This was the victory song for 2009 American Idol winner Kris Allen. He and Adam Lambert, who was the other finalist, each performed the song on the final night of voting. When Allen sang this power ballad, he was tripped up as the song's arrangement was too high for his vocal range. This made it even more surprising when he defeated Lambert to win the competition.
The song was co-written by Idol
judge Kara DioGuardi, along with Cathy Dennis ("I Kissed a Girl
") and Mitch Allan, who is lead singer of the band SR-71. Allan and DioGuardi previously teamed up to pen the Jonas Brothers hit "Play My Music
," which was on the soundtrack of the 2008 movie Camp Rock
The song had to endure mainly negative reviews, particularly concerning its the lyrics. MTV's Gil Kaufman, for instance, described them as "a titanic mound of turgid clichés." Even Idol judge Simon Cowell mocked the song and the lyrics about "mountains" and "hurricanes."
USA Today asked Allen how he felt about this being his first single release. He replied: "You know, the song is good. They kind of have some stipulations on what they're supposed to do with these songs. So they have to write the words a certain way, and it's supposed to be this nice feeling. To have your first single not be something you were a part of writing is a little bit weird, but, you know, I can't complain."
This was also the debut single release for the 2009 American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert. It was the second instance of both the winner and runner-up releasing the same single. Previously, both the grand finalists of the 2005 American Idol, Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice, released "Inside Your Heaven."
This was the first Idol "coronation song" not to be included on the artist's major-label debut album.
DioGuardi admitted to MTV News in a 2011 interview that this song nearly ended her career. She compared Kris Allen and Adam Lambert's finale performances to a plane crash before adding, "Let me tell you what really happened: I wrote that song for a girl, and when it went into the male register, it was a nightmare. Certain songs don't translate."