Adam Lambert is Finally Crowned the Winner of American Idol
After 9 seasons it is obvious to many that Fox’s American Idol is in its death throes. Love-him-or-hate-him judge Simon Cowell is leaving after this season. The heart of the show, Paula Abdul, is gone. Ellen DeGeneres, as a judge, is useless. And Kara and Randy look bored to tears. Even the bandleader, Rickey Minor, has announced his imminent departure for a better gig, having heard the death knell. Season 9 has proven to be an abysmal snooze fest and has begun to be overtaken by ABC’s Dancing With the Stars in the ratings war. Something has sucked the life out of this once thriving reality show and that something is the absence of the artistry, voice, charisma and WOW of Adam Lambert.
Adam strutted and swaggered onto the Season 8 Idol stage and brought with him a presence, power, and professionalism unmatched by any before him, week after week raising the bar to ever more dizzying heights. Fans and judges alike couldn’t wait to see what this fiercely dynamic up and comer would bring to the Idol stage with each new performance, a stage that had never before seen the likes of him. He captured the attention of America, and even amongst brutal attacks for his sexual orientation it was understood in many circles that he was easily the favorite to win the title.
With the arrival of the season finale, host Ryan Seacrest’s shocking announcement that Adam was the Season 8 runner-up created an uproar among his millions of admiring fans, including big names throughout the music industry, many stunned into shocked disbelief, knowing in their gut that Adam had earned the win and would have been awarded the crown had he not been openly gay. The resulting sense of outrage, combined with suspicions of serious voting irregularities, left many fans of the show feeling betrayed and abused, vowing never to watch again. Even some who continue to tune in express a feeling of lifelessness without the excitement of the Adam Lambert Effect. To quote Simon speaking to Adam "No one can top that now." And no one can. The shine is off AI, a portion of its audience has turned away, much of its current audience is nodding off, sending the show spinning towards a black hole. And now American Idol is the equivalent of a dead man walking. Even if it continues for another season it will surely be a shadow of its former greatness.
But an interesting thing happened on the way to the mortuary. While drawing what could be its last breath American Idol has crowned Adam Lambert. He was invited to be the mentor for season nine's Elvis week. In an obvious symbolic gesture of assent to his unequaled talent among AI alumni, American Idol gave Adam Lambert the unprecedented honor of being the only AI contestant, including every winner from every season, to ever be chosen to mentor on Idol, for his name to stand alongside the likes of Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, and other legendary entertainers that have lent their prestige and professional knowledge to the show’s contestants. This was no small gesture on the part of American Idol. On some level, with that gesture, American Idol not only presented to him the crown he'd been denied, but the show awarded Adam Lambert the title of Idol over all Idols. And it seems fitting that Adam was crowned during Elvis week, one rising King honoring another legendary one.
On the night following Adam’s stint as mentor on American Idol, with or without their permission, Adam Lambert claimed and wore that crown and that title. With what can only be described as a mind boggling performance of his hit single Whataya Want From Me, appearing as an apparition in dark profile within a green cone of illuminated swirling clouds, Adam delivered the opening verse of the song with clear, strong, yet hauntingly measured notes that swept his audience into a space/time continuum in which only he and they existed, then broke out into full Planet Fierce rock mode complete with glossy Elvis-esque jacket and pompadour, yet facial and body language that was clearly signature Glambert. It was a stunning performance, one which some have labeled the best Idol return performance the show has ever seen, lending even more validity to his newly bestowed crown. He single-handedly transformed the Idol stage into the Adam Lambert concert, and in doing so, claimed the stage as his own. Anyone else who ever performs on that stage from now on will be borrowing it from Adam Lambert.
After the events of Adam Lambert’s triumphant return to the American Idol stage, it seems like the season 8 finale announcement never happened. For many of Adam’s fans the experience has provided complete closure.
Adam Lambert has come back to American Idol, where a year ago he had an appointment with destiny.
And American Idol, the unique show that launched this supernova, has finally crowned their Idol of, and for, all time.