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lambspam

 
 
A tribute to Adam Lambert's season on American Idol.  With pictures!






The Audition

"Is it something that I could get a shot at working on?  I know that I could do it."
Adam Lambert, asking Simon to vote "yes" and send him to Hollywood

Aw, look. His hair is just dark brown and he has no makeup on. Just a t-shirt and a hoodie. He sings Rock With You. Which, huh? He does a really nice job, but Simon smells the fabulous and asks him to sing another one. Bohemian Rhapsody. Hee. You can have your Rolling Stone cover stories, is what I’m saying; he’s already two for two with the pop idols.

Simon calls him (gay) theatrical, and Kara says who cares and Randy proves that he’s the genius this season by saying, “I actually think it’s time, probably, currently, for somebody like you.” Simon plays like he’s not going to send Adam to Hollywood, but look at his huge grin (just after he says “It’s our own opinion.”). Adam promises to do his bestest and they give him four yesses.

THEN, and only then, Adam sucks up to Paula by saying the first concert he went to was hers. He kisses her hand. Randy offers his hand for Adam to kiss, but Adam shakes it and they have a “we’re smarter than everyone else in this room” little connection moment. Then he goes to kiss Kara’s hand and makes a joke about biting one of the rubies off her finger, which, rowr! My Id is in love; my Superego wants to reserve judgment. Every party needs a pooper that’s why we invited her.

This is the complete beginning part, good quality.  
www.youtube.com/watch 
This is fuzzy and missing the first song, but the rest is complete and it has the end part, which is the best.
www.youtube.com/watch



Hollywood Week

The producers, oy. Hollywood Week is a mess of a TV show, unless you watch a lot of Maury or something, in which case, welcome home. We get lots of Bikini Girl drama and girl-on-girl-on-gay groupfighting and precious few minutes of anyone good. Adam killed with his group, but there wasn’t much of him.


Top 36
Satisfaction

The thing people have to understand about Idol is that they’re ALL covers. So it’s all kind of hideous, just on the face of it. Covers start out as a deficit, IMO, so the challenge is making magic of them. I put them into three categories in my head: an homage, a complete reinterpretation or a riff.

This is a really fun riff on Satisfaction. The slow opening, with the beach-rock guitar trills, then the bouncy Crocodile Rock stuff for the first verse, then the fun second verse…and how his vocals dance all around the melody. He’s playing with the song. Look at him when he sings “…driving in my car…” Watch him get down with his bad self at the start of the second verse. :-) This told me a) we’re gonna have FUN with this guy, and b) he’s going to bring it, every week. The energy!  The comfort onstage. And this was where I first noticed his very sexy tendency to drag his foot when he walks across the stage.

It sucks that there’s no video available with the judges’ comments for these performances. Both idolonfox.com and iTunes cut off at the end of the performance.

I have the DVDs and you’ll just have to take my word for it: the judges are pwned. Randy is a genius and they’re all catching up. (Paula was already there, but it’s hard to tell the difference between the different strata of her love, so I can’t say she loved him more than anyone else at this point.)

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_i_cant_get_no_satisfaction


Top 13: Michael Jackson Week
Black or White

Honey, no. I hate to even say this, cause I love Adam Lambert with the heat of a thousand nuns*, but this is not a great vocal. He’s not in control of his voice, he’s not making all the smart choices and he’s literally flat on some of the top notes. Yet the judges loved it, unanimously. Simon even says it’s a great vocal. I think they’re reacting to this first real burst of Adam on the big stage, which would blow anybody’s hair back. And maybe the adorable blue leather jacket a little bit. :-) This performance, his worst one, set him apart from everyone else because of the energy, the mastery, the stage presence, the sheer cute. Watch how he goes over to the edge of the stage and gets his first taste of grabby fangirl hands and then listen to the laugh still in his voice, going into the next line. Look at his little jiggy moonwalk in the middle of the song and the face that goes with it. Cute.

And, as with several of his performances, I love the meta of it. When Adam, who is famous (sadly) as much for his sexuality as his music, sings, “And I told him about equality, and it’s true: you’re either wrong or you’re right…Don’t tell me you agree with me, when I saw you kickin’ dirt in my eye…” That’s about Adam’s stuff just as much as it is about Michael’s stuff. It’s black. It’s white. It’s tough for you to get by.

*tm amycurl

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_black_and_white


Top 11: Country Week (Mentor = Randy Travis)
Ring of Fire

Bite me, I LOVE this. This was a controversial performance. In the taped mentoring session, Randy Travis’ disdain and borderline disgust for Adam, his nail polish, and his interpretation of the song would have been sickening if it weren’t so funny. It was funny because of a) who actually cares about Randy Travis, and b) Adam’s blithe acceptance of Randy’s near-panic at coming face to face with Adam. Adam is gracious and amused, and not even in a disrespectful way. When Ryan, who’s having WAY too much fun with it, points out the, um, lack of chemistry between Randy and Adam, Adam calls Randy a “gentleman.” Which is a lot like that thing where, when someone asks you about yourself, you give the qualities you wish you had rather than anything approaching people’s actual experience of you.

Second, Simon’s an asshole in this particular situation. Not because he hates the performance, which is his right to do. But because he does it with a supportive nod to Randy’s homophobic freakout about the whole thing. Plus which, Johnny Cash? Is FINE with it. So you can bite him too.

Regardless of where it lands relative to all parties’ comfort zones, it's one of Adam’s top vocal performance of the whole season. So much for “this is a singing competition.” Listen to it back; it’s pretty flawless. And it wasn’t even Adam’s arrangement, which he says in the mentor piece, so call the chick who wrote it.

Randy Jackson got it. (See?) Randy, who should be given the same weight as Simon, IMO, but isn’t. He’s much more knowledgeable about music than Simon is, frankly. They tease him about the namedropping because, apparently, he does know all those people. He knows who wrote the song and who recorded it and who covered it and who played drums on it and who got the coffee. He knew that this interpretation was a Jeff Buckley kinda joint, and he said so, so he wins.

Paula and Kara like it, Kara famously saying it leaves her “confused and happy.” Heh. The voice of straight women across the country. :-)

For me, for him? Perfect. I love it because it’s beautiful, it’s bold, it’s artistic, it has gorgeous vocals…and look at the way our boy works the camera! He dares to be a little bit of a freak, RIGHT THERE ON AMERICAN IDOL, which earns many sighs and a slow clap from me. Plus, hello, this interpretation actually captures the spirit of the lyrics. “Love is a burning thing/ and it makes a fiery ring/ Bound by a wild desire/I fell into a ring of fire/ I fell into a burning ring of fire/ I went down, down, down, and the flames got higher/ And it burns, burns, burns/ The ring of fire, the ring of fire/ The taste of love is sweet/ when hearts like ours meet/ I fell for you like a child/ Oh, and the fire went wild.” Now I ask you: rollicking country arrangement in a major key or sexy middle-eastern-influenced rock arrangement in a minor key? Exactly. No disrespect to the great Johnny Cash or his iconic version, of course. I’m just saying this is a very valid way to sing this song.

Plus, this:


The gays, they can be mean like that.

The bottom line is, if this performance had happened later in the season, it would have been nbd to anyone but Mr. Travis. If Simon had seen it after Tracks of My Tears, If I Can’t Have You, Whole Lotta Love, and Mad World, he would have understood it in the context of Adam and given it a good review.

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_ring_of_fire


Top 10: Motown Week (Mentor = Smokey Robinson)
Tracks of My Tears

Ooh, look how happy everybody is when Adam has a suit on and no makeup! No, he’s not gonna make anybody’s babies burst into puberty this week, so hey group hug! Whatever, this was equally brilliant and he deserved all the love it got.

Moreover, this performance illustrates an aspect of Adam’s brilliance, which is how he structured the season for himself. After the Sex God thing from last week, he’s the sweet, scrubbed down Elvis in a New Suit. Sitting down, with a few musicians, no “theatrics.” Over the course of the season, he alternates the crazy/fun/rock god stuff with the simple, sweet ballady stuff, and this is the best example.

Those who know me know how much I love a guy with a great falsetto, so YEAH this season is pretty orgasmic for me. He does one of my favorite things, which is he goes up there, sets out a picnic blanket, then goes HIGHER and you’re like omg. Beautiful.

And, like Ring of Fire, this interpretation captures the mood of the lyrics at least as well as the original, IMO. (Why should a song about deep, hidden pain and incessant crying be so bouncy anyway?)

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_the_tracks_of_my_tears


Top 9 iTunes Downloads Week
Play That Funky Music

Ok, this is a bit of a litmus test for me, like Satisfaction. If you don’t get that he’s playing here…then you don’t get Adam and you won’t like him. Look at his face, look at how he dances, watch him lean into lines like “yes I did” and riffs like “come on come on come on come on yeah.” And look at the face on him. It’s supposed to be fun and funny.

I think he goes up-top a few too many times in this one but by this point in the season I was well past nitpicking. And there’s a little moment I love, which is right at the end. There are three big beats by the band on “play that funky music till you…” For those three beats, Adam turns his back to the audience and marks the beats with his mic, before turning back quickly for his last few notes. I love that, because it shows a lot of comfort on stage and really smart, subtle showmanship. This is why I love those few Idol contestants who have the rock-solid vocals and can work the stage with such ease (Melinda Doolittle). You’re no more nervous for him than if he were singing in your living room for friends. (ooooh….)

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_play_that_funky_music


Top 8: The Year You Were Born Week
Mad World

I gush about how smart he is as much as I do about his voice, skills and personality. Because the choice of wardrobe, sitting alone, backlit with the big streamy white lights, on one of those great Navy-issue steel chairs…brilliant. Maybe it was somebody else who designed all that, but I don’t see it so much with the other contestants, so I say it’s Adam.

Good boy, he stays with the melody --- this is not a riffy performance, this is an homage. (Well, it’s a reinterpretation of the Tears for Fears version, but an homage to that one in Donnie Darko.) He stands up once, just at the right time (“look right through me”) and the crowd goes wild. That’s about contrast. Put them where you want them, and then tell them when to go nuts and they will oblige. I much prefer the stagecraft of this performance to his reprise of Mad World, later in the season, though that was good too.

The only problem with this performance is the very last note, poor baby. He overshoots it and it’s painfully sharp. He knows it too; I saw him all sheepish and cringey on Larry King as they replayed the end of that song. :-)

Still, this performance was good enough to earn Simon’s one standing O of the season. (Even if the Tivo malfunction heard round the world prevented me from seeing it properly until I actually got my hands on some DVDs.)

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_mad_world

This week’s results show has my favorite Idol Ford Commercial: the magic show. Adam in the white coat, all posey and cute. Guh.


Top 7: Movies Week (Mentor = Quentin Tarantino)
Born To Be Wild

This is one of my favorite outfits. I always love the leather and v-neck t-shirt combo on him, but it’s usually with boots, and the sneakers he wears here are more fun. The hair is really working too. Very very cute.

He said they came up with a big arrangement change here, but it’s not that noticeable in the performance (though it is in the studio version, where you can really hear the electronic spin they put on it). Anyway, I like this one. I actually don’t love this song, in general, so it can only be so good for me. But the vocals are amazing (if a little too gymnastic). My favorite thing about this performance is the way he works the stage. He scoots, he stalks, he thrashes in time with Ricky and the band. There’s a delightful hip-wiggly thing that happens just below the frame (damn). And he ends with the rock star slide! Yes. Say what you want about him, he leaves it all on the stage.

There are also a couple of really nice overhead shots of the drums that totally make the piece, for me. Nice job, director!

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_born_to_be_wild


Top 7: Disco Week
If I Can’t Have You

This is one delightful performance. I think, except for Change is Gonna Come, this is my favorite live performance track. It shouldn’t be, because it’s so short, but I find it perfect. Adam credits Michael Orland (? music director and pianist) for this great arrangement, and it really is brilliant. If I Can’t Have You is probably my favorite song from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, so the fact that they ditched the samba beat for a slow-burn sway and added those bars and it worked for me is a surprise. But it really, really did work.

And the performance is so beautifully simple. I mean, it’s still Adam, so he’s dressed and coiffed like some big band singer from the year 2068. But he just plants his feet, hits an absolutely iconic crooner pose on his way up to the big note, and omg what a note it is. One of those where you’re already getting the goose bumps and then he goes higher and you forget to breathe. Or maybe that’s just me. And Paula. You can’t see it on the iTunes video, which they re-cut, but in the version that aired (and idolonfox.com, the link below) you can see Paula, all blissed out as he goes up to the note and then when it’s even better than she expected she gives this tiny involuntary sob of joy. I feel ya, Paula.

The results show this week has my favorite group number: Shake Your Body Down. I’m mean, because one of my first thoughts about this dance-heavy group number was that they waited till Scott was voted off to do it. But it’s really adorable. Adam has been learning stage choreography for 17 years, and it shows. All very easy for him and cute. I still find the lip-syncing distracting, but at least the dancing (courtesy of Paula) is sweet this week. Plus, if you get a chance, check out Kris rocking the polyester shirt!

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_if_i_cant_have_you


Top 5: Rat Pack Week (Mentor = Jamie Foxx)
Feeling Good

I am not a fan of the white suit. I’m a fan of the concept of the white suit, but not its execution.

And this is another great vocal performance, but I can’t really judge it properly because the studio version of this song is absolute perfection. The studio version of this song is the answer to all the people who say, oh I don’t know, “Adam only screams” or that he’s not the best singer in the competition or whatever.

This week also has my favorite mentor bit, with Jamie Foxx (of all people), who listens to Adam do a run-through and just says, “What????” And then, as he compliments Adam’s performance, “You don’t care who I am at all, do you?” which doubles Adam over in very cute fits of laughter.  

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_feeling_good


Top 4: Rock Week (Mentor = Slash)
Whole Lotta Love

Ha! Buckle up.
1. The hair!
2. The voice! He totally has that Axl Rose keening rock tone whenever he wants it.
3. The sneer!
4. “I’m gonna give you every inch of my love.” *buys ticket to alternate universe where this is possible*
5. He works this so hard! Watch him walk to the edge of the stage. Instead of bending toward the teeming fangirls, like usual, he sort of leans back from them. It’s a very pelvis-forward kind of teasy thing and I LOVE it. Then watch him with the guitarist. After the solo, he pulls his head back to the mic, but not too fast, then looks back at the guitarist like that. I’ve never wanted to play guitar before!!
6. The director! Where the hell is that guy, I have something for him. Check it out, just after “Woman, you need….” The director goes up to the big Adamtron for the shot, which is totally…guh…do you see what I’m talking about?...and then pans fast back down to Adam for the last shot. Genius.
7. His last note! He cuts out just before the band, which lets the note sort of echo in the air. Perfect.
8. THE SMILE! It’s not only me who’s noticed this, but there’s this gorgeous moment after the end of Adam’s songs where he drops the persona and smiles, usually just before the lights come up. Like, “Poof! Hi everybody, it’s just me, Adam.” This is my favorite poof smile. SADLY, you can’t see it on this version of the video, only on the iTunes version. :-(

The judges, hoo boy. Randy’s ready to give him a Grammy, Kara is ovulating right there in front of us, Paula makes bad plays on words when she’s overcome like this, and Simon says, “Nobody’s going to be able to top that.” Slash is smiling. I think. 

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_whole_lotta_love


This week, they also did duets. Allison and Adam did Slow Ride:

This was cute with a capital cute. Much is made of the brother and sister thing with these two and it is really kinda perfect. They’re like big brother Rocker and his li’l sis, Rockette. Some are not a fan of the stripey pants, but I like them, and not just because they prove that vertical stripes don’t minimize every part of the body. Ahem. 

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_and_allison_iraheta_slow_ride


Top 3: Judges’ Choice
One

Well this really, really needs the second verse, doesn’t it? If he had more than 90 seconds to sing the song, he could have done the slow build that this song requires and he would have killed it. As it is, it is technically great, but doesn’t pack the emotional punch he wants. Still, good. Not my favorite outfit either, but cute enough.

The studio version was pretty unsatisfying, the first time I heard it. I wanted what I hadn’t gotten in the live performance. The studio version has a whole different tone. It sort of just chugs delightfully along; it does build, but not in a straight line. You do get the big notes but not in the way you expect. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. It’s really beautiful, in its way.

Plus, the meta, as mentioned above. The bonus of Adam, reluctant role model and bearer of cultural sea-change blah blah blah of a nation, singing the same words we’ve heard a million times before. “We’re one, but we’re not the same/ We gotta carry each other, carry each other.” Aw, right?

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_one


Top 3: Contestant’s Choice
Cryin

I didn’t even much like this one the first time I heard it. It struck me as too balls-out all the way through; not enough dynamics. But now I really like it and I find the performance kind of adorable. Plus the look, omg. Really, the t-shirt, leather jacket, jeans and boots is my favorite LambLook.

I’m a geek for inside stuff, so the moment he (like we) has had enough of the crazy sound mix that makes the backup singers sound like they’re wailing banshees and whips his in-ear piece out so effortlessly that you almost don’t notice it (“between pleasure and pain…”) I sort of get a little thrill. And his ending pose is pure Adamish perfection. Man, the physical performances he gives are brilliant, have I mentioned this?

Really, the two of the best parts of watching this back are outside the performance. First is Ryan interviewing Adam before he sings. Ryan: “You’ve done Queen, you’ve done Cher…” Adam gives him this big, genuine, generous laugh. <3 Second is the judges’ critique. Kara: “How do you hit those notes and still talk the next day? I mean, who hits those notes?” Randy: “Adam Lambert does.”

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_cryin


Top 2: Reprise from the season
Mad World

Well, this is just more wonderation from the Adam playbook. He was right to choose Mad World, because it was probably the popular highlight of the season. Looking back, he didn’t get to really rock during the finale, but he did Cryin last week, so I guess this made the most sense. Vocally, I liked the first performance better (except for the last note :-), but this was still lovely.

My favorite part is actually during the judges critique, where Simon rolls his eyes a little at the stagecraft…the long coat, the long walk, the smoke…and Adam says, “Well, they said they had dry ice….” HA! Quite right. I’m Adam Fucking Lambert, people, I do not pass up dry ice when it presents itself. Get to know me! 

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_mad_world_2


Top 2: Simon Fuller’s Choice
A Change Is Gonna Come

OMFG. Best thing ever. You guys, THE SILVER SUIT! WITH THE LITTLE BLUE TIE! Check out the one button unbuttoned so artfully. And the French cuffs that are a little too long and the gorgeous cufflinks. I want to touch something.

And this is just a gorgeous performance. It gives me goose bumps every single time, and believe you me I’ve listened to it a few times. When he does the big note and then slides up to the bonus (as he likes to do because he loves me) I swear my hands involuntarily do that Submit to Jesus thing like I’m in the kind of church I’ve never been to in my whole Catholic life. Even the small part of the song I wasn’t sure I liked (“I, I, I can carry on”)…now I’m fine with it, now that I know where he’s going. How about some props for the guitarist! We need to know that guy’s name, because he kills every damn thing he does.

Another thing I love about it is the way Adam stands, near the end, with his elbow tucked in and his hand sort of splayed out to the side and his mouth wide, singing his little heart out. It’s so…I don’t know, so elegant and classic and gay at the same time. <3

Plus, Meta III, the Motherload. A change is gonna come. Do you hear us California? And…nearly everybody else? 

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_a_change_is_gonna_come


The judges were beside themselves. Prompting one of Ryan’s funnier ad-libs. “Paula’s doing the herky, Simon’s wearing buttons…THIS is the American Idol finale!”

Top 2: No Boundaries

Bleh. Kara I do love you a lot, but that is not a good song and no amount of Adam can make it so. And I didn’t even like the jeans. Moving on.

www.americanidol.com/videos/season_8/performances/adam_lambert_no_boundaries


Finale: Kiss Medley
(which I also can’t find except on iTunes)

AAAAAAAAAHHH! When he started to sing Beth…Ok, wait I have to back up. I have to point something out and I mean this in only a positive way. Earlier in the finale, we get the Kris presentation. First, the clip package, showing his “journey” (I do love how they flog that word). Then the lights come up and there’s…Kris! With Keith Urban. (I swear I almost said Kenny Chesney, and since all my knowledge of country singers comes from E!, you see my confusion.) They sing, “I Wanna Kiss a Girl”, which I swear I didn’t even get the funny of until I rewatched the finale on my Tivo. Anyway, it’s a great performance, these two are really well-matched, and Kris gets a lot of love from the audience. Standing O for Kris. The wow factor feels par-ish with other Idol finales to me.

So then, later after some other stuff, here’s Adam’s clip package. At the end of it, the lights come up and Adam’s there on stage. And we can see that, as soon as the clip package ends, more than half of the audience is on its feet. And they stay on their feet. While he sings “Beth,” is what I’m saying. That’s really something! The urge to sit back down is pretty powerful. And Beth is a very quiet little ballad. I don’t think that, in the history of Beth, anyone has ever stood through it. At Kiss concerts, Beth would have been the time when everyone either sat down or went to the bathroom or stood in line for the pay phone to call their mom. But the reverse camera shot, from behind Adam, shows people staying on their feet while he sings Beth. That just makes me happy.

Then, of course, because we know how this goes, Adam says, “Ladies and Gentlemen…KISS!” And some of the holdouts finally get to their feet for that.

So anyway, my point was that, when he started to sing Beth, I was thinking, “OMFG, he’s going to sing with KISS!” So I was a little bouncing up and down during his very lovely rendition of Beth. And I LOVE the sparkles under the eyes, sweetie.


Now, Adam in his six-inch platform boots next to KISS in their six-inch platform boots is a pretty cool sight, even on TV without any reference of scale. Adam’s about 6’1” and the other guys seem pretty tall too, so it’s a really fun visual. Plus, together...kind of hilarious. Adam looks like the sweet little princeling the Knights in Satan’s Service found abandoned in the forest and dragged down to hell to be their freakishly good-looking apprentice.

The performance is pretty fun too. Adam just has that great rock-adaptable voice that cuts through all the musical bombast you can throw at it. He sounds wonderful. And I loved the whole Stanley breaking the guitar theatric at the end, with Adam yelling “one more time!” like he was on tour with them or something.


Finale: We Are the Champions

So you know the song, so when you hear Kris sing the first part of the verse, you know that means Adam gets the second part of the verse, cause who’s Freddie Mercury and who’s not? Anyway I loved how that fact, alone, sent tingles of anticipation up my spine and how utterly cool Kris seemed to be with it, adorably throwing it to Adam each time to bring the verse home. (Those two together, I swear. Buckets of sparkly hearts.) After their first verse, out on the catwalk, there’s a funny moment where they finish the verse and Adam makes a motion like, “here we go!” and they head to the stage to meet up with Queen.


It’s Brian May! Wow! Smiling at the guys and playing the guitar. My second favorite moment is when Adam puts his hand on Brian May’s shoulder as he sings, cause that’s who he is on stage. He’s singing with Queen, so he’s fucking singing with Queen, you know? The favorite moment being when Adam and Kris spontaneously grab each other’s hands and pull in for the half-hug as they sing.

www.youtube.com/watch
(This is not great quality. Why can’t I find this on idolonfox.com?)


And then, the results. This shiny black suit with the brooch! I think I want to strip it off him slowly, do bad things to him, then borrow that outfit.  Before he wakes up.  From the drugs, what? In the post-game interviews, he just shone with gorgeous.

Adam and Kris. I refuse to Kradam them, but jesus god, the cute.





 










I’m sorry, what? You want more?





Gay shmay, I’m crawling in there.





He has lip freckles. I can’t even talk right now.





No really I wanna be this pretty.





Are we done with him?





!!! 


 


Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
akamine_chan
Jun. 4th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
Lovely recap, m'dear. You saved me the trouble of not watching...*g*

He's terribly cute, though.
marymary
Jun. 4th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
Hi, dear! Happy to be of service. :-)

I feel like I haven't talked to you in forever! (You've had stuff, I've had stuff, email to follow.) So thanks for coming in, it's nice to see ya!
aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
FINALLY HERE.

And I might comment more than once, because my brain is still tangled up with my sort-of-JB-weekend (and JB, for the record, would go APESHIT over Adam) and I must sort out my squees.

First of all, THANK YOU for tracking down all those pictures. I was looking for stuff to make magnets and I was a little dissatisfied with most of the still shots I found on google.

And this comment has turned into not commenting much about, you know, Adam, but summer school starts in fifteen minutes and I have to get down to the cafeteria for our first faculty meeting.

Back later.

ADAM!!!!! <3 <3 <3
aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
Okay, a few random bits of specific.

(Seriously, I'm just warning you, I might comment on this post five or six times.)

Aw, look. His hair is just dark brown and he has no makeup on. Just a t-shirt and a hoodie. He sings Rock With You. Which, huh? He does a really nice job, but Simon smells the fabulous and asks him to sing another one. Bohemian Rhapsody. Hee. You can have your Rolling Stone cover stories, is what I’m saying; he’s already two for two with the pop idols.

He really was toning his persona down in the audition, you could tell. He was still himself, don't get me wrong, but he went easy on the makeup and the fabulous. Still funky, but not enough to scare off the producers. Lure them in with the talent, then let them unwrap the whole package. Attaboy.

I have never had any use for Rock With Me. But that soft take on Bohemian Rhapsody just killed me. The little upward climb he did with "pulled my trigger now he's dead" was beautiful. That's what sold Simon. You could see it in his face.

Black or White
I hate to even say this, cause I love Adam Lambert with the heat of a thousand nuns*, but this is not a great vocal.

I agree completely. Again, I just don't like the song much. (Michael Jackson did a lot of songs I find pretty forgettable.) So it really is a tribute to Adam that I liked this as much as I did. The vocal on this is really weak. The last "black or white!" he yells at the end is seriously sharp, to the point that I'd say he's gone beyond sharp to just singing the wrong damn note.

However, I do love watching the performance. The performance is so good that I didn't really notice the badness of the vocal until I just listened to it on iTunes without watching.

Ring of Fire
In the taped mentoring session, Randy Travis’ disdain and borderline disgust for Adam, his nail polish, and his interpretation of the song would have been sickening if it weren’t so funny. It was funny because of a) who actually cares about Randy Travis, and b) Adam’s blithe acceptance of Randy’s near-panic at coming face to face with Adam.

I didn't think Randy was quite so down on Adam as you did, but I only watched the mentor bit once, so maybe I missed some things. I think he did have a little bit of a homophobic freak-out, seeing this tall, masculine young man in nail polish and eyeliner come before him. But more than that I think he was just a little freaked out by what Adam was doing with the song. He just plain didn't get it. He had that really puzzled frown as Adam finished singing and said, "...okay..." He just didn't know what to say.

I agree completely about Simon. If this had come a little later in the season, Simon would have been right on board with it. I completely loved Randy Jackson's comment to Simon's dismissal, something along the lines of, "Come on! It's a country song done by Nine Inch Nails!" Which is exactly right.

And, as misreall tells us, Johnny Cash LOVED weird crossovers and actually covered a Nine Inch Nails song himself. So hell yeah, you can bite all of us, you haters.

Plus, thank you for typing out those lyrics! There's no way you can read those lyrics and say that they don't work in that sort of hypnotic, croony arrangement that he used.

Okay, that's enough for now. And I should probably work a little, even though I don't have students today. More later.

Sigh. Tags.

Edited at 2009-06-08 04:15 pm (UTC)
marymary
Jun. 8th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
(Seriously, I'm just warning you, I might comment on this post five or six times.)

Please do! This took me a long time to make and I posted last week sometime. I feel like I threw a party and nobody showed up.

except aka *pets her*

No, it's cool, I get where you've been, but I'm happy to talk as long as you want.
aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it just ran into the very end of the school year and then shopping and then being all upset about John Barrowman not being at the thing, and then going to the thing, and then posting about the thing.

But seriously, how crazy would John be for this boy? In every way possible, of course. If John had been there and I'd gotten to meet him, I would totally have asked him if he were aware of Adam. And if not, I would have grabbed him and shoved my iPod into his hands.

So we could squee together.
marymary
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
I think he did have a little bit of a homophobic freak-out, seeing this tall, masculine young man in nail polish and eyeliner come before him. But more than that I think he was just a little freaked out by what Adam was doing with the song. He just plain didn't get it. He had that really puzzled frown as Adam finished singing and said, "...okay..." He just didn't know what to say.

I agree that he was taken aback by the arrangement and you're probably right that this was most of it. But the reason I'm so hard on RT here is that...ok, if you've watched eight seasons of Idol, you've seen a lot of mentor clips. The most disparaging the mentors ever get is stuff like "Well, I think if he's careful to take his time and hit all those lower notes, he'll do fine." It never really gets much worse than that.

To be sure, in this case, Adam went pretty far off the original version --- further than contestants go. (So clearly Adam's chief concern was not Randy Travis' endorsement. ;-D)

However,
- Randy Travis mentioned the nail polish. Which has to with what part of the vocal exactly?
- He said something about "where I come from..." which, to me, smacks of...um..."cultural" stuff, let's say.
- The expressions on Randy's face were not those of someone trying to hide his feelings. Which means, to me, he felt that people watching would be behind him. Which does not tell a story of a difference of artistic opinion, but a story about Adam the Freak and his Freaky Freak Show, and am I right America? Randy Travis felt absolutly comfortable and...protected...showing his omfg face. Especially when Simon addressed him during the critique.

Maybe I'm just overly protective of Adam (I get that way) but I do think this mentor episode was qualitatively different from anything I've seen on eight years of the show.

Remember the thing in Season 5 where Brian May didn't seem that excited about Ace's version of their song? Brian actually issued some kind of statement afterward, saying that the editing made it look like he didn't really like Ace's version, but that wasn't the case. And that was way milder than this. And I haven't heard about any backtracking from Randy Travis. This was different and I don't think it was just about the music.

But, like I said, the whole thing turned quite delightful for me, mostly because of Ryan and Adam's banter before and after the performance. Beforehand, Ryan gives Adam the space to offer his reaction to the very uncomfortable mentoring session we've just seen. Which was, "He was a gentleman." And, after the critique and the shot of Randy throwing up a little in his mouth, Ryan says something like, "But you probably won't be going to Nashville anytime soon, right?" Adam (big grin), "No, probably not." Hee. It was like Ryan stretched out his hand and helped Adam take that short step up to the high ground. (<3<3<3 Ryan)
marymary
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
He really was toning his persona down in the audition, you could tell. ...Lure them in with the talent, then let them unwrap the whole package. Attaboy.

First, I edited to add that quote from Adam. Because I absolutely love the sight of him pleading, sincerely, to get past the audition and go to the Hollywood round with 150 other people. Knowing what we know now, seeing what we've seen now. It just tickles me. (Later, in Hollywood, I love where he's being critiqued and he says that if they let him through, "I promise I'll surprise you." :-)

And, to your point, yes he's very smart. When Kara winks at him and says, "Are you the next American Idol?" And he says, "I think so, yeah." There's an interview just outside the audition --- don't know if it's in that clip I linked to --- where Adam talks about that. He said that he felt that was the "correct" answer to the question. Like "this is what they ask you, and this is what you're supposed to say." 1) Adam and I have both been watching Idol for 8 years, and I can tell you that he's right. 2) Witness Kris' audition, where his answer to the same question is, "I think there are probably better singers than me..." Simon says something like, "Your humility is really putting me off right now." It was the only negative comment Kris got in his audition.

The last "black or white!" he yells at the end is seriously sharp, to the point that I'd say he's gone beyond sharp to just singing the wrong damn note.

Flat, sharp, whatever. *g*

However, I do love watching the performance. The performance is so good that I didn't really notice the badness of the vocal until I just listened to it on iTunes without watching.

I had the exact same experience! I actually really liked it when I watched it live. It was only listening to the download that I heard how not great it was.
aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
Flat, sharp, whatever. *g*

See, those notes were wrong enough that we can't tell whether he should have been up or down! :)
marymary
Jun. 8th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
*g* I think they were flat, but yeah, we both heard "wrong."

Love that icon. :-)
aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
Tracks of My Tears
Those who know me know how much I love a guy with a great falsetto, so YEAH this season is pretty orgasmic for me. He does one of my favorite things, which is he goes up there, sets out a picnic blanket, then goes HIGHER and you’re like omg. Beautiful.

This is the first time I remember finding Adam mesmerizing. As you call it, the "stop chewing" moment. That falsetto is pure, delicate perfection. It kills me that they didn't make a studio version of this. However, I do love the version with the Motown backing, too. But I would love a full-length version of his live performance.

And Smokey Fucking Robinson started the standing ovation, thank you very much!
marymary
Jun. 8th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
This is the first time I remember finding Adam mesmerizing. As you call it, the "stop chewing" moment.

For me, that was Ring of Fire. Both vocally and that shit right there. *points*

But you're right...I think it was the simplicity of his version of Tracks of My Tears that (IMO) drew people in and made them hang on every note like that.
aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
Ring of Fire was one I did not fully appreciate until I saw it a few times.

Like Kara, it left me "confused and sort of happy."

Now I just love it to pieces.
misreall
Jun. 8th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
Ok, ok, made it...I feel like I am all out of breath...just to explain, the day this came up I was at work and couldn't see it. Then, on the day I was finally going to read this bad boy (heee) I fell down the stairs.

Then, Printers Row.

Ok.

Black or White
One, I am not sure if I remember even hearing this, but two, this song is terrible, and while I believe Adam CAN sing pretty much everything that doesn't mean he should demean himself by doing so. Still, it is AI.

Ring of Fire
As Deen said, I know that Johnny Cash would have loved, or at very least appreciated the hell out of that song. He was not a Grand Ole' Opry, Nashville GOB, he was a card carrying freak sinner who loved Jesus and his fellow man, and accepted that the Lord made us all different. Fuck Randy Travis, not for his homophobia (which he should be ashamed of) but for misrepresenting one of the greatest artists of all time to a nation of morons who probably don't know any better.
Simon was clearly just having bowel problems that night, it is the only possible explination.

Tracks of My Tears
It is just me, but I think Adam looks really, really weird when he is trying to look normal. Some of us are born shining our light, and the bushel barrel fits like drainpipe pants on a Lane Bryant model. Still, sweet and lovely.

Play That Funky Music
I liked it, as ever the Adam was splendiforous, but I don't think this song works without a band to interact with. Just sayin'.

Mad World
This is one of those songs that brings out the sullen, miserable high school student in me, and all I could think was "why didn't I have a friend like Adam when I was 16? I was born to be this man's hag."

Born to Be Wild
ELVIS! Seriously and for true, the Adam really is the King returned unto us, with a better support system and less baggage. This time things will be better for you King, I promise.

If I Can't Have You
I actually don't remember seeing this one. Will watch later.

Feeling Good
As I believe I said to someone at sometime, I am kind of over this song, not because it isn't great, but because it has become somewhat ubiquitous since it's rediscovery. Still, I admire Adam's choice not to bawl the hell out of it like so many singers do, and I think only he could walk the stairs of stardom with such panache.

Whole Lotta Love
So dirty it would take a crate of Orbits and an army of that weird English woman who strips off people's clothes to wash them to even begin to brush off the surface of it. I am sure that at least one entire Catholic girls' school went into spontaneous puberty over this one and they weren't even watching the show.

One
I don't get it. I don't get the choice. I don't get the arrangement. I don't get anything about it. Accept his shirt. That I totally get.

More later.



and they weren't even watching the show
Ok, ok, made it...I feel like I am all out of breath...just to explain, the day this came up I was at work and couldn't see it. Then, on the day I was finally going to read this bad boy (heee) I fell down the stairs.

Then, Printers Row.

Ok.

Black or White
One, I am not sure if I remember even hearing this, but two, this song is terrible, and while I believe Adam CAN sing pretty much everything that doesn't mean he should demean himself by doing so. Still, it is AI.

Ring of Fire
As Deen said, I know that Johnny Cash would have loved, or at very least appreciated the hell out of that song. He was not a Grand Ole' Opry, Nashville GOB, he was a card carrying freak sinner who loved Jesus and his fellow man, and accepted that the Lord made us all different. Fuck Randy Travis, not for his homophobia (which he should be ashamed of) but for misrepresenting one of the greatest artists of all time to a nation of morons who probably don't know any better.
Simon was clearly just having bowel problems that night, it is the only possible explination.




More later.



aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
Fuck Randy Travis, not for his homophobia (which he should be ashamed of) but for misrepresenting one of the greatest artists of all time to a nation of morons who probably don't know any better.

Absolutely right.
misreall
Jun. 8th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
Um, weird formatting thing in the last comment, sorry. To continue.

Tracks of My Tears
It is just me, but I think Adam looks really, really weird when he is trying to look normal. Some of us are born shining our light, and the bushel barrel fits like drainpipe pants on a Lane Bryant model. Still, sweet and lovely.

Play That Funky Music
I liked it, as ever the Adam was splendiforous, but I don't think this song works without a band to interact with. Just sayin'.

Mad World
This is one of those songs that brings out the sullen, miserable high school student in me, and all I could think was "why didn't I have a friend like Adam when I was 16? I was born to be this man's hag."

Born to Be Wild
ELVIS! Seriously and for true, the Adam really is the King returned unto us, with a better support system and less baggage. This time things will be better for you King, I promise.

If I Can't Have You
I actually don't remember seeing this one. Will watch later.

Feeling Good
As I believe I said to someone at sometime, I am kind of over this song, not because it isn't great, but because it has become somewhat ubiquitous since it's rediscovery. Still, I admire Adam's choice not to bawl the hell out of it like so many singers do, and I think only he could walk the stairs of stardom with such panache.

Whole Lotta Love
So dirty it would take a crate of Orbits and an army of that weird English woman who strips off people's clothes to wash them to even begin to brush off the surface of it. I am sure that at least one entire Catholic girls' school went into spontaneous puberty over this one and they weren't even watching the show.

One
I don't get it. I don't get the choice. I don't get the arrangement. I don't get anything about it. Accept his shirt. That I totally get.

More later, again.
marymary
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
You fell down the stairs?!? 8-o

Will watch later.

We will watch all of these very soon. He's much better on my gigantic TV screen than on a computer. :-D

This time things will be better for you King, I promise.

Hee.

Still, I admire Adam's choice not to bawl the hell out of it like so many singers do

The studio version omg (which you know). The second verse is so pulled back, which saves it from being so brash all the way through. And the end...as a whole, this is really the best studio track I've ever heard out of Idol, and certainly my favorite download from Adam. It's just a brilliant, perfect vocal.

So dirty it would take a crate of Orbits and an army of that weird English woman who strips off people's clothes to wash them to even begin to brush off the surface of it.

Ha. Seriously, wait till you see this at 52". The end part I talk about will give you a stroke. And the best part is the smile at the end, which you can't see at idolonfox.com.

Ooh, along those lines...remind me to link you to something on youtube. Can't do it here. :-)

I don't get the choice. I don't get the arrangement.

It was Simon's choice. Actually I don't have a problem with the choice, if it could have been the whole song. Which, Idol Producers, WHY don't you have time, when there are only two contestants left, for each of them to sing entire songs? It's ridiculous to give them 90 seconds at this point in the competition. If he'd had all of the verses to build up to the big notes, it would have been lovely. And I like the lyrics on him.

Looking forward to the more later.
misreall
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
I thought you heard about the stairs thing. Thursday. Chasing a cat. The bad ankle. All things being equal I got off pretty light.
marymary
Jun. 8th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Stop chasing cats! :-)

I'm glad you're ok.
aunt_deen
Jun. 8th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Play That Funky Music
Ok, this is a bit of a litmus test for me, like Satisfaction. If you don’t get that he’s playing here…then you don’t get Adam and you won’t like him. Look at his face, look at how he dances, watch him lean into lines like “yes I did” and riffs like “come on come on come on come on yeah.” And look at the face on him. It’s supposed to be fun and funny.

This performance is one I love watching over and over again. He's just having so much fun with it that I have a huge grin on my face the whole way through.

I have to copy those dvds of yours after our Lambertfest.

Mad World
Good boy, he stays with the melody --- this is not a riffy performance, this is an homage. ... He stands up once, just at the right time (“look right through me”) and the crowd goes wild. That’s about contrast. Put them where you want them, and then tell them when to go nuts and they will oblige.

This is the one where the whole country went nuts. Suddenly everyone was talking about Adam Lambert. And Simon got the only comment and he stood up and applauded. Usually, the only time all season we see Simon on his feet is at the end of the finale.

Not this year, though. *eg*
aunt_deen
Jun. 9th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
New issue of Rolling Stones: "Adam Lambert: I'm Gay."

I'm shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you.

*snerk*

Must pick up the mag, because the cover looks HOT.
marymary
Jun. 9th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
They did a piece on it on Today, which I managed to catch. Looks good, yeah.

Wait, something else. *flips thru Lambert lobe in brain* (Ok, due to your various distractions I am SO much more informed than you right now, it's not even funny. Ask me anything.) I posted this at keytus the other day:

From Stuart Heritage (really?) at hecklerspray.com:

Chief among the secrets was the issue of Adam Lambert’s sexuality. Was Adam Lambert straight or gay? ...The subtle clues were there if you wanted to look hard enough. The clues included Adam Lambert’s love of flamboyance, his unabashed ability to freely emote, the internet pictures of him kissing men, the fact that he’s actually got a boyfriend and the way that an American Idol judge has openly admitted that Adam Lambert is gay.

He’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma in a conundrum bag, that Adam Lambert. We’ll never get to the bottom of him.

And on Monday night, as Adam Lambert was photographed flirtatiously holding the hand of a male interior designer by the name of Drake LaBry on the way to a Hollywood nightclub, the mystery deepened even further. Is Adam Lambert gay? The truth is we just don’t know.

Damn it Adam Lambert, why do you insist on being so sexually ambiguous? Yes, you were holding hands with an interior designer called Drake LaBry and dancing closely with him in a club, but that doesn’t prove anything. Drake LaBry is about as butch a name as you could ever wish to hear, and interior designing is the exclusive pursuit of the relentlessly masculine. And Adam Lambert might have been holding his hand because Hollywood is a big place and he didn’t want Drake to wander off and get lost.

And maybe Adam Lambert was dancing so close to Drake because Drake suffers from a rare kind of agoraphobia that makes him terrified if he’s not sharing constant over-the-jeans genital-to-buttock contact with another person. See? This mystery is so deep we couldn’t hope to ever penetrate it.

When will you give us the conclusive answer we deserve, Adam Lambert? And by ‘conclusive proof’ we mean ‘internet video of it going in’. WHEN?





misreall
Jun. 9th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Drake LaBry
Oh Jesus please let his parents have taken one look at him and given him that name. Including changing their own last names to LaBry from, say, Johannsen.
marymary
Jun. 9th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Drake LaBry
Hee. We could "Tex Cobb" him, but he'd just be exactly who he is.

Not to be cynical, but I think it's so sweet that Adam didn't dump him as soon as he made the top 10 on Idol...got the cover of EW...got to the finale. I mean, can you imagine the line at this point?
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