Why did it happen? The Daily News has some theories. There's also a poll — where "Adam's look didn't appeal to Middle America" is currently winning, with "Adam's sexuality played a role" coming in second. Isn't "Adam's sexuality played a role" just a blunter way of saying "Adam's look didn't appeal to Middle America."
I think there may have been a sense among many of the hardcore voters — and they're the ones who matter, what with almost 100 million votes on the finale — that the American Idol should be a good role model for kids. In the final comparison between Kris and Adam, Kris Allen was the good boy whom they could picture as their own son or their high school boyfriend. That's the nature of the show.
Some of the voters surely thought that the idol, the role model, shouldn't be (or seem) gay, but I wouldn't get too bent out of shape about it. Adam Lambert did extraordinarily well and was embraced and eagerly loved. I didn't see any nasty homophobia on line that was about trying to make him lose — or win (there was no equivalent of the "vote for the worst" campaigns that in previous years have raged among the show's haters). And Kris was really sweet and natural standing alongside Adam week after week and talking about what good friends they are and so forth. That has been part of his role modeling.
IN THE COMMENTS: 2 gay males — Treacle and Palladian — make the same point: They prefer the Kris type. [Is Treacle gay? He hasn't be explicit.]