd and chatted with finalists across various seasons: Brandon Rogers (Season 6), Melinda Doolittle (Season 6), Michael Johns (Season 7), Mandisa (Season 5), Kimberley Locke (Season 2), Syesha Mercado (Season 7), and Kristy Lee Cook (Season 7).

Producer: Shefik

Last Updated: April 22, 2023

About Shefik

Celebrating over 25 years in the entertainment industry, Shefik has held senior-level positions at many Fortune 500 companies and celebrated brands, including IBM, NBCUniversal, and MTV World. He currently serves as a Technical Lead at NBCUniversal. His work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for TIME, The Washington Center, "Unsung" (TV One), and Broadway World. He is currently the Executive Producer and Host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Shefik presents Invocation", which is broadcast on over 20 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States, as well as the internationally distributed video series of the same name via Prime Video and other notable outlets.

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