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American Idol 8 Redux – The First Time Ever We Saw His Face

January 20, 2011


Editor’s Note:  This post begins a series that takes a look back at American Idol Season 8.  As every Glambert worth his or her weight in glitter should know, Jaunary 20 is the two-year “Adam-versary” of the first time we all heard his amazing voice, during the broadcast of the American Idol San Francisco Auditions show. Our series will feature guest blogger “Idolholic’s” weekly reviews of the shows, originally written during the 2009 season and featuring the top 13 finalists.  Today, this first post will introduce you to her!

Part One:  Confessions of an Idolholic
I am an Idolholic.  And a huge fan of Adam Lambert.  This is the story of the road that took me from American Idol fan to full-fledged, card-carrying Glambert (yes, I actually have my fan club membership card in my wallet!).

I began watching American Idol during the second season, in 2003, and at some point in the past eight years I went from being a casual viewer to a bona fide, obsessed uber-fan!  I assign initial blame for my American Idol passion to my sister-in-law, whom I’ll call “H.”  She happens to be one of my best friends, but unfortunately lives 200 miles from me.  We discovered during Season 3 that we shared a passion for American Idol.  Frustrated by our inability to watch the show together, we turned to email to express our reactions, reviews and opinions.  Originally our little email group was quite small, only four of us.  Over the years, as we each discovered like-minded Idol fans amongst our friends and coworkers and relatives, our group grew to include women spread, literally, all over the globe (Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, Texas, and Hong Kong!).

Perhaps because I knew I wanted to discuss all the juicy details with my fellow Idolholics, I began taking notes during every show featuring the finalists (i.e. starting with the “Top 12” show the week after Hollywood Week was over).  I’d write down the name of each contestant, the name of song they had sung, my comments about their singing, and my rating of how well I thought they did.  At the end of the broadcast I’d rank the singers from best to worst, and then compile all of this into a review that I emailedl to my fellow Idolholics.  This went on for five years, and each year my passion for Idol grew.  It peaked in 2009, during Season 8…but I’m getting ahead of the story!

When I read Xena and Juneau’s book last summer and found this Salon online, it occurred to me that my Idol email group was a simplistic version of the much larger community of Adam Lambert fans that they have helped nurture and guide over the past couple of years.  The sense of camaraderie with others who share our interest, the love of written words, and a flair for communicating with our compatriots on the Internet are just a few of the qualities that make our groups similar.  And because I still have the written record of what I was thinking and feeling during those Idol broadcasts, I thought others might be interested in reading them too.   Luckily for all of us, Juneau and Xena agreed, and thus this “American Idol 8 Redux” series was born.

Since the Glam Nation Tour has ended, we’ve all been in withdrawal from lack of daily news about Adam.   And so, my fellow Glambertinae, I hope you enjoy revisiting with me those weeks in the winter and spring of 2009, when so many of us felt the first tugs of what would eventually become our “total devotion” to Adam.

Be forewarned:  my initial reaction to Adam was not particularly positive.  But be patient: I did see the light and redeem myself, I promise you!

Here’s what I had to say in 2009 after the first and second week of American Idol auditions.  As you’ll soon learn, my fellow Idolholics and I are huge fans of Michael Slezak, then-writer for Entertainment Weekly who posted wonderful articles reviewing every Idol broadcast.


Sent: Friday, January 16, 2009 5:33 AM
Subject: FW: Slezak’s Review!!!!!!

Good morning Ladies!

Idol is back….and so is Slezak!  I’m not sure which I’m more excited about!  These recaps are both excellent & very funny.  Be sure to watch the short video clips at the end of each…they’re a sort of montage of great moments from last year’s “Idolatry” and I guarantee they will make you smile!

Slezak’s recap of Tuesday’s show (H. says, “Enjoy his spot-on review”):

Slezak’s recap of Wednesday’s show

So far, I’m liking Stevie Wright & Lil Rounds.  Cannot WAIT for Bikini Girl to get her come-uppance during Hollywood Week (can you say At-ti-TUDE????).

Stay safe & warm, everyone!


Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 6:08 AM
Subject: RE: Slezak

H., you must be in Idolholic heaven!  Not only does Idol go to Louisville and give us a great “meet the city” package featuring Churchill Downs….then you also get to have a Slezak article with a Derby analogy!  How cool for you :0) !!!

I actually am thinking about skipping the audition rounds on TV and just reading Slezak.  He is TOO funny!  And I agree with H., the audition rounds are a bit boring.  But I’m kind of liking that.  They are definitely showing us more of the good people, and the bad people aren’t quite so “out there” with outrageous costumes etc.

I do believe there will be controversy over Joanna Pacitti (the one who Kara recognized as having signed with A&M and who sang Pat Benatar’s “We Belong”.  …[A]s a child she won a national talent search to play “Annie” on Broadway, then was let go shortly after she started.  I did some research on her, and learned that while she never released an album for A&M, she DID release an album for the Geffen label in 2006.  If you haven’t already done so, click on the link to her music video “Let It Slide” in Slezak’s second article (link at the end of this email).  I really like her…she’s REALLY good…but she’s already recorded a song for the soundtrack of 3 different movies, one of which was then covered by Britney Spears on her new album “Circus”!!!  I mean, come on!  This girl is just in a different league.  [note: we know from one of Adam’s recent tweets in 2010 that he remains friends with Joanna.]

Slezak’s second article tells us that Idol will be on THREE nights next week, and that’s the end of auditions.  Then Hollywood Week will be on THREE nights the following week.  So in a couple of weeks we’ll know the top 36!!!

By the way, I have been very good and have not read ANY spoilers so I have no idea who those 36 might be.

Central Illinois Idolholics, here are links to Slezak’s articles this week.  Enjoy!

On Tuesday’s San Francisco show (H. says “Don’t forget to watch the Idolatry video as well-very funny!”):
[note:  in this article you’ll find Slezak’s first mention of Adam!]

On Wednesday’s Louisville show

Until Tuesday,

And now, fellow Adam Lambert fans, as a reward for reading to the end of this post, here’s a little added bonus to help you celebrate the January 20 “Adam-versary”.  This link is to the video of his complete audition package, as broadcast on American Idol on January 20, 2009:

Here is a higher quality edited video from The Reality Channel looking back at the audition

And for dessert, here’s the poll of best American Idol auditions!

Here is the entire series:
The First Time Ever We Saw His Face
Part Two: The Auditions Go On…and On…and On….
Part Three: Hooray for Hollywood Week!
Part Four:  And Then There Were 36
Part Five:  Let The Voting Begin!!!
Part Six:  Adam Gives Us “Satisfaction” and We Give Him Votes!

Part Seven: Lucky 13!
Part Eight: Adam and Those Twelve Other Finalists
Part Nine: Adam’s “Ring of Fire” Leaves Us “Confused…and Sort of Happy”
Part 10: Adam Gets a Standing O from Smokey Robinson!

Part 11: Adam Gets “Funky” !

Part 12: Adam’s “Mad World” Gets a Standing O from Simon!
Part 13: Adam Tells Us He Was “Born to be Wild”

Part 14: Adam Lambert Soulfully Sings “If I Can’t Have You”
Part 15:  Adam Lambert Has Us “Feeling Good”

Part 16:  Adam Lambert Gives Us Every Inch of His Love

Part 17:  Adam Lambert has us cryin’
Part 18: A Change is Gonna Come for Adam Lambert

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Sherry permalink
    January 21, 2011 9:37 pm

    Love, love the look back! Reading the Slezak blogs and the comments are fascinating. Funny how right on some of the comments were! Thank you for the great work and reminding us how we grew to love our BB!

  2. APRIL permalink
    January 22, 2011 9:00 am

    OMG I remember seeing his audition and thinking he has to make it!!!! Paula was so in awe. That was amazing! He is awesome! Where has 2 years gone?

  3. March 17, 2011 1:01 pm

    I know it’s easy for some folks to say “I knew it” but I SWEAR TO GOD…my husband and I were NOT Idol viewers and only kismet had Ron channel surfing on that particular night (well, kismet and boredom) and we caught Adam’s audition.I looked at Ron, he looked at me and we both started talking at once and agreed that we would watch the following week to “see how far this kid goes”……
    Well, the rest, as they say, is history. Not ONCE, for a tiny second, did we question Adam’s ability as a singer. In fact, when he sang “Satisfaction”…..we KNEW he was “IT”…and from that day to this, our admiration for his talent has not wavered one iota.
    In fact, we have now seen him 8 times live, including the Idol Tour in San Diego, where we rushed out right after his last solo number (and before Kris Allen took the stage) to get in line at the barricade. And we DID meet Adam! He was all we had hoped and more! He was gracious, and gorgeous and signed my Rolling Stone cover and Idol Program book as well as shook Ron’s hand and smiled humbly the entire time.(I even held his wrist a second, score!)
    Somehow, he is able to simultaneously be a STAR and a very down-to-earth person.
    Thank you ladies for this walk down memory lane.But every moment is seared into my brain. ~Rose and Ron~

  4. Angel permalink
    May 2, 2012 4:30 pm

    Thanks for this Idol Redux. I will never forget the first time I saw ADAM in his audition. That’s the start of the joy in my heart in my serene life which ADAM made me listen to Music Again.
    I’m late to this fandom site which was late last year. I believe ADAM has a mission in this world. I believe his way of reaching that pinnacle of success is on another route. May it be his gigs with Queen that will astound the world and recognize and acknowledge all his GOD-given talents in this beautiful human being. Rock on, ADAM!

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