ADAM LAMBERT: American Idol 2009
May 31, 2009 § Leave a comment
Adam Mitchel Lambert, born January 29, 1982 in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an American singer and actor from Los Angeles, CA. In May 2009, he finished as the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol. He grew up in Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego, California and attended Deer Canyon Elementary School, Mesa Verde Middle School, and Mt. Carmel High School, where he was in theater, choir, and frequently performed with the school’s jazz band. Lambert is Jewish and has performed at Jewish events.
Billboard magazine confirmed on May 22 that Lambert is working on a solo album, which is expected to be released some time in 2009. He stated that he would love to work with Slash. He said “When I was working with Slash I felt at home.” Lambert also stated that his solo album will have a variety of sounds. Rock group Queen, with whom Lambert performed on the season finale, are said to be considering asking Lambert to be their new frontman. Lambert was a guest in Larry King Live (guest hosted by Ryan Seacrest) along with winner Kris Allen, judge Paula Abdul, and the rest of the top ten finalists. He has said that he plans to create a multi-genre album calling it a “rock-pop-electronic-dance thing”. His debut single, “No Boundaries“, was released on May 20, 2009 on iTunes with Allen’s version.
Lambert auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in San Francisco, California. During his initial audition, he sang “Bohemian Rhapsody.” In the semifinals, Lambert was voted into the Top 13, joining fellow Group 2 performers Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen. Lambert and Allen became roommates in the Idol mansion.
During Michael Jackson week, he sang “Black or White” leading to praise from all four judges, with Paula Abdul predicting that he would go on to the finals. The following week, Lambert sang a version of “Ring of Fire”. While Randy Jackson, DioGuardi, and Abdul all liked his performance, Cowell called it “indulgent rubbish”. On Motown night, Lambert distanced himself from his rocker persona, singing a slowed down, acoustic version of “The Tracks of My Tears”. The judges adored it, and Smokey Robinson, the week’s mentor and the original singer-songwriter, gave Adam a standing ovation. For his Top 8 performance, Lambert sang the 2001 Gary Jules arrangement of “Mad World”. Because the show had exceeded its time slot, only Cowell gave a critique, which he did by simply giving Lambert a standing ovation. During the results next night, the other judges agreed that a standing ovation was the best critique of Adam’s performance. For his second Top 7 performance, Lambert sang “If I Can’t Have You”, delivering what DioGuardi described as his “most memorable performance”, while Cowell described his vocals as “immaculate”. Abdul was reduced to tears, with host Ryan Seacrest joking that Lambert had melted her into a “pool of Abdul”. In the Top 4, Lambert was the first to sing, performing “Whole Lotta Love.” Cowell commented, “that was one of my favourite performances… nobody can top that now”, while Abdul, punning on the song’s title, described Lambert’s performance as “a whole lotta perfect”. Season 7 American Idol winner David Cook stated that Lambert and Allen are his favorites of Season 8. Country music singer and actress Reba McEntire has echoed the same opinions, also adding Iraheta to her list of favorites.
Photos of Lambert kissing a man were shown and discussed by conservative commentators on The O’Reilly Factor; they agreed that the images would likely have no impact on the competition because the focus remains on the singers’ talent. Lambert confirmed that the photos were of him, stating he had nothing to hide and has always been open about his life. There was mainstream media speculation if Lambert was gay thus becoming the first LGBT American Idol.
For the top three show, Lambert chose to sing at his alma mater, Mt. Carmel High School. While there, he performed both Michael Jackson‘s “Black or White“, and Tears for Fears‘ “Mad World.” After his performance, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders declared May 8 “Adam Lambert Day.”
On May 20, 2009, Lambert was announced as the runner-up for the eighth season of American Idol. Lambert performed a medley with rock band Kiss during the final episode. His version of the winning single “No Boundaries” was later released on iTunes alongside American Idol winner Kris Allen‘s version.