Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Student Becomes the Master

Wishful thinking often morphs into rumours through Chinese Whispers and I thought this was the case when it came to Adam being touted as a mentor on AI. He dispelled it during the Heat chat only for it to rear its head again yesterday via a DJ who claimed to have received an official notice. Many dismissed this but it was confirmed later to plenty of excitement and flailing. To mark the occasion, I've put together a video of all the mentor sessions from last season. Slash was the only one to have given Adam any advice and I remember wondering at the time how they would have been able to mentor him as I felt that the student had already overtaken the master.

I've always thought Adam would make an excellent mentor on AI for so many reasons. He is extremely articulate in expressing relevant opinions in a tactful manner. He doesn't mumble or babble self-indulgent shit and instinctively knows on what level to communicate in order to engage his audience. Although he says he doesn't have a filter, I think there is one in place that only allows interesting and useful stuff through. That's why we so often find ourselves hanging onto his every word. As far as I'm concerned, he's peerless when it comes to mastering the Idol game so no one is better to equipped to advise on it.

It's been a year since Adam was introduced to the world on AI, and I've wondered whether it would ever be able to recover. I thought that in the best-case scenario post-Adam, the judges may become more adventurous in their choices, or after having studied him we might have seen people be a little more daring. It's glaringly evident now how exceptional a talent he is by the absence of any excitement or comparable vocal quality from the current contestants. Adam has changed it and there is no going back as the bar requires intergalactic travel to get over. It will never be enough to be able to sing like an angel, to able to belt like a diva, to be a likeable personality, to have stage presence, to be visually compelling, to have a signature trait, to choose good songs, to be able to perform, to be able to interpret and rearrange songs, to be versatile, to be exciting and unpredictable. We need all that and much more to sustain interest because that is what Adam consistently gave us week after week without fail. Anything less is a serious disappointment. We saw how much the camera loved Adam for being such a fascinating subject and this year, despite there being some talent, no one comes even remotely close to generating as much interest or inspiration.

The show is broken and withered without Adam and is the embodiment of 'Meh'. The judges have had little patience, giving out confused and garbled advice after enduring one predictably lacklustre performance after another. I think it may be a consequence of Adam kicking out the rulebook as to what should or shouldn't work. I'll bet they wish there were someone similar this season but no one is able to pull it off. Ratings haven't been good so I'm guessing that the producers are trying to resuscitate the show with an injection of glitter-adrenaline to give it some pizzazz. I think it says a lot about their regard for their prized alumnus. Apart from the obvious draw of having him appear on the show, I would assume they thought he could have a lasting effect on the quality of performances. Last year, Adam expertly navigated his way through the rounds giving us a thrilling and varied collection of surprises. I think he's well qualified to advise on how to play AI to make it fit around the contestants, starting with how to get the most out of the available resources, song choice, vocal styling and arrangement from week-to-week. I also think he'd have plenty of valuable input on the performance aspect in the look, staging, mood, camera engagement and visual presentation which could help them all up their game. I don't expect him to work miracles as none have voices with the staggering range, power, control or dynamism that allows him to sing anything, but I think he'll provide plenty of ideas and inspiration. I look forward to Adam's return but it's a shame I'll have to tolerate all the rubbish to watch the Adam parts. Well, I'm glad I don't have to worry about voting this time round. If only they could dispense with the contestants and give the whole show to Adam so the master is free demonstrate his craft, then I'd be very happy.

DOWNLOAD Adam AI8 mentor interactions iPod compatible mp4 - 30.5MB


  1. SO much fun to see these clips again! I can't WAIT to see the advice he gives the contestants this year, who are in desparate need of true artistic guidance! @TheRealKimmerz has spoken! LOL

  2. Luv it! Your articles are always a pleasure to read :-)

  3. I know people are commenting about past AI winners to be a mentor before Adam, but like you said, he is a great speaker and very articulate. He has it ALL - the rest of them have SOME of what Adam has. I'm so proud of him! And sooo excited to see him on AI again! Thank you for another great article and video!

  4. Can you post this on Youtube because this won't load for me...

  5. Loved reading this. There is so much negative in the comments on other threads that it makes me sick. Someone as special and talented as Adam has to see such mean spirited comments. I think his "Lionheart" twitter was in reply to those idiots. Wish your article could be posted on those sites. Love U AB

  6. Thank you very very much for this link.... no matter what other fans of other idol alum say... Adam is 19E , RCA, Freemantle, Simon Fuller's.... choice.... and they are no dummies.... they know the business and they know what works.... Adam and his performance works very well....the most current Idol alum... gorgeous looking too....

  7. TheRealKimmers, this season has been a great sedative so far, looking forward to a bit of excitement too!

    Anonymous(es), thanks! It's extremely rare for anyone come with such a complete set of skills.
    There's a good reason it's not on YouTube - it won't accept it. Try using a different browser & make sure that your version on Flash is fairly up to date.
    Gah, I've stayed well away from all the negativity. I just wish more people would understand that blowing out someone else's candle won't make their own shine any brighter.

  8. Love your article. Excellent essay. Thanks for the vids and I think I would like to come here to read some archives (when I have time.) Any suggestion?

  9. geez. I love this site. Great commentary and supererfantastic videos. Thanks for keeping it ALL alive! I still get gooseflesh and that inner smile when I watch this.

  10. Dear AB
    Thanks for putting this together. It brings back so many memories. For me it's the full circle moment. A year ago, I turned on my TV, flipped the channels and decided to watch the last 30 minutes of the Top 8 episode of American Idol waiting to see if a charming guy I remembered from the audition made it this far. Mad World. It took exactly 90 seconds for my obsession to be born. I called my daughter and told her that I just saw the next superstar. I knew nothing about Adam at that point. I googled him all night and your blog was one of the sites I found that night. It allowed me to go back in time and see what I have missed. Including the Randy mentoring episode...And here we are a year later. Thank you for being here! - AD

  11. WOW!! What a very well done article and I so agree with you!

    Adam will pull AI up at least for a week. I have watched the top ten but there is something 'missing', the show has no heart, no soul anymore. Adam spoiled us for AI.

  12. Great article. You are a very good writer like a pro. "I will have to tolerate all the rubbish to watch adam's part." that is my worry too. Can u make the vid like this again so we can just watch Adam's parts. that would be brilliant. Ha ha....


  14. AB, I luv reading your post. Your critque is always hash and real. And it often gives me some laughter simply by reading it. Thanks for bringing the old memories back. I remembered that I was reading Masterclass Lady's comments on Adam week by week. Instead of pointing out for improvement, she often ended up explaining the terms and method that Adam used. I guessed that was another time that a student became a master. That was fun for me though. :D

    AI will never be the same, no doubt. And the music industry is not the same either. What a blessing I have, to enjoy MUSIC AGAIN?!


  15. AB;

    I was so happy to learn that Adam is going to be mentor....people forget that he's been performing since he was 10 years old. He's so bloody talented and accomplished. Screw the naysayers.

    Maybe Adam will be able to save this awful least for me!!

  16. hclu, thanks! It depends what kind of things you're after. There's a lot of writing which may take quite some time to digest, so as a start, here are a few links: - Articles - Obsessings - Here's the link to April 2009 entries for reliving the AI journey from the beginning, including speculation, performances, reviews and articles (start from the bottom) - This is the one for May 2009 which you can also find in the blog archives in the sidebar. - Watch all of Adam's AI performances with reviews.

    Anonymous, thank you! It takes a lot of work to keep it alive and ticking along so I'm pleased you like it.

    AD, it's funny you say that because it was at the same point that I Googled Adam and my life has taken on a completely different turn. There seem to be so many full-circle moments, the universe must be conspiring to work for him!

    talex42, I agree with the lack of sparkle and 'It' factor this year. Maybe Adam can sprinkle some glitter on them. I'm sure he'll be a huge ratings draw.

    Anonymous 05:18, I'll see what I can do! How quickly I can do it will depend on when I can get my hands on the whole episode.

    Anonymous 06:05, I wonder what the theme is next week. Adam has inspired so many people I'm sure he'll be able to make a big difference to the quality of performances.

    K(*Glitter*), thanks. I think AI9 will improve a hundredfold with Adam on it. I would even prefer to watch his nails dry than this season's performances!

    Lynn, I think the majority of naysayers are just bitter fans of other contestants. I'm sure people could learn a lot just from seeing what Adam does to prepare for a performance. We'll finally have a good reason to tune in next week. Can't wait!

  17. I still have all of the top 13 shows on my DVR:) Want to put them on DVD, but only the Adam parts.
    AI will never be the same after Adam. Next week the ratings will go through the roof, then they will drop again. Oh well, sad but true,(not really) our Rock God Superstar has made it to where NO ONE can compare and what an inspiration that is!!


  18. Like others have said - there are several things that go into being a good mentor...not all former successful AI contestants are as comfortable with off-the-cuff unscripted banter and critiquing... Lambert is so well spoken and articulate and affable... all those things play into it. Could go on and on - but I'm pretty much stating the obvious - there has to be a comfort level for this former contestant mentor thing to work - and once again, Lambert has the IT factor required like no other. In fact, Lambert's pic should be in the dictionary next to "IT FACTOR".

  19. Here's another observation....ADAM gets to use the AI platform AGAIN!!! More exposure = more record sales...millions will be watching..cuz when they announced ADAM LAMBERT would be on IDOL again..people are ready to tune in to see him!! Already have tickets for his concert in Tampa in Sept..waiting for more concerts before then to go to...INTERNATIONAL STAR IS ADAM LAMBERT!! He's MY IDOL!!!

  20. AB; Just when I think I can move on from my obsession - he PULLS me back in. Last week, I thought that I could go back to normal - just listen to a few songs and watch a few youtube vids every now and then, and then nooo.....I am right back where I started - total fan girl - Scouring the web for any new stuff, going back over old AI songs, watching old concert videos. Is he the glamrock version of the Manchurian Candidate?? I swear, he talks and I lose my willpower. This is almost freaky. And trust me, I am not exaggerating....

    Last night, my son put on Feeling Good - and I just smiled at him - that knowing boy - can tell what makes his mama happy!! He loves it too!! Where the hell is my ipod....time for my fix.

  21. LuvAdam476, I'm so excited about next week, hope Adam has a lasting effect on the contestants.

    Anonymous, Adam has a wealth of experience as a performer, the contestants could learn so much from him. None of them are good at doing that at the moment. As I remember, he was a bit of a mentor to the other contestants last year so it should be very natural for him.

    sktorok, the performance should push WWFM towards platinum. I've heard it so many times though, I hope he goes full out glam to give the show its first bit of excitement this season. I wonder if he'll perform one of the remixes.

    Lynn, I think you've already told me this before - he's already in and owns your heart! There's just no resisting the charmicide. Aw, glad you can share you fangirling with your son, seems like such fun.!