Sure, countless millions watched the final performance showdown between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen on TV. But those in the audience at the Nokia Theatre in downtown L.A. got to see the show behind the showdown. What you missed:
1. The extent of Simon's wardrobe malfunction
Simon's tendency to keep one-button-too-many-anyway unbuttoned on his shirt went awry, with yet another button coming undone and basically exposing his torso to the audience of 7,000. Sure, Ryan teased him about it - and Simon quickly fixed it during the commercial break
|Everything American Idol
Billboard tweets inside the finale, exclusive video, top 10 moments of season 8, in-depth blogging covering 'Idol' up close, Idol headlines, and more all in one place. Dive in. 
2. The end is the beginning is the end
Tomorrow night, when they do the big dramatic swoopy lights and camera intro of Adam and Kris - look carefully at what they are wearing. It will be the same outfit they had on for their final performance tonight. The intro for tomorrow was filmed after the performances finished tonight.
3. Kris's fans have photocopier smarts
The ratio of Kris to Adam signs in the audience were about 3 to 1. Why? Because while Adam's fans busted out the markers and glitter and lovingly handcrafted their signs...one of Kris's fans Xeroxed his name on a bunch of yellow sheets of paper and passed them out to anyone who wanted one.
4. Don't you...forget about me
After Adam and Kris finished performing their songs, a tiny woman with pink hair in the third row got on her feet, screaming and cheering mightily: Allison Iraheta.
5. 13 is a lucky number
Half an hour before the show started, the eliminated 11 of the final 13 contestants arrived in their seats at the Nokia - and the entire place went bonkers. They got a standing ovation.
6. Carrie knows her Crue
Not only did Carrie Underwood perform "Home Sweet Home" live at the end of the show - she did a Motley Crue homage with her wardrobe. Her shirt had sparkly comedy and tragedy masks ala Crue's Theatre of Pain.
7. Scream on, Danny
The random insane screaming from the audience during Paula's first critique of Adam? It wasn't the audience necessarily agreeing with her comments - they showed Danny Gokey in his seat on the bigscreens inside the theater.
8. Kara cares
During the pre-show introduction of the judges, Kara spent by far the longest amount of time talking to audience members and giving them hugs and high-fives. Probably the only thing that kept her from stage diving was her dress.
9. Adam's got pipes
Sure, the dry ice fog for Adam's "Mad World" may have been a little too "Phantom of the Opera" - nice one, Simon - but it could have been way tackier. The dry ice effect was piped in by industrial size aluminum HVAC piping...that the crew covered with black cloth at the very last minute to make the set look less like a construction zone.
10. Kobe's still got more clout
The first game of the Lakers versus the Nuggets was taking place at the Staples Center right next door to the Nokia, creating a traffic apocalypse and parking overload. Not that some people in the area didn't benefit - they were charging $15 to park for "American Idol" - but as soon as the show let out and it became Lakers parking, they upped their price to $20.
- News