Adam Lambert has received a standing ovation from Simon Cowell, Michael Phelps comparisons from Paula Abdul and a Beatlemania-esque reception when he returned to his high school last week as the conquering TV hero.
He has wowed with his versatility and mastering of multiple genres, evidenced by unforgettable renditions of songs such as Ring Of Fire, Mad World, Play That Funky Music and Cryin'.
Still, the 27-year-old theatre actor from Southern California, who has dominated in the eighth American Idol season, has one obstacle to overcome before he can fulfill the destiny so many have predicted for him: Kris Allen.
The 23-year-old Arkansas native, whose innovative re-arrangement of Kanye West's Heartless gave him the edge over Danny Gokey last week, is the last of more than 100,000 hopefuls to stand in Lambert's way of attaining this year's Idol title -- even Adam conceded he's in for a fight.
"He's an incredibly gifted musician," Lambert said of his competition. "He's got a beautiful voice, seamless. He's likable because he's a really good person. He's genuine, and people pick up on that."
We'll see who America picks up on in the American Idol finale, which airs Tuesday on Fox at 8/7c.