American Idol: Adam Lambert and Diddy

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Ashton: The exit was needlessly harsh

My first question: How are they going to fill an hour getting rid of one person (when Survivor does it at the end of the show in about five minutes)?

Answer: The 13 contestants engage in a Michael Jackson medly, a couple of shots of the Idol mansion (a giant Beverly Hills house converted into a luxury hostel where the boys and the girls each share a giant bedroom), a long, bizarre promo for a movie, and a music video for Ford. That, plus a stunning performance the great Adam Lambert and a mediocre gig by Diddy -- and the requisite amount of melodrama and tears.

The Jackson thing wasn't so bad, and some of the singers were great. The mansion is what you'd expect -- except that it must be built for 20 bedrooms but has been converted to force all the contestants to bunk in some sort of giant rec rooms. Weird.

Then, in an all-new low for Idol (and that's saying something)  the contestants all had to do a commercial for Ford. After than, in another all-new (and utterly transparent) low, they did the equivalent of a movie trailer for Red Riding Hood, featuring a meet and greet with the stars, a lot of trailer shots and some footage of the Idol folks registering shock and alarm as they watched the film. Gawd. The Coke bottles everywhere were bad enough. Now half the show is an ad.

But: How cool is Adam Lambert? I loved his unplugged version of his new song -- or rather, I loved the way he sang it. He's not showing great talent as a songwriter, not yet, anyway, and the words and music were pretty banal. Still: All the profits are going to the "It Gets Better" project.

Diddy's backup singers were great. He wasn't. And I don't think he's donating anything to anyone.

On to the elimination round: Three at a time, I got a little nervous when Karen, my favorite female, was in the bottom three, but it all worked out. Ashton was clearly the weakest of the singers, and we all knew she was going home; it was almost too sad to force her to sing a Diana Ross song (again) and miss some of the notes (again) and cry when the judges said No. I mean, human drama is great, but in the end, this was just needlessly harsh.

On to the round of 12.

Comments

Which is why Diddy will die with $450 mil in the bank but when Adam's time comes it will be with tribute videos from thousands of people he has helped through charites he has promoted and his fans have supported.

Plus, Adam knows you need to live and give while you're still young enough to enjoy it. Bali, Paris, Bora Bora.... you are an inspiration to those who think that living in the moment is the only way to go.

Message: PAY IT FORWARD

Posted by Guest Mischa on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

Beautifully stated !

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

Beautifully stated !

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

Beautifully stated !

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

Tim: I don't agree with you about the lyrics to AFTERMATH or ADAM's songwriting ability ... ADAM wrote what was in his heart from his own experiences ... if that is banal as you say ... that is your opinion. I think the lyrics are beautiful and meaningful ... certainly encouraging to those who are struggling in this unforgiving and biased society .... everything the 'It Gets Better' and the Trevor Project represent, ADAM's acoustic rendition was AWEsome and I hope the remix sells a MILLION copies!! Sorry if I sound a ittle 'harsh' and disapproving but ... TJMO!! Thanx!!

Posted by Guest tess4ADAM on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

I think the song was beautiful and he performed with the beautiful vocals and passion. great job Adam. You are a great artist.

Posted by Guestnancy on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

I appreciate your kind words about Adam.You obviously recognize his talent (I mean,how could you not?).

However,I disagree with your 'banal' reference regarding Aftermath.

It takes a lot to write from personal experience and depth of emotion and I think Adam's song 'Aftermath' clearly accomplishes both. It's a personal effort that makes poignant statements about his own struggles. Plus,this song will benefit the Trevor Project. In the world of music today where lyrics are simply strung together with little regard to meaning or messages,it's refreshing to hear a song that makes sense!

Posted by B on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

I love the way Adam sang the song, straight from his heart...coupled with an astounding voice! And what a gorgeous face he has...miss the Idol times when I feverishly watched him week after week, waiting for him to sing! Adam recreated that picture again...and I loved it! And thank you for a good write-up about Adam, but I do think that the song is beautifully made, with meaningful lyrics ( unlike most songs nowadays). In fact, the first time my daughter heard that in his album she immediately liked the song. Great, great performance Adam Lambert!!!! Rise up to the stars and we will be behind you all the way!

Posted by Guestmary ann on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

I agree with those above. I love Aftermath and think the lyrics are beautiful. Not banal at all and Adam is such a talented singer he could make Mary Had a Little Lamb sound good but Aftermath is a beautiful song with alot of meaning. Listen to it a few more times. Adam was certainly the best thing on that show last night!!

Posted by Guest anon on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

"American Idol?" I didn't know that was still on.

That's what the Guardian (Tim) is now watching and writing about? "American Idol" is corporate sheep television. Most people in this country wouldn't go protesting something because they wouldn't want to miss the next installment of "American Idol." Can't live without THAT!

But it does better explain why you asked the question, "What has happened to America?" Because you haven't been paying attention. You're watching sheep corporate television and one is not about to find out what's happening to this country and with this country on corporate sheep television (and I'm referring to the major English language networks here in the States).

What one will find here in the States are thousands and thousands of stupid people who will walk down to the beach when a tsunami is in progress and predicted for the coast. And they still go down and get swept away. Duh. This country is getting stupider and stupider by the minute and you're writing about "American Idol" and some people here are fawning over and writing drippy words about the competitors of "American Idol." Sheep.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

I think you might be having a nervous breakdown, and I don't blame you. Everything that is happening in the world today makes me angry, and sick to my stomach. I hate what the Republicans, and corporations are doing to us. I assure you we will not follow like sheep when the time comes to stand up for our basic rights. Sometimes though, just to keep our sanity its fun to watch a show just because it helps get your mind off of the crap. Adam Lambert does this for us. He's had to stand up and be strong for a long time now, and I respect him for that. So while we're protesting its ok to listen to good music on the picket line. Hope to see you there.

Posted by Guest WickedGlitter on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

Really? Did you mean "more stupid" ? Man, you really are a hater aren't you? They have meds for your kind of depression and negative thought process, or maybe you just need some happy music and entertainment...

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 11:42 am

I'll humor you, troll (your suggestion of meds is one of the trademarks of a troll).

Yes I did mean stupider and I used it for effect** which I guess you didn't get and you're the one who is watching "American Idol." Who's the stupider?

** Like the word "ain't" is used for effect.

The point: "American Idol" has no bearing on most people's lives other than for feel-good entertainment for the masses. It is about the person competing and how successful they become, which again has no bearing on most people's lives. Yet those things which do have a major bearing on most people's lives such as political decisions made every day, the masses could care less about and they turn off, glaze over and yawn when one tries to talk about them. The masses have no interest in what really effects their lives. But immediately change the subject and talk about "American Idol," and the masses will gush for hours about that. That was the point which you didn't get either. Stupider.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

Adam did a beautifull job last night on Idol. I only wish he would have sang Broken Open too. He wrote Broken Open, and I think that song showcases his talent as a song writer more than Aftermath. Like Adam, It is just equisite.

Posted by Guest WickedGlitter on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

Jorge: I am a fan of Adam Lambert, not American Idol, but I do 'waste' my time watching it this season, as there is some very good talent on it, and I love singing, I grew up singing in choirs and musicals. Also I would not miss a performance by Adam. We all have someone who can lift us up from the mundane for a period of time, be it an athelete, politician, actor, girlfriend, singer, whatever. No shame in that.

That being said, all that my fellow Adam Lambert followers could talk about today was Japan. I have a friend there, that I met at an Adam Lambert concert last summer, who I am worried sick about, We have communicated constantly since we met, and I still have not heard from her. To throw out that kind of judgement on people as you did, when obviously you took the time out to read this article when you could have been out doing something worthwhile, well, doesn't that make you just as low as us?

Posted by Guest Kris on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

This version of Aftermath was perfect for the occasion, however, I agree with Wicked Glitter about preferring Broken Open. It is heart-wrenching and the melody to me is better than Aftermath.
A couple of issues I have are:
1) It was a perfect opportunity for Ryan to mention Adam's Grammy nomination, his raising of $300,000 for charity:water, and his sold out Glamnation tour. But he was more interested in doing the Dougie, or whatever the h*** it is.
2) Unfortunately no reviewers gave credit to Adam's accompanyment -- Monte, Tommy and Isaac, from his Glamnation band. But Adam was classy enough to acknowledge the Idol competitors, and if Ryan had let him get an additional word in, Adam would have mentioned his band, as he always does.
3) And while Jorge Orwell(?) is more passionate about this than me, the constant product placement does make me feel that the producers feel we're a bunch of sheep, ready to go out and buy a car or guzzle a Coke just because it appears on the show.
However, all in all, it was good to get the opportunity to see Adam again. Like many Adam fans, we got exactly what we wanted: to see him stripped down from all the glitter and glam, and just singing his heart out.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

Oh I so agree re getting the contestant to sing again!! One of the reasons I stopped watching Australian Idol was because of the needlessly cruel way the show is run. Especially the stupid idea of having the "loser" sing the song that got them kicked off. How ridiculous. Everything about the elimination part made my stomach churn and I had to switch channels during most of it. Then the show just got more and more abusive and nasty - which is why it bombed badly here. It's still kicking in the US. Either American Idol's less nasty or Americans are more into nasty. I dont know as I don't watch it.

But I did watch the vid of Adam's performance. Loved it. Was surprised to see he was a little nervous at first. I've never seen that from him before and would love to know why. But he recovered and delivered a beautiful rendition. And personally I don't find the lyrics in the least "banal", quite the opposite. They totally match how I feel and he states it all for me in a way I couldnt. I think it's a brilliant insightful and uplifting song. I hope he does well with sales of it and that the Trevor Project make a lot of money out of it!

But if you don't like that particular song I'm not sure you can base an opinion on his song-writing skills on just your opinion of ONE song - he has written over 20 of them in the past few years - with all sorts of different styles including rock and pop. Have you heard them all? He is very good and has been signed to a major song-writing company. Prong are about to release one of Adam's songs (co-written with Monte) on their next album.

Posted by Teresa on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

Teresa, I thought he seemed tense as well, and I think (IMO) because of the presence of Steven Tyler, another god-like vocalist, and the others sitting as if in judgement. Likely he was just a little star struck. Also wondered if it was a challenge to sit on a stool while wearing those tight skinny jeans. However, the song ended well and he looked just gorgeous. Adam, BB, we love you!

Posted by Guest RoRo on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 8:01 am

Is more meaningful than the current catchy "hits" of Pink, Katy Perry and Kesha because it was written by someone who knows what it is all about and the words come from his heart. BTW this is not the first season that the Idol contestants have been doing Ford commercials. Adam and the others on Season 8 did a new one every week!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

I think most people have forgotten what a "real" song is! With melody, and actual lyrics...as opposed to auto-tuned nightmares that translate very badly into "live" performances.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

I like Idol this season.Yes, the show has problems. But it is still fun to watch. There is a good collection of unique and talented contestants. And I like the judges too. Of course when someone like Adam shows up and sings, everyone pales in comparison. But you really can't compare anyone to Adam. He is what mere mortals aspire to. And as for his song Aftermath. I love it. I can see why some might not. But it is a beautiful little song about hope, courage, and love. It's not a superfluous pop song. It is an inspirational anthem that hopefully will make a difference to people who need to know they are not alone. What did DIddy sing again? I really can't remember.

Posted by Guest Glamous on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

I respect your opinion implicitly, but look at Adam's songwriting another way: "Butterflies" exists. As a song. And was a hit. On the radio. In America. To humans. Howya like Adam now? :)

Posted by Jill on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

@tim, i love it when initially patronized adam talent and all of a sudden you stabbed him on the back by basically saying, he is not a good songwriter, music and words are banal. you see, adam wanted to convey a message to those who has problem of coming out or people who cannot face the world and the facts of life. for me, the wordings of aftermath are encouraging and inspiring. i don't have such problem but i salute adam in writing something like this to encourage people to live normal without fear and be themselves.

Posted by lola on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

Thanks so much for the nice article about Adam. I am a huge Glambert, and I agree that Adam has definite possibilities as a songwriter, but he needs more experience. I think it imperative as he works on the next album his label insist he pair up with the best writers in the business and let him continue to learn the art of songwriting from them. He is a quick study, and I believe deep down he wants to be a HUGE popstar. He has been schooled this year in what it will take. I believe after reading his comments about his next album, he is going to do just that. Aftermath was never my favorite from his album, but I love the acoustic version of it. It needs some work; maybe a better hook.....it is not exactly "earwormy" to me. But it is written in truth and sincerity and will help to make money for a great cause. Adam has had a great start to his career, and things can get even better and lots more interesting.

Posted by Guest Cookie on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

So you didn't think much of the writing on Aftermath? I guess it could not compare to the gems "Baby I was born this way" or "You R who you R." or "Fireworks". What a bunch of silliness. Adam's song was from the heart and it was beautiful. If some who are scared and need encouragement can relate to it then he has done his job. But to say he's not a good writer cause you can't relate when he has written Broken Open, Down the Rabbit Hole which were some of my favorites on his album.

Posted by Jetta on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

You're not the first reviewer to be left feeling cold by "Aftermath." Some consider it the weakest song on Adam's debut album. I share that view. His "Broken Open," "Voodoo," and "Can't Let You Go" are much stronger (later 2 available only on the CD's international edition). Adam shows promise as a songwriter but at this point he'd have to be considered good but not yet great. It's how he sometimes performs "Aftermath" that makes it special. The CD version did nothing for me, and I expected to snooze through it when it came up during the GlamNation tour, but I was surprised, indeed, stunned when I heard how much power and passion he gave it when he sang it to an audience of 5,000, many of whom broke into tears spontaneously. And that was with a song that's technically rather ordinary (or banal, as you say). Somebody needs to pair up the world's greatest living genius songwriters with this golden divine voice of Adam Lambert's.

Posted by archangel on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

"A stunning performance by the great Adam Lambert" is probably my favorite line, but overall I do appreciate this fair review. The lyrics of "Aftermath" seem to be simple, but given the purpose of the song they work for me. I can't wait to see what Adam Lambert will come up next. This time around he has more time to write and "create".

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

Firstly, they have been doing ford commercials for years so its not a new low, its an old low. I dont actually care about this show just tuned in for Adam Lambert but yeah, wow cruel show, it must tear Ryan up to rip the heart out of young ppl every week, thank god he is making millions to ease the pain.

I am a huge Adam fan and agree songwriting not his strength and this was with him and 3 other friends....its heartfelt, he sings it so heartfelt, the remix is great, the sentiment great, the project to donate the proceeds, which as the author he has the ability to do, GREAT but the words...you have to fall into the glitter??? oh baby you are just so gay sometimes it makes my heart melt but really on any album there should be a limit on how many songs mention glitter and how many mention stripper shoes.

Also confusing, he sings the acoustic version but the charity one is the dance remix AND they didnt say ONLY available on Adamofficial.com.......not itunes

go and buy it, very good, very fun, good cause

Posted by Guest on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 7:52 am

This sheep "American Idol" topic is only on here to get traffic to this website. Of course the Guardian will say that's not true or "you have a lot of theories, Jorge."

The Guardian is a business and they can tell advertisers how many hits the site gets and the Guardian can charge more for ad space. That's the way it works with commercial websites. It's not a "theory" and you know it.

There would be a lot more people through Google searches looking for "American Idol" stuff than anything related to politics. These "American Idol" hits won't be of much good because the visitor will only stay for a very short time. Whereas political discussions will bring you better quality and longer lasting hits.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

I realize that it breaks your sour little paranoid heart, but lots of people love that show and root for their favorites, some of whom they keenly identify with.

Those people include the editor and his children.

See, when one has a life, one has joy and joy in simple things. When one is immersed in their misery like a dinosaur stuck in a tar pit, one does not and seeks to find ways to piddle on the happiness of others.

That's you, Jorge.

Posted by Matty on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

Judging by your response, one would think that I had criticized the U.S. flag or the pledge of allegiance or the Statue of Liberty. Your type of response is what I usually get when I comment on those things.

"American Idol" is a corporate television show. You're THAT worked up over a corporate television show? And you imply that I don't have a life? Duh. I don't even own a television and I'm not stuck watching endless hours of fantasy on some tube.

I wouldn't want to dare "rain" on your little fantasy life where everything is "happy and pleasant." Not a care or problem in your world. Maybe you should just stay in your little cocoon, your little happy place where the children stay. And don't forget to smile. SMILE. SMILE. Well let me see it then!

Meanwhile, nuclear radiation is headed our way from the earthquake in Japan although I doubt that radiation would hurt your elitist self. A second major reactor is ready to blow (and there's talk about a third reactor as I write this), but don't forget to SMILE. See you in your little "American Idol" GITCHIE GITCHIE GOO happy place where everything is happy and pleasant. SMILE.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

It is for me a 30th rate sub par gong show. Everything entertaining about the gong show has been extracted and what remains is American Idol.

So what if people watch it? It doesn't effect me or you either way.

You're not radical or a truth teller, or whatever righteousness you declare for yourself on the subject, you're just a bitter and small minded complainer.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

"you're just a bitter and small minded complainer. "

Do you ever read your own posts?... speaking of THE number #1 bitter and small minded complainer. Although it's a toss up between you and that Lucreatia Snapples piece of work.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

Songs that I know of that were co-written/written by Adam Lambert (there are more I'm told)

Avoid
Turning on
The Circle
Crawl Thru Fire
15 minutes of fame/pop goes the camera
Oh My Ra
Kiss n Tell
Live the Life
I Got This
Glamorize
Mp3 Killed the Record Companies
Runaway
Just the way it is
beg For Mercy
Rough Trade
Nocturnal By The Moon
Chalice Beyond The Sky
Aftermath
Broken Open
Down the Rabbit Hole
Pick U Up
Strut

As far as I know he did not write Can't Let you Go - that was Claude Kelly

If you haven't heard all of these, or even a good portion of these songs I don't think you can pass judgement on Adam's writing skills. Personally I think some of these are brilliant, some are just okay and some don't appeal to me. But that's the case with ANY song-writers songs.

As for the line in Aftermath about glitter, to me that is one of it's best lines. I love the lyrics and can't see why anyone would call them "banal". I don't know of any other songs that suggest you 'take a trip and fall into the glitter'. Maybe I'm just uninformed. Some words have been used in other songs - but that's a bit hard to avoid LOL and he phrases them and mixes things up in a fresh and original way.

The music, however, isnt as good as I'd like it to be. It doesn't grab me like some of the others in that list - but then no "uplifting anthem" type song ever does much for me (musically). I think they're all a bit naff - but it's the lyrics that matter and whether or not they truly capture the central message, which Aftermath does. And Adam delivers this song brilliantly anyway - like he did No Boundaries - which is way worse musically AND lyrically than Aftermath ever could be.

Posted by jacki on Mar. 13, 2011 @ 12:31 am

FYI: They have always done the Ford commercials and they always do a premiere of a movie aimed at teens for the Top 12/13 results night -- nothing new there.

I like the lyrics to Aftermath -- they are real and from the heart and exist to uplift someone who is feeling down and alone. No, they're not great literature, but if that is what someone is looking for, then I'd suggest turning off the radio and picking up a volume of Jane Austen. Because the lyrics of Katy Perry, Ke$sha, Bieber, Usher, Rihanna, Spears, and the endlessly banal and repetitive hip hop/rap lyrics about banging a ho are what dominate the airwaves today. In that wasteland of emotions, I'd much rather have a clear and uplifting message.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 13, 2011 @ 6:44 am

I have always said that Adam is one of the greatest performers in the history of Idol, and he was great on the latest show. My post said: "How cool is Adam Lambert?" Lighten up, folks -- I was happy to see his performance, I thought it stole the show -- and I just didn't think this particular song lived up to his potential. He'll get better. (Not every song Bruce Springsteen wrote is great; "The River" is almost embarassingly bad. But he will go down in history as one of the greatest rock songwriters ever.)

And Mr. Orwell 1984: If you'll notice, I typically write about politics. I write about American Idol because I'm fascinated by it and I watch with my kids. I'm glad people enjoy reading and talking about it.

Posted by Tim Redmond on Mar. 14, 2011 @ 5:05 pm