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Does Lampert's American Idol loss matter? History shows runner up does better.
Given the glam-rocker's unique persona, his strong fan base and the massive exposure he's gotten, he may be as likely as any "American Idol" winner to achieve that elusive stardom the show tries so hard to achieve.
Not to take anything from Allen, the fresh-faced, soulful Arkansas crooner who surprised many — and himself, to judge by his stunned expression — by taking the crown. His victory showed he has both the musical chops and the broad-based appeal to be a star, too.
"It doesn't really matter if you win," said Diane Warren, the Grammy-winning songwriter who's written for Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Mary J. Blige, not to mention "Idol" alums like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. "It's all about what you do after the show."
It's well known that an "Idol" victory does not a star make. Kelly Clarkson, the first-season winner, became a pop radio staple; Ruben Studdard, the next year, did not. Fourth-season winner Carrie Underwood is arguably the reigning high priestess of country music; the next season's winner, Taylor Hicks, is set to play Teen Angel in the Broadway production of "Grease."
As for the also-rans, Clay Aiken, who lost to Studdard, became a much bigger star. Chris Daughtry, who came in fourth the year Hicks won, sold more than 1 million copies of his self-titled album after five weeks, the fastest-selling debut rock album in history. And just ask Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson, who came in seventh in season 3, if there's life after an "Idol" loss.
For now, all that may be cold comfort to Lambert fans, many of whom woke up Thursday morning feeling bereft.
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