“American Idol” will be crowning a winner Wednesday night based on the tens of millions of votes expected to flood the popular singing contest.
And while some are wondering whether the faith – or lack thereof – of the final two contestants will play a role in the final outcome, most would rather it not, particularly finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen.
“I hope that having the Christian vote does not help with anything,” Allen told a throng of reporters gathered Monday outside the Nokia Theatre in Hollywood.
“I hope it has to do with the talent and the performance that you give. It's not about religion and all that kind of stuff,” added the married college student, who has worked as a worship leader at the New Life Church in his hometown of Conway, Ark.
While those who know Allen well have described him as a humble young man with a heart for Christian service, Lambert has kept his beliefs, as well has his sexual orientation, largely under wraps.
And that’s likely because Lambert views “American Idol” as “a singing competition, not a church thing.”
“I would hope people vote based on what they like to hear,” the 27-year-old theater actor from San Diego said Monday alongside Allen, who “totally” agreed with him. “I don't think it has anything to do with your religious background, what color you are, gender. It doesn’t have anything to do with that.”
Though Lambert has long been a heavy favorite, Allen has made leaps and bounds over the past several weeks that have surprised judges and viewers alike. Last week, only one million votes out of 88 million separated Allen from Lambert, and Tuesday’s part of the season finale left the two still neck and neck.
But with supporters of second-runner up Danny Gokey now up for grabs, many believe the stage has been set for a possible upset.
On Wednesday, Lambert and Allen will perform three songs a piece: a favorite performance from this past season; a tune selected by "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller and a song co-written by Kara DioGuardi, the show's fourth judge.
The two-hour finale will kick off 8 p.m. ET.