Adam Lambert Mentors AI S9 Top 9 Elvis Night!
* I got e-mail requests complaining why I mashed-up Adam’s mentoring on AI with GLEE! So here you have it! ETA: Looks like Amazon is capitalizing on Elvis Night! The 14-track album The Very Best Of Elvis Presley is available today (4/14) for only $2.99!
Yes, I watched American Idol live, but only because Adam Lambert was a mentor. (I thought he was totally spot on in his critiques, but unfortunately, some of the contestants either didn’t get what he was saying or just couldn’t work it out … anyway, looking forward to his performance tomorrow!) This season is such a total wash for me… so lacking in charisma/ energy / star quality / performance skills etc etc. (with exceptions of course, i.e. Mama Sox!) So looking forward to tomorrow night when Adam performs Whataya Want From Me (hoping for a push to iTunes sales!)
Here’s the obligatory Ryan sex joke of the night:
Michael Lynch: “My favorite Adam Lambert moment is hearing about his reputation from the crew and from our handlers. He was always prepared, a super good kid; he’s just one of the people they talk the highest about. To me, that’s something that’s important. I always want my reputation with the people I work with to be good, and to see that about him, that he’s one of the people they talk about out of all the seasons, that’s my favorite thing about him.”
When asked about the Season 9 female struggling (they’ve had three women go home versus no men being eliminated yet), Lambert commented that it definitely shows that women are the ones that vote. So girls don’t vote for other girls? “Not as much as the boy they think is cute,” he quips.
Of course, everyone pounces on that. Which boy is the cutest? “You tell me!” Adam teases. “That’s up to you, not me. That’ll just be sensationalized and turned into another headline,” he laughs.
While previous mentors have typically offered sweet nothings, praise and light advice to the contestants, like another season-nine guide, Usher, Lambert dug in and really encouraged the singers to push the envelope and display their personalities, providing concrete suggestions for molding their performances.
He was unafraid to criticize their choices — counseling Andrew to punch up his version of “Hound Dog” and loosen up a bit and suggesting to Siobhan Magnus that her arrangement of “Suspicious Minds” needed to be sped up a bit to really pop — and praise them when they made the right ones. The results didn’t always translate into great performances, but Lambert’s efforts drew praise from no less an expert than outgoing “Idol” musical director Rickey Minor.
“From the first day I met Adam in Hollywood Week — and he stood out right then — I’ve always thought he was someone to listen to,” Minor told MTV News on Wednesday, the day after it was announced he’d be leaving “Idol” at the end of this season for “The Tonight Show.” “This is a visual art as well, and I think he did really well, because he’s been in the competition and he’s in their age range. It’s not like some star who’s been around for 30 years saying, ‘You need to do this.’ Adam can say he was on the show last year, and he knows how it feels. It was a great idea to have him on.”
Minor said Lambert’s honesty and truthfulness with the contestants, both good and bad, was refreshing. “He was the one who told them, ‘No one told me I’d be working 10 times as hard [once I left the show],’ ” Minor said. “His thing was to challenge them, and I have a lot of respect for him having already worked with him. And now that he’s come in and talked to these kids, it’s even bigger.”
On a night when “American Idol” played tribute to Elvis, Adam Lambert proved to be King of the mentors.
Going in, the decision to bring back a youthful singer who just competed on the show last season may have been questionable (Even if he somewhat resembles Presley). But Adam did something many of the old-pro mentors fail to do: Provide honest — and valid — criticism. Right off the top, he said the contestants “need to wake up” and bring “a little more energy.” He used the word “boring” to describe Aaron Garcia’s take on “Hound Dog” and knocked Lee DeWyze’s lack of stage charisma. It was refreshing to hear.
Season-eight runner-up Adam Lambert blessedly livened things up as a guest mentor, and he was actually a great tie-in to the week’s theme since Elvis also wore mascara offstage and the networks won’t show Lambert doing certain things below the hips. Glambert kept the episode afloat by actually giving some honest feedback, saying this season has great singers but a lot of them need to “wake up … let’s put on a show.” (And after weeks of the judges wondering what the problem is with Andrew, it was a relief to have someone flat out tell him his singing was boring.)
Lambert is the first former competitor to return to mentor “Idol” contestants, though really he was there more as a symbol of the show’s old high points, a trigger for fans who might be fading. His presence only underscored the obvious, though: no one this season is likely to be as big a star as he is (which is to say, not that big, though ascendant).
His quasi-fame was an asset for his mentoring: he’s close enough to being unfamous to empathize with the contestants, established enough to offer practical advice, and far away enough from true celebrity to not feel obliged to be kind across the board. To Andrew Garcia, he said plainly, “I was bored.” Talking to Lee DeWyze, he motioned in front of his face and declared, “Here, there’s nothing going on.” In both cases, he was spot on.
No, this was not a great night of musical entertainment. Just don’t blame the inexplicably polarizing Mr. Lambert, an impish (and deliciously coiffed) presence who sagely noted that the nine remaining finalists needed to ”wake up a little bit,” then succinctly summed up the particular performance problems each of the season 9 combatants was experiencing.
After a “Who is Elvis?” package recycled from season five, Seacrest sat down to awkwardly interview Adam Lambert, visiting the show with his mom. (How Jeremy Piven of him!) The chat began with “You got an extra two inches tonight!” (a reference to Lambert’s spikey coif, I hope) and ended with the tanned host saying, “My tongue is not nearly as talented as yours.” I would have spit-taked but I was suppressing vomit at the thought of Seacrest doing anything with his tongue.
The good news: Lambert didn’t hold back, bringing some much-needed straight talk to the mostly underwhelming cast. The bad news: the performances were still fairly horrendous. Even worse: Ryan Seacrest couldn’t resist throwing Lambert a stupid curveball at the top of the show, mumbling about how “my tongue is not nearly as talented as yours.”
EW caught up with Lambert at Idol last night during a post-show press Q&A, and asked him about Warwick’s comments. “It’s so sweet of him,” Lambert replied lightheartedly. “I don’t feel like I’m struggling at all. I think things are right where they need to be. My single ‘What Do You Want From Me,’ is just breaking into the Top 10 right now.” The track, which Lambert will perform during tonight’s Idol results show, is currently at No. 13 on Billboard’s Pop chart, and number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100, having peaked at No. 20.
… Then Adam Lambert entered the room (with his mama behind him — that’s her pictured above next to Lambert), and the audience basically lost all control of their limbic systems.
Surprisingly, the feral enthusiasm carried over more-or-less to the Top 9 (part deux) as they entered the Idoldome, although it was not quite shared by Glambert himself — then again, the man’s delicate golf-clapping could’ve just been a byproduct of the five pounds of jewelry weighing down his hands. As the Idols took their place on the Thunderstairs, the sway pit shifted their conspicuous gawking from the Glee cast to Lambert…
… The Idols scampered off stage, the judges entered through the Thunderscreen, and Kara scampered over to Glambert so she could quickly envelop him in her arms. Then Simon shook his hand… During the Elvis/Vegas/Glambert video package, Ellen and Randy chatted as Debbie the Stage Manager moved the bodyguard sitting next to Glambert away so Ryan to slip onto his seat instead. For the first half of their on-camera conversation, I noticed only Ellen bothered to physically watch at Ryan and Adam directly. After Ryan noted that Adam’s tongue was much more talented than his, however, all four judges turned their attention to the Idol host and season 8 runner-up. Simon and Randy playfully wagged their fingers at Ryan…
… We entered our first ad break. Simon zipped out immediately. Kara threw her arms once again over Lambert’s body. Ellen simply hugged him, and then took a photo op with him and Randy. Lambert then held court with Mezhgan Hussainy (i.e. Simon’s fiancée and an Idol make-up stylist), and associate music directors Michael Orland and Dorian Holley.
‘American Idol’ Elvis week live: Ryan Seacrest dances while Tim Urban sings (Zap2it On the Scene)
After the judges were introduced, Kara practically flew into Adam Lambert’s arms and Simon was right on her heels to shake Adam’s hand.
During the first commercial break, Simon’s fiancee and “Idol” makeup artist Mezghan Hussainy, ran out from backstage and gave both Adam and his mom big hugs.
Adam’s last-minute mentoring assignment came as a surprise to some, who contend that a year of post-‘Idol’ success does not exactly equal the real world struggles that many music artists face. To that end, Adam pleaded humility. “It was a big shock and an honor at the same time,” he said. “Obviously, I’m just at the start of my career, so I’m not an established recording artist, but I do know where they are right now. It’s fresh in my mind. I was here a year ago. So hopefully, I brought them a sort of insight into the process, and into knowing what it takes to get the judges’ reaction, and a positive one, and what it’s like to be up there. … It’s a tough process, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that the audience doesn’t see.”
On hand for Elvis week, Adam was the first former Idol to return as a mentor, an honor-cum-duty (remember, he’s represented by the show’s ancillary organization, 19 Management) that turns out to suit him well. It could have gone to a more established unit-mover like Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson. Yet from the minute he stood at that familiar piano, persuading Crystal Bowersox to put down the folkie strum one time and strap on a sequined electric guitar, he filled the role with complete self-assurance, compassion and sincerity, tempered by an ironic edge that could easily translate to the judges’ table.
And he gave great advice. Sure, much of it was the same from striver to striver — show more emotion, move around, kick everything up a notch — but that’s because this year’s group remains strangely inert, trapped behind their instruments or within the gestures that worked for them early on.
Idol: All shook up over Adam Lambert (Houston Chronicle)
“Let’s put on a show,” Adam Lambert intones at the start of Wednesday’s Elvis Presley-themed Idol show. If only the contestants would take his advice.
The Glambert offered real insight to this week’s top 9 — technical tips and words about emotional connection. It made for some surprising highs (read on) and some predictable lows.
American Idol put on its white polyester suit tonight, threw in a light smattering of glitter, and tried to channel Elvis Presley by way of Adam Lambert. Yet while the songbook in question was chock full o’ gems, and the guest mentor was able to swiftly zero in on what’s been ailing the season 9 combatants, most of the evening had the distinctive scent of a Bounce fabric-softener sheet. Which is to say that the telecast was tailor made for folding the laundry.
‘American Idol’ Top 9: Elvis Has Most Definitely Left The Building (Yahoo Reality Rocks)
Adam returned to “Idol” as this week’s mentor, and he was the first former contestant to receive such an honor/responsibility… Since Adam was in the top nine’s shoes (albeit in his case, they were platform shoes) not long ago–and since he is always so unfiltered–I knew he’d give the struggling contestants some much-needed straight talk, so to speak. And I hoped that, maybe, just maybe, he’d push them to take some risks and, as he put it, “wake up a little bit.”
Of course, he had his work cut out for him, since this week’s theme was the not-quite-current music of Elvis Presley–a proposition that nearly prompted me to shoot out my TV screen, Elvis-style. But Adam seemed up for the task, and in some cases (Crystal, Tim, Lee, Michael, Katie), his advice yielded results fit for The King. For other contestants (Andrew, Aaron, Casey, and surprisingly Siobhan), not so much. After all, Lambert may have once sung “Time For Miracles,” but he’s not a miracle worker.
American Idol Liveblog: Of Mics and Mentor (Best Week Ever)
Tonight’s American Idol is a very special one, as it features Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert as a real life mentor. I think we can all agree that this season’s Idols have a lot to live up to. For example, hitting more that 2 out of every 5 notes.
“American Idol”: Adam Lambert makes welcome return for Elvis night (A+E Interactive)
On a night when “American Idol” played tribute to Elvis, Adam Lambert proved to be King of the mentors.
Going in, the decision to bring back a youthful singer who competed on the show only last season may have been questionable (Even if he somewhat resembles Presley). But Adam did something many of the old-pro mentors fail to do: Provide honest — and valid — criticism. Right off the top, he said the contestants “need to wake up” and bring “a little more energy.” He used the word “boring” to describe Aaron Garcia’s take on “Hound Dog” and knocked Lee DeWyze’s lack of stage charisma. It was refreshing to hear.
Of course, charisma and personality is something Lambert never lacked during his electric “Idol” run last season. He’ll be back Wednesday when “Idol” eliminates two contestants.
Adam Lambert slams lackluster ‘Idols’ but Tim Urban surprises with falsetto Elvis performance (NY Daily News) – wow, way to write an untrue inflammatory headline!
If you aren’t already nostalgic for previous seasons of “American Idol,” last year’s runner up – and performer extraordinaire – Adam Lambert was back this week to rub your face in it. The first alum to ever return as a mentor, Lambert is everything this year’s contestants are not.
“They need to wake up a little bit,” he told host Ryan Seacrest, diplomatically.
That’s like saying Sunny Von Bulow was just having a cat nap. And as hard as he tried, Lambert failed to wake up the contestants for Elvis night. Even the best singers were forgettable Tuesday.
Mentor Adam Lambert was in the audience all night, really paying attention to each performance and giving several standing ovations. Plus, his hair looked great and as per usual, Kara DioGuari was all up in his grill, flirting away. (It was actually very sweet!)
It was a night dedicated to the music of an American giant, a swaggering, pompadoured rule-breaker whose sexualized performances shocked a nation. Also, it was Elvis night. But the big name on stage was Adam—as in Lambert—last year’s Idol phenom and runner-up. Did Glambert teach this year’s sleepy finalists that it’s American Idol, not American Guy Who Sings On Wednesdays at 10 P.M. at the Coffeehouse? Or did they just lie there like hound dogs?
Helping them get their acts together this week was Adam Lambert, who was in their shoes just one year ago (and, like latter-day Elvis, has a fondness for leather) and is the first former contestant to be asked to return as a mentor.
But while the top nine seemed to take their meetings with Glambert in stride, none other than Ryan Seacrest tripped over his words, ultimately complimenting the scene-stealing Idol runner-up on his talented tongue. “You know, your singing,” Ryan quickly added.
“My mission is to be completely honest, but constructive,” Adam said going into Tuesday’s show. “So hopefully they take that spirit of Elvis Presley and they inject that into these songs, and they give you something to listen to, to look at and to feel.”
Well, these nine aren’t exactly you, Adam, but at least they tried their best…
Adam Lambert was OK as a mentor, but he could only do so much. One of the biggest issues this season is that there is no Lambert.