Lambert dazzles the Judges !

March 11, 2009

If the "American Idol" judges have their way, it won't be curtains for Adam Lambert anytime soon.

The 26-year-old theatre actor from Los Angeles impressed the panel - and eclipsed his 12 co-finalists - with an energized rendition of the tune "Black or White" during Tuesday's Michael Jackson-themed performance show. "You've got the whole package going on," Paula Abdul exclaimed following Lambert's performance.

Anoop Desai, from Chapel Hill, N.C., was the target of the judges' harshest criticism. Randy Jackson said the 21-year-old college student's decision to perform "Beat It" was the "wrong choice," while Simon Cowell declared it "horrible." Jorge Nunez, the 20-year-old college student from Carolina, Puerto Rico, was also targeted for a lacklustre song pick.

In defence of his "Never Can Say Goodbye," Nunez said: "I was not going to sing 'Bad' by Michael Jackson."

"Well, you sorta did," Cowell retaliated.

The judges seemed satisfied with most of the evening's other performers, especially Lil Rounds and Danny Gokey, who danced around while belting out "Pretty Young Thing." Cowell dubbed Gokey's moves "hideous" but said his vocals were "brilliant." Jackson said he continued to love Rounds, who kicked off the show with "The Way You Make Me Feel."

A few of the finalists used their first time on the main "Idol" stage to showcase their musical abilities. Piano players Matt Giraud from Kalamazoo, Mich., and Scott MacIntyre from Scottsdale, Ariz., tickled the ivories on "Human Nature" and "Keep the Faith," respectively. Kris Allen from Conway, Ark., played his guitar during "Remember the Time."

"You're engaging," Abdul told Allen, "and kinda adorable/sexy."

At the beginning of the episode, Cowell announced two singers - not just one - would be dismissed from the popular Fox singing competition Wednesday. He also later teased that an alteration in the "Idol" structure involving the show's judges would be revealed Wednesday. Host Ryan Seacrest said it will change "the entire theme and concept of the show."

Viewers immediately began speculating online about the possible season-eight switch-up after Tuesday's performance show. The most popular theory: the bottom vote-getters must now "sing for their lives" and the show's judges will have the ability to save a contestant from being sent home.

Adam was 10 when he was cast in a San Diego production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” He got to play Linus. And he got to sing, though he can’t recall the song, he admitted in a Friday afternoon conference call with the media. What he does remember is that performing for an audience was “pretty wild,” and something he wanted to do more of. He has done that, of course. He spent two years in the cast of “Wicked” in Los Angeles.

Now he has established himself as the frontrunner on American Idol after wowing judges and viewers with a manic rendition of the Rolling Stones “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and an equally well received rendition of Michal Jackson's tune "Black or White" during yesterday's performance.

But he promised, “I’m not planning on wailing at the top of my lungs every week. I think the audience would grow tired of that.”

“When I started going to rehearsals for “Wicked,” all the other kids looked a me like I was a freak because I was dressed like that in rehearsal. That’s always been my style … the stuff you see me wear on Idol, that’s really my daily street wear.”

Is there any song he’d be reluctant to attempt?

“I’m kind of competitive and a like challenges. I don’t think range wise there’s anything I’d be scared to attempt. I think there are styles I might want to stay away from … country week would obviously be a slight stretch for me if that comes up.”

Does he Google his name.

Adam says he does, “here and there. It’s like market research in a way. It helps you find out what the fans think.”

Has his theater experience helped him during Idol?

“You have to be on your game with the theater world. You have to be ready to go at any moment. This machine (Idol) is turning real fast so it’s kind of like you either hop on and hold on and you know how to own your stuff or you fall off. Theater has definitely trained me to sing under any condition at the drop of a hat.”

What’s his Idol strategy?

“Strategy is like half of the competition. I think that when you are picking a song and figuring out an arrangement, that’s when you should really be thinking hard and using your brain. But when it comes time to actually get up there and perform it, you have to turn the brain off and feel it and go with the moment.”


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