‘American Idol’ Recap: Adam Lambert Returns For Queen Night
Adam Lambert is back on American Idol on Sunday (April 28) looking much like Kurt Russell in John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of The Thing, and I’m very okay with this transformation. His mission is to mentor the remaining eight contestants through a night of Queen songs.
But first, let’s just pause and remember that it’s been ten years since Adam himself competed on Idol. He ended his season as the runner-up (behind Kris Allen), which a nice testament to all these wide-eyed noobs that fame often fortunes the Jennifer Hudsons more so than the Lee DeWyzes.
Walker tells Adam that he looks like a pirate right off the bat, so this is going well. Adam attempts to coach the kid through loosening up while he’s on stage, but they’ve both got their work cut out for them there. In the end, Walker gives us a lounge-like rendition of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” that should rank high with his base of fans, at least.
Adam knows “The Show Must Go On” is a hard Queen classic to tackle. Still, he’s taken aback by the strength of young Madison’s pipes. “Damn — you can sing,” he exclaims. “Your voice is nuts!” Adam encourages the 17 year old to go for a diva moment on stage, which she does with ease. “That’s your best performance, in my opinion, thus far,” judge Luke Bryan announces.
Adam’s not too sure the ginger-haired crooner’s folky acoustic guitar take on “Who Wants To Live Forever” is working, so he rightly advises Jeremiah to ditch the six strings. With mom and dad on hand to watch, Jeremiah brings a lot of drama and a really long coat to the stage, where he gives a performance that has judge Lionel Richie telling him, “Your voice is something to be reckoned with.”
And we’re back to Queen. Laine admits to Adam that he’s shy. Adam, in turn, says Freddie Mercury was shy. He adds that if Laine doesn’t make the stage a party, it’s not going to work. Adam further encourages the kid to just pretend he’s hanging out with his friends and channel his inner rock star. Laine never has a problem once he’s under the lights for a performance, and tonight is no exception. Lionel tells him that the next time he’s feeling a lack of courage, just “fake it ’til you make it.”
Adam gives Laci the excellent advice to take a vocal pause in certain parts of “Love of My Life” to truly process the lyrics that she’s singing. Laci’s subsequent tender showing with the song has judge Katy Perry stating, “You are sparkling like the diamond we always knew you were.”
Adam says he can feel the passion as soon as Wade starts singing, and advises him to use an emotion of celebration in his performance of this particular Queen staple. Wade does his Wade thing and even adds a black fringe jacket to the mix. Lionel tells him he’s already won just by being in the Top 8. Katy adds that Adam Lambert didn’t win American Idol, “but he won his life.”
Adam compliments Alyssa on her natural theatricality, which he says is perfect for Queen week. He coaxes the contestant’s inner diva out of hiding, and while she doesn’t exactly sell “Somebody To Love” on stage, she does a nice job.