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AI8 Redux Part 18: A “Change is Gonna Come” for Adam Lambert

May 20, 2011

By guest blogger “Idolholic”


Where were you on the night of May 19, 2009?

If you are like me and the legions of Glambertinae who first caught “Adam Fever” during American Idol Season 8, chances are you were stuck like glue to your telephone for several hours, madly voting for Adam to win!

Two years later, we know the outcome.  We know that Kris Allen won American Idol.  But we also know that this show helped launch Adam’s career trajectory into superstardom!  And from Adam’s many interviews, we know he viewed Idol as a platform to gain exposure and attention, not a competition to be “won” or “lost.”

On the final performance night of American Idol Season 8, Adam and Kris each got to sing three songs.  The first song was their choice of a song they’d previously performed on Idol.  The second song was chosen for them by Idol producer Simon Fuller.  And the third, for both, was the original song co-written by Kara DioGuardi, which would become the first post-Idol single for the winner to record.

Here’s what they sang:

1.  Adam Lambert, “Mad World” (his choice)

2.  Kris Allen, “Ain’t No Sunshine” (his choice)

3.  Adam Lambert, “A Change is Gonna Come” (Simon Fuller’s choice)

4.  Kris Allen, “What’s Goin’ On” (Simon Fuller’s choice)

5.  Adam Lambert, “No Boundaries” (original song co-written by Kara DioGuardi)

6.  Kris Allen, “No Boundaries” (original song co-written by Kara DioGuardi)

Here’s Michael Slezak’s review on

And here’s Slezak’s recap of the results show.

Here are the emails I sent to my fellow Idolholics.  First, here’s my review of the final performance show:

Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:00 AM
Subject: RE: Idol Finale

H., I couldn’t agree with you more!  What are we all to do without our email inboxes bulging full on Weds. & Thurs. mornings?!?!?

Overall, I think Adam outsang Kris, but I think Kris may well win, for the reasons you guys gave in your emails.  I think most people had already decided who to vote for before last night’s show, and I think Danny’s fans all voted for Kris.

I’ll follow the same chronological pattern as the rest of you in my reviews:

Adam “Mad World” – I did not like the scary trenchcoat look, that was a bad choice.  What made this song work the first time was the vulnerability that he showed, and all of that was gone tonight.  He sang it well but I didn’t like it; it was not magical like the first time he sang it.

Kris “Ain’t No Sunshine” – he was a little flat at first, but he was very good on this song!  The white-T-shirt-and-jeans look was a very, very smart choice for him.  I still think he needs to shave.

 Adam “Change is Gonna Come” – guitar was too loud at first.  The suit was great.  I loved the subtext in the lyrics and felt he sang with real passion.  This was the best of the six performances tonite.

Kris “What’s Going On” – he was pitchy at first…actually, pitchy throughout.  I loved the arrangement, though.

Adam “No Boundaries” – wow, Mr. Versatility can even sing pop schlock with conviction!!

Kris “No Boundaries” – Ouch.  He was way pitchy.  At the end I could see on his face that he knew he didn’t sing it well (and that Adam sang it better).

So, I voted several hundred times over the next 4 hours, and encountered many, many busy signals on all 3 of Adam’s lines.  I got a busy signal at least 50-60% of the time, and I got almost none last week.  Don’t know what that means…guess we’ll have to wait until tonight to find out!

Here’s my final random thought of the season, which I’m hoping I’ll get to share with Slezak :0) !!  The “judges” are really not judges anymore once we get to the Top 36 (except for the “Wild Card”).  Oh sure, this year they gave them a little extra power during the Top 13, with the “Judge’s Save”.  But what did that really do?  Since they had to use it before the top 5, it only meant that some 6th or 7th place finisher, who is HIGHLY UNLIKELY to win the whole thing, gets to stick around for another week or two.  And that’s exactly what happened.

I watched “Dancing with the Stars” Monday night.  On that show, the outcome is based on a combination of judges’ ratings and audience vote (50% judges, 50% audience votes, I believe).  I was struck with how their 3-judge panel gave their comments and ratings.  They spoke one at a time!  They didn’t insult each other and play games while the dancing was going on!  They actually paid attention to the contestants!  LIKE IT SHOULD BE ON AMERICAN IDOL!!!!

So again, I think let’s call them what they are.  On Idol, the “Judges” switch roles and become “Commentators” once we get to the top 13.  They are essentially powerless, because 100% of the outcome is in the hands of the voters.  Powerless…and maybe USELESS????  At the very least they are highly annoying and rude to the contestants!  Time for Idol Judges’ Reform!

Have fun watching tonight!!


Anticipating the results on the finale show, I searched the internet for evidence of predictions favoring Adam:

Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 4:32 PM
Subject: WHO WILL WIN???

Here’s a map from of the predictions of who will go home tonight (60% say it will be Kris):,,20007164_20260288,00.html says it’s too close to call:

Can’t wait for the results show tonight!!!  I think I’m going to follow Slezak’s live blog again tonight…C.N., how about you?  Anyone else?


And the hardest email I had to write all season long is this one, sent after the results were announced:

Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:19 PM
Subject: RE: WHO WILL WIN???

Hi R.,

Yes, I’m sad that Adam didn’t win.  But not really that surprised.

Remember last week when Ryan told us “Only 1 million votes separate the top 2 contestants [Adam and Kris]” ???  Since we can assume that Danny, while in 3rd place, got WAY more than 1 million out of the 64 million votes cast, I am pretty sure that about 100% of Danny’s former supporters would vote for Kris and not Adam.  I think most people (all of us Idolholics included!!!) had already made up their minds who to vote for before last night’s show even started.

I actually think this is a good outcome for these reasons:

  1. Adam will never, ever, ever have to sing “No Boundaries” again!!!  He is free to do what pleases him artistically (rock and musical theatre) without being told by Idol’s producers what to do.  
  2. I think Adam will be fine and will have a great career.  I’m not sure that would have happened to Kris if HE had come in 2nd place.  Kris needs to be molded & shaped & guided by the Idol machine.

H. called me tonight and she has an interesting…question, “With Adam’s amazing voice, why didn’t he do better in professional musical theatre?”…. I still see a place for him in “Rent” or “Joseph” :0) !!!

I am off to bed now, but plan to console myself tomorrow by downloading ALL of his stuff from iTunes!!!



More post-results show musings:

Sent:  Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:21 PM
Subject: RE: WHO WILL WIN???

I followed the live blog, but didn’t contribute any comments until the very end.  I told Slezak he needs to put the dying of the hair on Idolatry :0) !!!

I’m sad, but not surprised.  And I am really happy for Kris.  He seemed so genuinely shocked, it was really cute!  Adam will have a great career in rock music or musical theatre, or perhaps both!

Off to sleep now….



I loved learning about how close Adam and Kris were, and how much they genuinely liked each other:

Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 3:47 PM

Subject: RE: SLEZAK!!!

Apparently Kris and Adam are great friends.  Check this out:

Off now to console myself by downloading EVERYTHING of Adam’s on iTunes!!

Til next season,


And then I reported on my iTunes purchases:

Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:43 PM
Subject: RE: SLEZAK!!!

OK, all you mourning Adam fans out there!  For a mere $25 or so, you can download EVERYTHING ADAM from iTunes:

$9.99 for the album that includes all the audio studio versions of his Idol songs

$14.90 for videos of all his on-air performances

I have just done so…and it’s time to start his fan club, “Glambert’s Gals”, dontcha think?!?!?

I still need that intervention :0)


Next, here are your rewards for making it to the end of this, the final installment in my “American Idol 8 Redux” blog series.    And this week, there is a amazing jackpot of videos to share!  Many of them include video packages with Adam and the judges’ comments afterwards.

First, from the AI website, Adam shares his thoughts on making it to the Top 2.

Now, here are links to Adam’s performances on American Idol Season 8 on the Top 2 show on May 19, 2009.

Adam singing “Mad World”:

Adam singing “A Change is Gonna Come”:

Adam singing “No Boundaries”:

Next are two incredible performances from the Results show on May 20, 2009, where Adam totally holds his own on stage with two iconic bands.

Adam singing “Beth”/”Detroit City”/”Rock and Roll All Night” with Kiss, prefaced with a retrospective of his time on Idol:

Adam and Kris singing “We Are the Champions” with Queen:

Here’s the Ford Music Video featuring Adam and Kris:

And here are three group performances from the Finale, with the Top 13 singing Pink’s “So What”, followed by “Black Magic Woman” and  “Smooth” featuring Carlos Santana, and ending with just the guys singing Rod Stewart’s “Do You Think I’m Sexy”:

This video is a little hard to watch, still, but here are the results (get your hankies out now!):

One final video from the American Idol website, featuring Adam and Kris immediately after the results.

And that concludes this final installment in my 18-part blog post series on “American Idol Season 8 Redux”!  I’ve had an especially fun time putting this last Redux post together and reliving all the emotional memories from Idol two years ago.

Many, many thanks to Juneau and Xena for giving me this incredible opportunity to chronicle the American Idol period of Adam’s amazing career for all of you.  I hope y’all have had as much fun reading and reminiscing as I’ve had writing.  I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my reviews and watching all the videos.  I’ve certainly had a blast!

I hate endings and goodbyes, so instead I’ll say that I’ll see you in “The Lounge” and in the Chat Room on Blogtalk Radio on Wednesday nights, and maybe even at one of Adam’s concerts the next time he tours :0) !!

Till then,


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’

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