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Adam Lambert may be a hit with fans, but winning American Idol may not be the 26-year-old’s best career move.

 

"Idol thrives when a girl wins," says a source, adding that female champs like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are more marketable.

Still, a former contestant tells OK!, "Adam is supposed to win; he’s the judges’ favorite." Enter the veto, which allows the judges to overrule viewer votes and keep a performer in the competition.

"It’s to avoid what happened to Chris Daughtry — he was eliminated and went on the be one of the biggest-selling acts in Idol history, at least for the guys," a show insider tells OK!.

 

"America voted him off and was left with Taylor Hicks."

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