"American Idol" champ Kris Allen is DEAD WRONG ... the show has life in it yet ... at least according to Season 5 champ Taylor Hicks -- and his own shining success is proof.
As we reported, Kris Allen thinks it's about time "Idol" producers pulled the plug on the operation -- after this season's finale put up the lowest ratings in the show's history.
But Taylor tells TMZ, "American Idol is a juggernaut ... Because of my American Idol win, I am able to do the thing that I love most, which is to be an entertainer."
Taylor adds, "The fact that I am headlining Vegas 6 years after auditioning there and then ultimately winning AI is testament to the incredible platform the show continues to provide for me."
Taylor won "Idol" in 2006 and was signed to Arista Records. Arista dropped Taylor in 2008.