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AI8 Redux Part 13: Adam Tells Us He Was “Born to be Wild”

April 14, 2011


By guest blogger “Idolholic”

On April 14, 2009 (exactly two years ago tonight) Adam chose to sing “Born to be Wild”…as if there was ever any doubt! The theme for this week for the Top 7 contestant was “Music from the Movies,” and the guest mentor was Quentin Tarantino.

In order of performance, here’s what they sang (bottom three in italics; last place contestant in bold):

1.  Allison Iraheta, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”

2.  Anoop Desai, “Everything I Do I Do for You”

3.  Adam Lambert, “Born to Be Wild”

4.  Matt Giraud, “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”

5.  Danny Gokey, “Endless Love”

6.  Kris Allen, “Falling Slowly”

7.  Lil Rounds, “The Rose”

The judges used their one and only “save” this week, so Matt Giraud was not eliminated.  This meant that the following week, we’d hear seven contestants again, but two would be eliminated.

Here’s Slezak’s review on

And Slezak’s recap of the results show.

Here’s what I had to say about the Top 7 in my emails to my fellow Idolholics:

Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 6:47 AM

Subject: RE: Tonight’s Idol – Mostly Forgettable

H., my rankings are almost identical to yours!  I switched Allison &   Danny, but the difference between them was minor, IMHO.  I do like Allison & am very sad that she seemed to be having an “off” night last night.


1.  Adam.  He is Mr. Versatility and that is one of the many reasons I love to watch him!  I was glad to see that he kept his tongue in his mouth (most of the time) during the high notes tonight!!!  He had great conviction and incredible high notes.  What a performer!  I especially liked the part where he was interacting with the band and backup singers.  It’s always a good idea to have the musicians on your side, and they all seemed like they were having a blast performing with Adam.  I think it’s very classy the way he acknowledges their contributions.  Way to go, Adam!


2.  Kris.  I don’t really get all the hype about Kris, and I thought he was a bit wobbly at first.  The first half was boring, but the second half was FANTATSITC!  Bit of a bad high note.  Still, I thought overall he was very good.  He just needs to work on consistency & believing in himself from the very first note of each song.

3.  Anoop.  He was little pitchy.  I like that he sings pretty, not growly like Brian Adams.  Someone made a comment that his vocal runs were well-placed and sung from the heart, and I agree !!!  He used those runs just enough and not too much.  Go ‘Noop Dog!  I hope he sticks around.

4.  Danny.  He was pitchy at first and had a bad high note, but his emotions were really great on this one.

5.  Allison.  Oh dear.  She looked frumpy tonight…who tucked her dress into her pants?!?!?   The song was way too low for her at first.  I thought she was pitchy and I’ve never heard that from her before. This was definitely not her best performance.  H., I’m glad you voted for her a lot because she may be in trouble…


6.  Matt.  OK, I’m just going to be blunt here.  I want him to get the [mole] removed from the middle of his forehead!  It distracts me!  OK, now I’ve said it & you all know how shallow I am :0) Vocally, he was pitchy and had WAY too many runs, especially at first.  Despite Quentin’s advice he did NOT enunciate and some lyrics were unintelligible.  I wrote “Random runs, as opposed to Anoop’s heartfelt runs.”  Just because you’re vocally capable of doing runs doesn’t mean you should do them on EVERY LINE.  It’s almost like he’s kind of hot-dogging and showing off (“Hey!  Listen!  I can do awesome vocal runs!”) rather than paying attention to the meaning of the song and singing from his heart.

7.  Lil.  She was pitchy at first.  Needed to be more tender at first, but I’m not sure “tender” is in Lil’s singing vocabulary.  I actually agreed with her in that I thought her arrangement was interesting and creative, a great idea.  But ultimately she was pitchy all over throughout the song. She should NOT talk back to the judges & get so defensive…very, very unattractive.

I think Lil will go home tonight.

Here’s my overall score on JUST the runs they sang in their songs.  On a 1 to 10 scale:

Anoop – 10

Matt – 1

Lil – 1

Interestingly, I just realized that Adam does his share of vocal runs too, but I don’t even notice or comment on them.  That’s because he does it RIGHT!!!!    That’s how it should be!

One final comment:  Quentin Tarantino may be a powerful guy [and a] successful director who loves music & loves American Idol…but he’s no vocal coach!  I guess power is everything in Hollywood, since he’s been able to swing being a mentor TWICE now, despite a lack of qualifications…  Have fun watching tonight!


And here’s what I had to say after the results show broadcast:

Sent: Apr 16, 2009 6:21 AM

Subject: Matt is Saved!

Hi Ladies,

Well, one more week (probably) of watching Matt and his mole…!  I wish he could sit down at the piano & sing something bluesy…but since it’s DISCO WEEK next week, that’s not likely!!!  I predict we’ll lose Matt & Lil.

A few random thoughts:

—Someone (Slezak?) made a comment that the judges had not used the “It’s just musical theater” critique last week.  Then it dawned on me…they haven’t used that “slam” as a critique even one time this whole season! Perhaps in deference to Adam? Hmmm….

—[My DH] pointed out this might because so many Idol alum (INCLUDING 3 winners!) have had success in musical theatre since being on Idol. Examples:  Fantasia; Diana DiGarmo; Rueben Studdard/Trenyce in “Ain’t Misbehavin'”; Constantine Maroulis; and now [my DH] tells me Taylor Hicks is playing Teen Angel in “Grease” on tour!!!  Personally, we’re glad to see the musical theatre genre given a little respect

—Here’s what I love about Adam.  I could see him doing literally ANY disco song next week (fast, slow, silly, sexy, whatever).   The other six each have such a strong “type” that I think Disco week will be a struggle for them.  Here’s my one-line summary for each of them:

Anoop-soulful ballad singer who can also rock uptempo songs (“My Prerogative”)

Allison-gutsy, husky-voiced rocker who sings with passion beyond her years

Matt-gifted pianist who’s best singing the blues at the keyboard

Kris-romantic singer who makes little girls swoon!

Danny-another ballad singer with husky voice & conviction

Lil-a Diva wannabe with a loud voice who never quite gets it right

–Someone on one of the message boards last night suggested Adam should sing “Dancing Queen” !!!!

–I hope we hear (from anyone) these numbers:  “Last Dance”, “How Deep is Your Love?”, “You Should Be Dancing”, “Stayin’ Alive”, “Night Fever”, “Le Freak”…oh the list goes on!  I confess!  I’m a closet Disco Fan!!!

—-Here’s my favorite Slezak quote this week.  He’s referring here to Anoop vs. Danny.  I think he’s right on target with both:   “But, really, shouldn’t the judges be backing the guy who could be a latter day Brian McKnight or Babyface vs. the less charming, less energetic reincarnation of Taylor Hicks?”

Enough for today!  Til Tuesday,


Here are a couple of additional short emails, exchanged in the interim while we were waiting for Disco Week:

At 8:40 PM -0500 4/16/09, “Idolholic” wrote:

Wow, Ladies!  I never dreamed my comment about Matt’s mole would unleash all of your pent-up catty comments about the contestants!  I am not worthy!  I am not worthy!  I bequeath today’s “Catty Comment of the Day” award to B., for her suggestion that Adam sing “It’s Raining Men” next week.  HILARIOUS!!!!!!

Til Tuesday,


Sent: Friday, April 17, 2009 9:02 AM
Subject: RE: Matt is Saved!

Isn’t this coming week the LAST week they could have used the save?  I think Ryan said in the beginning that the save is only usable until they get to the top 5….and that’s where we will be after Wednesday’s results show!

Can’t wait for “Disco Week”!  “It’s Raining Men” and “Dancing Queen” are already stuck in my head :0)!


And now, your reward for making it to the end of this blog!  Here’s Adam singing “Born to Be Wild” on April 14, 2009.  I confess, I haven’t watched this in a long time, and I forgot how incredible this performance was.  In retrospect, I now realize we were getting a glimpse of the fierceness that Adam is capable of portraying on stage!

And here’s the link to the group performance of “Maniac”.  This wonderful clip also includes footage of the Top 7 going to the premiere of “17 Again,” as well as Ryan Seacrest announcing the results for Adam.  There are lots of great Adam moments in this one:

What did you think of “Born to Be Wild”?  And how about Adam’s “innocent” comeback to Simon during the results show (“Did he mean it as an insult?”) Don’t you love the way Adam puts Simon in his place?  Post a comment below and let me know what you think!

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

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Clare. permalink
    April 15, 2011 12:56 am

    Oh my gosh! I thought i’d seen everything Adam and here i am watching part of an idol show that i’d never viewed before! I remember now. I was vacationing so had to miss a show or too–this was before the major Adam moment’s. wow. just wow. I’m gonna watch it over and over again.
    And yes! I love the way that Adam answers simon. “Did he mean it as an insult”? Damn. He is just so damned………………o00mph.. I’m telling you girls, I miss, miss, miss, that time in, 09. It was probably thee best time in my life. And still, everytime I think of Adam a very curious smile takes over my face! I love it. Thanks for posting this, whoever it was.

    • idolholic permalink
      April 16, 2011 12:27 pm

      Hi Clare, “American Idol 8 Redux” is a weekly series, celebrating the two-year anniversaries of American Idol Season 8. This was part 13, and there are 5 more coming! If you enjoyed this post, go back and read the previous ones. I know that I have seen and learned a lot from the research that goes into these posts, and it is truly a labor of love for me ! Glad you liked it :0) !!!

  2. Clare. permalink
    April 16, 2011 1:53 am

    Well I tried to post comment on next page but said it was not found. I’m not receiving emails for responses to my posts either which makes it more difficult to resond to responses.

  3. IreneRose permalink
    April 16, 2011 2:03 pm


    Thank you for sharing these with us, I look forward to my emails on Thursday’s and can’t wait to get home from work to view AI8 Redux.

    I get a little bummed by Slezak’s reviews of Adam’s performances, even when he is giving Adam a compliment he kind of takes it away with a put down of one sort or another.

    I miss season 8, IMHO it was the best season ever, and to think I almost didn’t watch because I was getting bored with AI at this point, but Adam caught my eye and I just had to watch to see what he could do. Honestly I thought he was going to be a one trick pony but to my surprise and delight he was AMAZING or how some might say ADAMAZING.

    Thanks again, I am enjoying this immensely.

    • idolholic permalink
      April 21, 2011 11:02 pm

      IreneRose, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the “Redux” series. Part 14 should be up soon! Then there will be 4 more after that. I understand what you are saying about Slezak. He ended up being a HUGE Allison Iraheta fan…promised to dye his hair red if she was eliminated, and he did! But after Idol was over he did an incredible multi-part interview with Adam, and it remains one of the best Adam interviews I’ve ever seen. Slezak is a gifted interviewer, and we all know how charming Adam is as an interviewee, so the two of them together were magical :0) !!

  4. April 17, 2011 8:52 am

    i was hooked on Adam whenhe told us he couldn’t get no satisfaction!!!!

    • idolholic permalink
      April 21, 2011 11:03 pm

      LamberLust, I guess that means you were “hooked” from the beginning then! It took me a little while longer to warm up to him…”Ring of Fire” was when I was “converted” and there’s been no looking back for me ever since!

  5. glitzylady permalink
    April 17, 2011 10:54 am

    I do have to say I was hooked on Adam in literally the first five seconds that I first laid eyes (and ears, if that makes any sense!) on him as he came so fiercely charging onto the stage, singing “Black or White”, during Michael Jackson week. It would undoubtedly have been sooner but I did not start watching Season 8 until then. I had been out of the country for the two weeks previous to that, and before that, had not watched the auditions. I have since then seen everything leading up to that moment, including “Satisfaction”, and I know I would have loved him from the initial audition forward. My husband and I were involved in a fun little “Fantasy Idol” thing from his office, and we were sitting there watching the Top 13 show, very seriously taking notes and evaluating each of the contestants as they appeared on stage, and when Adam came out, everything just stopped……… and as Paula said, all I could see was Adam..everyone and everything else became just background noise, and that was that (still true to this day..all I see is ADAM on stage, everything else just disappears). I was speechless, and inexplicably very, VERY …..happy. Once I could speak, I squeaked out to my husband “Well….there’s the winner right there, this guy is going to win, no question in my mind, he is the best, and in a league of his own!” (Words we have so often heard since then..) By the way, my husband agreed, and we have been diehard fans since then…and have traveled far and wide to see him in concert (nine total so far..), something we have never done, ever, for any other performer, and probably never will again.

    • idolholic permalink
      April 21, 2011 11:06 pm

      Glitzylady, my sentitments exactly! I saw him 3 times last summer and have never, ever done that for anyone before in my life. And I wish I could have seen more! I grew up in Indianapolis and my childhood exposures to musical theater etc. were in Clowes Hall, where the GNT Live video was made! Wish I had been there for that one! Adam has basically ruined all future seasons of American Idol for me. I stuck it out and watched all of last season, but I gave up this year…it’s just too frustrating!


  1. AI8 Redux Part 14: Adam Lambert Soulfully Sings “If I Can’t Have You” « On the Meaning of Adam Lambert

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