Yes, I know it was almost a week ago, and I’m not blogging Idol this year, but I figure I should write about this one episode.
In the course of the last six years (really – yesterday was the sixth anniversary of the showing of his audition), Adam Lambert has performed several roles on American Idol. First was as contestant. Many say he “broke Idol” during his run. I know that he changed it for me. Until that season, I watched for the competition, even though I always had a favorite contestant. That year, I watched for Adam. His talent, his professionalism and his showmanship won me over that completely.
Then he was asked back as a mentor, something that no other alumnus had ever been before. He showed himself knowledgeable and tough but kind. He’s done it once more, in an intense workshop alongside Chris Daughtry, and the new contestants had nothing but praise and respect for both of them.
He’s also been back as a performer, like so many other alumni. He’s performed his own songs and once he did a duet with a contestant on the finale.
Clearly, Idol loves him, and he’s been nothing but appreciative of the platform it gave him. Without Idol, he would NOT be touring with Queen right now, let alone be signed with a major label (I’ll get into that tomorrow, i”yh.)
Three years ago, fandom got hold of a rumor that they were considering Adam for the job of judge since all three of the then current judges – Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson – were supposed to be leaving. They even went so far as to interview him. I think it’s possible he’d have gotten the job if Randy hadn’t decided he wanted back on the panel, which may have been because one of the other judges was his client.
I’m pretty sure it might not have been such a disaster of a year if that had happened. But he didn’t get the gig. Since the panel WAS such a disaster, they needed to go with an entirely knew one. There was a rumor about making an all-alumni panel with Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson and Adam, but Kelly turned it down and no other winners were considered. No way would Idol have an all-loser panel, no matter how successful they were, so that was that. Anyway, Keith came back, as did Jennifer, Randy was made a mentor and that was that. Adam also became unavailable just when the live shows were happening, so it all worked out.
But things happen. Last September, Keith’s father-in-law died in a tragic accident, and he had to be with his family, as was right and proper. Unfortunately, that coincided with the New York judge auditions, which also happened to be press day. They couldn’t be canceled or postponed, so they needed a guest judge. And they called on Adam, who was home between legs of his tour with Queen. And he agreed to go on.
And we got to see what could have been. He was wonderful as a judge. Everyone watching the show agreed. He had a unique perspective as a former contestant, but he was also both nice and tough – and he paid attention to the kids. You could tell the others respected his point of view and musical knowledge. You could also see the chemistry among them. It was just good to watch.
Turns out he was looking for true artists – people who could do more than sing – writers, musicians – people with their own point of view. The sort of people he socializes with when he’s home,and who he’s touring with now. We’ll see how his picks work out.
Except for the one who butchered “The Show Must Go On” and who conned Adam to letting him go to Hollywood. He’s not going further.
They also had him recreate his own audition, editing it with his original.
He’s changed in six years, hasn’t he?