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Nearly 100 million votes were cast during the finale, setting a new world record for a televised singing competition.Unlike the previous season, the winning margin was undisclosed.Kris stated that "If I had not made it through in American Idol, I would have gone back to college and gotten my business degree." Allen realized during college that he wanted to play music professionally and began trying to write music.He played his first gig at a local bar in downtown Conway during his sophomore year, and he went on to drop out of college in the middle of his junior year to follow his dream of becoming a professional musician.Cowell lauded it as Allen's "best performance so far." Allen subsequently received a signed record and other gifts from the original artists, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.On the second Top 7 show, Allen brought back the guitar for the fourth time and performed an original, acoustic version of "She Works Hard for the Money", complete with bongo drums and the band on stage.
Fox and AT&T have stated that they "stand by the outcome" and are "absolutely certain" that "Kris Allen is the American Idol".Allen's Idol coronation song, "No Boundaries" and his version of "Heartless" both charted within the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. Additionally, he taught himself to play the guitar at age 13, and also plays the piano.Allen's post-Idol self-titled album was released on November 17, 2009, by Jive Records. His musical influences, as stated in his Idol confessionals, include the Beatles, Jamie Cullum, Jason Mraz, Pat Monahan, John Mayer and Michael Jackson.After winning Idol, Allen made his Billboard Hot 100 debut with five songs charting within the top 100.