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AI8 Redux Part 9: Adam’s “Ring of Fire” Leaves Us “Confused…and Sort of Happy”

March 17, 2011



By guest blogger “Idolholic”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  And for those of you who were somewhat taken aback last week by my lukewarm-to-critical response to Adam’s first performance on American Idol’s “big stage,” take heart!  Two years ago tonight, on March 17, 2009, I began my transformation into Adam Lambert Uber-Fan and Future Glambert!  I can now clearly see that it was Adam’s version of “Ring of Fire” that finally made me sit up and take notice!  Within 24 hours of seeing this Idol broadcast, I was out on YouTube trawling for video evidence of his brilliant singing!  But I’m getting ahead of the story…

First, a little bit of Idol history.  The theme for this week was “Grand Ole Opry” and Randy Travis was the guest mentor.  The Top 11 contestants sang these songs, in this order (bottom 3 in italics; eliminated contestant in bold italics):


1.  Michael Sarver, “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)”
2.  Allison Iraheta, “Blame It On Your Heart”

3.  Kris Allen “To Make You Feel My Love”
4.  Lil Rounds “Independence Day”
5.  Adam Lambert “Ring of Fire”
6.  Scott McIntyre “Wild Angels”
7.  Alexis Grace “Jolene”

8.  Danny Gokey “Jesus Take the Wheel”
9.  Anoop Desai, “Always On My Mind”
10.  Megan Joy Corkrey, “I Go Walkin’ After Midnight”
11.  Matt Giraud, “So Small”

Michael Slezak on made me laugh when I was reminded of Randy Travis’ reaction to Adam’s nail polish!  Here’s  Slezak’s review.

In Slezak’s absence, the results show was recapped on by Kate Ward.

My summary comment about Adam was, “I actually liked the weirdness somehow.”  How prophetic was that?!?!?  And now, witness the dawn of my transformation in my review of the 3/17/09 American Idol broadcast:

Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 6:11 AM
Subject: RE: Anoop Goes Country!

Hi Ladies,

Here’s my ranking:

TOP 4:

1. Anoop. GREAT vocal.  Lookin’ good!  VERY polished.

2. Adam – [There was a] sour chord [in the instrumental accompaniment] at beginning.  FANTASTIC VOCAL, great arrangement.  Please understand, I think he is VERY weird, but from a technical standpoint his singing was amazing…a 10+ on the difficulty scale.  Random thought:  he could be a great Elvis impersonator!  Overall I agree with Kara, he left me feeling “confused…[and sort of happy]”!  I actually liked the weirdness somehow.

3.  Allison.  I can’t believe she’s only 16.  What stage presence!

4.  Danny.  I thought he was soulful, kinda like Taylor Hicks but better.


5.  Michael.  Harmonica too loud at beginning, same with background singers.  He was in his element.  Problem with his song was that it had a very boring melody, most of it was just on one note!  He should not talk back to judges.

6.  Lil.  Love the hair!  Pitchy, but great high notes.  Not her genre.

7.  Alexis.  Wow, she got applause from Randy Travis during her practice session!  How awesome that must have felt to her.  I thought her dress was great.  High notes…hmmmm….Lots of reverb, and sometimes she was flat.

8.  Kris.  Pitchy at first.  Romantic song was a very good choice for this season’s heartthrob.  Lots of reverb!  Very bad final note.  Love the nickname “Tender Dog”!!

9.  Matt.  Not always on pitch.  Very dramatic arrangements…over the top.

10.  Scott.  Wobbly low notes…but overall his voice was sweet & soothing.  Pitchy falsetto & final notes.


11. Megan.  Cute hair & dress.  But she was pitchy, her voice cracked & strained.  I feel sorry for her after learning that she was soooo sick, and knowing that, I admire how well she did sing.  I couldn’t do that!

Other than Megan, I think everyone this season is a really great singer (given the right song choice) and that makes it exciting!  Horse Race Analogy Alert:  My top ten could all be running neck-and-neck in any given week depending on song choice.

Final random thought….When will Paula and Simon start acting like adults?  I thought their childish antics, especially right before Matt, were distracting and very annoying.  They need to grow up & show some respect for the contestants when they are on stage LIVE in front of 30 million people!  This may be old hat & boring to Paula & Simon, but it’s thrilling to these 11 kids and the judges should just behave themselves better!

What does everyone else think?

Enjoy watching tonight!



And to cap off this week’s “Redux”, here’s a link to Adam’s groundbreaking, history-making rendition of “Ring of Fire”….Enjoy!!!!!

To Be Continued…

American Idol Season 8 Redux 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

11 Comments leave one →
  1. glitzylady permalink
    March 17, 2011 11:20 am

    Ha! Still one of my favorite “go-to” songs on my self-made Adam Lambert Idol Performances (Studio Versions..) CD..He still leaves me “confused” (I have to be careful when driving and listening to this song because just the other day I was listening to ROF and literally drove past my destination…oops!), not to mention more than just “sorta happy”! Had to laugh at the “he would make a great Elvis impersonator” thought! As we know now, he would make a just about “great” anything!

    I do have to say that when we saw this performance as it was happening on Idol Season 8, my husband just about came unglued, and not from Adam’s sexy, sensual look and fabulous and technically difficult vocal performance. He was convinced that Adam was gone after that, not because it was bad, but because he was sure no one would “get” it, and people would think he was weird (refer to above)…and he was already an Adam fan-boy at that point. Needless to say, so was I, (well, fan-GIRL) although I wasn’t too worried about him getting voted off: because if the ladies watching Adam were as positively um… I was, there was no way he was going anywhere! BTW, hubby is still convinced this is why Adam didn’t win Idol, and I can’t convince him otherwise…He still adores Adam and has been to four concerts with me (I’ve been to a few more than that ; ) ) and just shakes his head at those who do not seem to understand what an amazing vocalist and lovely human being Adam is…..Thank goodness for AI for introducing us to Adam and Adam’s courage to be himself.

  2. buffy522 permalink
    March 17, 2011 4:07 pm

    The Michael Slezak link took me to a current S10 review. Can’t find the original.

    When Adam popped his shirt and showed a tiny bit of belly (which he claimed was an accident!) I began to drool and haven’t stopped.

    Here is a link to the group performance and results show.

    • March 17, 2011 9:31 pm

      Odd, I just tested the link for the Michael Slezak review and it worked… – J

      • buffy522 permalink
        March 18, 2011 5:17 pm

        thanks, J, today it worked! who knows?

  3. magsmagenta permalink
    March 17, 2011 4:38 pm

    That ROF performance was literally a life changing moment for me, as I was at work searching for something harmless and entertaining for my clients (Mentally Challenged adults) to watch on TV and caught a fraction of a second of Adam singing ROF as I whizzed past the Channel seeing the dreaded words ‘American Idol’ at the bottom of the screen, then Immediately Backtracked as it sunk in what I’d seen there, and watched the last 30 seconds of the performance awe stricken. So then I had to find the ITV2+1 channel and the last repeat of AI that week so I could see the full thing. Guess what harmless entertainment my clients ended up watching for the next hour or 2.
    I wasn’t only impressed with his look and his singing, which were just fantastic in themselves, what really had me hooked was the way he made no secret of the fact that he wasn’t into country music, and that he took the category and made it into something that was totally him, on his own terms, and he wasn’t even snarky about it it was just how he was, a fact of life, and he wasn’t even going to consider pretending to be country.
    And how he interacted with Randy Travis, how he didn’t need his guidance, he just walked into the room and said ‘This is what I’m doing, just like it or don’t’ Totally unfazed by Randys reaction to how he looked. And then after the performance Simons reaction just sealed the deal, especially the way Adam practically laughed in his face.
    I tried to resist for the next few shows just tuning in to see if he’d gone through to the next round, but by the time ‘Feeling Good’ came around I was a totally hopeless case, looking for excuses to watch AI just for him, and beginning my two year internet stalking odyssey, which still continues for the foreseeable future, especially when Adam releases material like the Glamnation Live CD currently streaming on AO:|lambert|20110317

    If he Keeps putting on performances like that I really can’t see an end to this obsession at all 🙂

  4. idolholic permalink
    March 17, 2011 7:41 pm

    How did you react to “Ring of Fire”? Did you see it on “Idol” in 2009, or at some point after that?

    • idolholic permalink
      March 17, 2011 7:46 pm

      magsmagenta, I posted my comment before I read yours! What a great story! My transformation unfolded a little more slowly than yours. Keep reading “American Idol 8 Redux” in the coming weeks & you’ll see a kindred spirit emerge :0) !

    • CherelleDay permalink
      March 18, 2011 4:59 pm

      Hahahaha! The “Ring of Fire” performance was the “clincher” at my house. We never understated our dislike of “reality tv,” and Idol was an equal recipient of our general family contempt for such pitiful offerings . . . until channel surfing one evening, WAIT! Turn it back, what the HECK was THAT?? As Adam auditioned with a snippet of Bohemian Rhapsody . . . sheer unadulterated curiousity spurred my musician hubby to actually encourage us to watch it again . . Cher’s “Believe” meant we had to come back and see “Some Kind of Wonderful” which solidified our position. Needless to say by the time week three rolled around we were waiting with popcorn and the family gathered. No longer sneering (well not as much) at Ryan’s cheesy intro, and waiting through the chaff and backstory of other contestants to hear what on earth he would do for Country week!? Lotta respect for Randy Travis, but none of us are big fans of the genre.

      Oh – My – God! Stunned and mesmerized dead silence gave way to an almost mass-hysterical laughter with cheering and clapping. Even my one year old had been held spellbound! The euphoria didn’t even wear off at Simon’s inanely stupid (most obvious case of foot-in-mouth ever heard from him) comment, that even Randy Travis seemed to disapprove of.

      All six people in the room heartily agreed that Adam was the only reason to watch the show, and to this day that holds true. Seven incredible live performances later, and a family of six bonafide Glamberts is gonna watch the Glam Nation Live DVD with that popcorn tonight!

  5. E.Burt permalink
    March 21, 2011 4:53 pm

    From day one I knew Adam lambert would be a star. It is sometimes difficult for me to come to terms with some of the things you have said about Adam. I never once thought of him a weird. You have called him “Queen Bitch”, “Madam” and made other references that I thought were inappropriate. You even stuck up for Joan Rivers. I found a video I think you should watch because you seem to be stuck with a stereotype of a gay man in your head that you need to extinguish.

    • March 22, 2011 1:28 am

      E. Burt, to whom are you directing your remarks this time? I, Xena did not write this post, hence I didn’t say that I believed Adam was weird.

      Once again I will attempt to inform you. I said that I didn’t like Joan Rivers before anyone else didn’t like Joan Rivers and I found it strange that among all the nasty, horrible things she has ever said, one rather inocuous remark about Adam brought on fits of ageism directed at her. I have never defended anything she has ever said. Please stop saying this.

      Since I have requested the exact quotes of me referring to Adam as a female and you have not delivered, here’s the only one of which I am aware and do not believe it is in the least offensive. Guess you had to be there.

      Here is exactly what I wrote in an out of context quotation about Adam’s performance at the Kradison concert in NYC. I doubt there was a person there who would argue with my description of this moment. The rest of the piece refers to Adam as Scaramouche, a male character and I made many references to Adam’s masculine sexuality.

      ““Having Fun?” “Like my Lipstick? It’s not lipstick, it’s cold here in New York.” A little humour bridge and everyone’s in on the act. Blots his face with a huge towel and to the disappointment of some, reminds us he’s going to need it – Longineu’s “parum pum – boom” the exclamation mark. Adam at his HBIC best. “Oooo a cape!” as he spots Gloria’s “Katy Perry cape” ”

      The whole post is available here:

      As to “madam”, you will have to find that one yourself.

      I truly believe that I do not need sensitivity training about gay concerns or I would have heard from the many gay men who read our blog, enjoyed our book, have appeared on our radio show as guests, follow us on Twitter or met us at Glam Parties.

      However, I am very worried about your unhappiness and frustrations. Please get some help for your very serious issues, so you can stop looking for trouble and gay bashing where none exists. I am not the cause of your problems.

      I am not the one who is stereotyping gay men, you are. I believe that everyone is an individual and treat them this way. You are making assumptions without evidence. If you can find where I have written “as a gay man ….” or “gays are….” or “because Adam is gay, he…”, please post it here.

      Perhaps I should be offended that you believe the readers of our Salon need to see this video to teach us a lesson. Did you read the end? It says “And no, this video does not speak for everyone, but it does speak for me and whoever wants it to represent them.”

      Rather than have you speaking as a proxy for gay men when they are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves, they could read what I write and share their observations, actually they do and we have not received a single complaint from a gay man.


    • idolholic permalink
      March 22, 2011 4:18 am

      Not sure to whom your comments are addressed, E.Burt. I have never called Adam any of those names you mentioned, and have never commented on Joan Rivers. I did initially say he was “weird,” but that’s kind of the whole point of this blog series, in which I am willingly revealing my initial negative reactions to Adam because I have now completely changed my mind about him! Thanks for the video, I’ve seen it before & I think it’s great.

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