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Idol Tracker: Thoughts on Adam Lambert and the cliffhanger

Adam "It's just a show, it's just a show, it's just a show...." so Yahoo's "American Idol" tracker Lyndsey Parker posted on her Facebook page early in last night's show, at around 6:15 PDT. Idling in bed with a hope-it's-not-porcine head cold, I noticed her status report and started freaking out. Checking my e-mail, I saw a missive from Rabbi Rushfield: SHOCKER! My palms started sweating. Something, I knew, was wrong.

If you're reading this post, I'm pretty sure you know what happened next. Adam Lambert, the seasonlong front-runner in this year's competition, the hot-as-ice performer I've endorsed as the kind of pop star who could change people's lives, had been banished to the bottom bench on elimination night. Worse yet, he stayed there until the very end of the episode! I hyperventilated, hitting the "refresh" button on Google News every 30 seconds as I monitored the situation from my little corner of the Internet.

Adam survived. Matt Giraud departed as expected, going out with a possibly career-making rendition of "My Funny Valentine" after having delivered some even sparklier runs during the night's uniformly excellent (and swinging!) opening number. I went into the kitchen and made some soup. But I was haunted by my own reaction to Lambert's apparent near-elimination. Why do I care so much that he makes it? It's embarrassing.

The cliffhanger forced me to confront my own emotional reactions to this season.

Read the rest of Ann Powers' "Thoughts on Adam Lambert and the cliffhanger"

 
Comments () | Archives (53)

I am right there with you! Over 300 of us were on-line chatting and quite a few were SCREAMING when Ryan announced Adam in the bottom 3. I am hoping that voters will wake up and vote him to safety this week.

my two cents - look at pictures of Adam Lambert in the early weeks and look at his appearance last night - I know appearances aren't everything but ----- who took away his makeup and his edgy hairdo. And why was he wearing a suit last night? Who is giving him advice on his look on American Idol? He was looking steamy and sexy and the voice all made a complete "I'm not like everyone else package". He looks goofy and not the Adam that got everyone hot in the beginning.Bring back the eyeliner and the sharp edgy hair and the black individualistic clothes!!!! Pleeeeze.

I have to admit I was doing the same thing. I was refreshing the page of an Idol blog that gives live results from the east coast. I felt a little sick the entire time.

If this is a voter complacency issue I hope this brush with disaster wakes people up and inspires them to pick up the phone. Watching the best singer I've ever seen on Idol get voted off is something I'd prefer to avoid at all costs.

America wake-up! It wasn't a computer glitch or Adam's fans being complacent and not voting for him. It is one big ratings/marketing ploy for Fox. There were 46M votes and based on FACT and zillions of comments of support for Adam, there was no mathematical way he could have ever been on the bottom three. Think about it. Why would the producers allow an upset on their biggest potential money-making contestant? They are very aware of Adam's popularity and will not allow another Daughtry incident to happen again. It's one big hoax FOX is trying to pull on us to incite a public outrage, thus probably making history next week when record-breaking votes will be made in support for Adam. It's all about money folks, and ADAM is one lottery ticket they won't let go of.

omg yes i was texting my frend and we wer both freaking out "omg wat the heck was america thinking" we both fwlt guilty cuz neither of us voted mainly cuz we thougt he would be okay but i learned my lesson and so did she "no matter how good adam is votw vote vote cuz we dont want another chris daughtry to happen cuz everyone knows he shud have won! go adam i loveee you so much keep singing as good as u look....... HOT!!!!!

That's right Adam fans, we were dealt a huge SURPRISE, last night. First, by Adam being in the bottom three (3# and THEN, Kris being 'safe' before Adam. I know why. Many of you who support Adam didn't watch the show, vote, or both. Adam's vast talent will not guarantee a win for him. We MUST vote for him each and every week. If you miss the show, YouTube it to watch Adam's performance, then vote.

I think the other three #3# contestants are also talented but, they do not have the charisma that makes the complete package of an artist.

I really feel this competition because I never got into AI past the initial auditions but, after hearing Adam sing Michael Jackson's 'Black or White", I knew I was watching a real superstar.

So, again, VOTE!!!!

I so agree that this was a publicity stunt. Adam was not in the bottom three. He has six songs in the top ten on itunes downloads. AI has admitted in the past that they never mess with the person getting voted off but do "mess" with the bottom three. Adam is going to be a cash cow and no way with 19 entertainment lose him!!
Of course, that doesn't mean that I will stop voting for him.

I too am there with you.. And as a former CATV producer, I too was shocked...ready to throw a shoe at the TV.. What happened last night was more than shocking... and, if you think about it, improbable and cruel. I have read a post in an MTV blog that I thought we all should think about.
...My husband, a research scientist who has dealt with statistics all his working life, said it was so statistically impossible with 45 to 47 million votes for there to be that much of a shift for two of the top performers. He said that if 150 people were voting, things like this could happen. But the larger the group, the less the swing. And nothing happened during the week to make it an upheavel.....I just hope everyone is sitting at their phones next week and voting, voting. Does anyone think AI would be capable of such shenanigans?...
Actually, if I remember my grad school sadistic statistics correctly, the blogger is correct.
I would like to add that I did try to vote for Adam on the - 10 number, and I received a not authorized to use message. When I used the -05 number, I got busy signals for both hours. So, if Adam and Kris voters in mass had clogged the lines, ie: the trunk lines were jammed and calls did not go through, then the Danny and Allison votes that got through easily would be registered, thus forcing the 2 front runners, Adam and Kris, to hit the bottom 3.
Why do I care? I think my interest in Adam heightened after reading scholarly articles about his ability right here in this column...in this newpaper. The article on the passaggio on April 27, helped me to understand what Adam was doing and achieving. I further researched tenor singing high C, E, and F's .... the Puritani "high F" from credeasi misera and Pavoriti's Legendary High C 's in La Fille du regiment. Try it on Google. It will heart your hears... but ... WoW! Adam was reaching those same notes only a few talented and practiced tenors can achieve! No other Newspaper or Blog bothered to recognize that his "screaching" was not screaching at all.
Then I think, the grandmother in me adopted Adam. And so... I am really unhappy with American Idol. I am unhappy that Kara, a song writer, who failed to note to all the world that Adam was more than all the way up there with his falsetto... he was doing something few can do... and explain what that was.
I think it is important that all Adam supporters realize there is something wrong here. I am concerned that the phone lines could clog again if too many people call .. I am concerned that the judges are not thinking before they speak... I am concerned that the only media that has spoken about the passaggio is this newspaper...
What is preventing Randy or anyone from refering to this ability... as in Steve Perry (Journey), Bruse Dickenson ( Iron Maiden) in the Rock world...? I am concerned that the producers may have pulled a stunt not statistically probable... I am concerned that the bookies and odds takers all over the world needed to open the field as betting on Adam would only produce $.80 for every $1.00 bet... What does one do... demand another Drudge Report and protest aka Clay Aiken?
Adam fans.... gather... we need to think of a plan... Your thoughts?

I believe Adam was being manipulated to increase ratings. Ryan was both rude and mean as he pushed Adam from one group to the other, making the situation uncomfortable for Adam. I don’t know how many fans were feeling Adam’s pain as he waited for the outcome, but I certainly did and I was mad as hell. Adam has been on the stage every week singing his heart out and performing at a level that left the others in the dust. There has never been a contestant on Idol that deserves to win more. There is no doubt that the show’s producers know what a valuable commodity Adam is and Adam did not deserve this dirty trick. In a recent interview in the Hollywood Reporter Simon was asked: Who do you think will win "Idol" this season?

Cowell: The contestants are interesting, they're talented. I think, arguably, with this guy Adam, he could be one of the best we've ever had -- in terms of an out-and-out pop star who could sell all over the world. So in that respect, it's been one of my favorite seasons. Much better than last year. I got bored last year. Just totally, totally bored. It was like judging a bunch of robots.

Idol should show more respect for their star performer, and all of us should vote like hell this Tuesday.

My Heart stopped last night and like most people I think this is outrageous... I can't believe it, if Adam goes home I will not watch the rest of the show... I do care, I love music and having someone like Adam that can move every single one of my emotions with his performances is amazing. he didn't deserve what happened last night, bottom 3 and bottom two!!! No way!!! we love Adam and those who felt confident and didn['t feel had to vote, better vote this week.... I hope is not a conspiracy from Fox due to all the comments about Adam's sexual preferences, who care?? he deserves to win OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGEOUS WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT, I VOTED FROM 6 DIFFERENT PHONES LIKE 5 TIMES EACH..

All I know is that there has never been another contestant that has given 8 outstanding performances in a row with that much vocal difficulty. He's more than proven himself. Why he was treated the way he was last night is baffling. All the judges were laughing at Adam and Matt right before the announcement was made. They are disingenuous pigs imo. You can see the stress in Adam's eyes. He's has stayed true to himself. A real, honest man.

I think Adam cannot win because he is gay. I'm seeing more and more homophobic remarks throughout the internet today and in my personal life. You can be quiet, nice gay. But out, flamboyant, unique wierd gives people pause. But this is only in regards to the Idol Middle America audience. He'll have a great career no matter what position he finishes in.

Simon let the scam out of the bag at the beginning of the show when he said now the competition is open to everybody. And his usual smirk.

Ann, I felt the same way. I held my breath for like a minute while I waited to learn the truth, Adam or Matt leaving? It was very nervewracking! But I still believe it was a cruel trick the producer's played to get higher ratings.

Get over it people. Simon also said implied earlier this season Adam is a polarizing contestant. People either like him or not. His appearance in the bottom should not surprise you who are ready to anoint him the next Idol. For as many people who like him there are twice more who don't. I personally think he's overrated and I am not impressed by Adam's high pitched squealing. It may be technically something few people do but it doesn't always sound good. Who wants to listen to that screeching? He's better suited for Broadway where that kind of "singing" is appreciated and encouraged.

Ryan shouldn't do that to Adam or any other contestants...kept him in very uncomfortable situation in front of millions people. It was very rude and cruel. Didn't matter how much drama Ryan or Fox wanted. I am sick to my core thinking about how Adam's feeling now.

I thought the announcement by Ryan that Adam was in the bottom 3, was the most thrilling since the night of the AI 5 finale, when Clay Aiken surprised Michael Sandecki. I have had a bias against Adam Lambert from the get-go, due to him having prior professional experience, when the rest of the contestants didn't.
I think what happened Tuesday night, was that he screamed his way through 1 song too many.
He is definitely a 'one trick pony', and many others are starting to become aware of it also.
Tuesday night was NOT a night for him to 'wail like a banshee'.

I find your comments about the obsessiveness to be quite recognizable. I had the same reaction 5 years ago when Jennifer, Latoya and Fantasia were in the bottom 3. And when Jennifer Hudson got ejected, I went berserk. Up until that day, I was a casual watcher. Ever since, my goodness, ever since then I've been hooked. It's almost like an anthropological study of the American mind. What pushes people to vote or to not vote? What do we take for granted? Why do we care about the strangers that we are asked to stalk? It's odd, it's exciting, it's demented, it's exhausting. And, for the first time since the hey day of sitcom tv, people all across America really do have "characters" that we recognize, discuss and cheer for.

I think that all the votes that had been for Anoop and Lil Round probably didn't go to Adam this week. Thus he was in the bottom. Adam is not the only talented one in this competition. It not over yet people and Adam is not a winner yet. This year can't compare to last year. The final two shows last year were amazing and two of the best were standing up there. Both David's were class acts and never were in the bottom three.It will be interesting to see what happens.

If Adam goes - I will quit watching. He is by far the best you've had on the show. However, this year the talent is the best ever.

Welcome to my nightmare. In 2003 with less than one third the current phone lines and only one number for each contestant we tried to vote for Clay Aiken the final voting night of Season 2. Clay fans across the country got nothing but busy signals and recordings while Ruben's fan's votes went through. That problem led to American Idol providing more phone lines and more numbers for each contestant as the seasons progressed. Maybe there are still not enough phone lines or do you think the votes were manipulated last night?

I love Adam too and I hope his votes go through next week.

Adam is not the only talented one on the show. He is the MOST talented one on the show. If you get the first standing ovation from Simon and ovations from Smokey Robinson one of the best in the businsess you see there is no denying who is the MOST talented. They can all sing, but Adam can sing and entertain. Adam sang MAD World and Tracks of My Tears with such emotion in his own way and OMG he wasn't screaming. Which in my opinion he does not scream, but when he sings rock tunes he hits some wicked high notes. He is another ICON to be rekoned with and American Idol is somewhat demeaning in my opinion. You would never see Michael Jackson or Elvis competing with a bunch of amateurs. Sorry, but that is the way Adam looks next to the others. VOTE FOR ADAM, but it doesn't matter really. He is already the next big thing and an INTERNATIONAL SENSATION!!!

Eljen and Kerry
Agree - this very much sounds like a voting fix - or at least 'smoke n mirror's. I'm in England and we don't see the show till tonight, but my brother in the USA has kept me informed. He says Seacrest announced Kris and Matt as being in the bottom voted group only WHILE he was manouevring Adam towards that group. Does that mean that Fox can get away with saying - well, we never said Lambert had the second-lowest phone vote? They can put him in any group they want if they've previously announced that the group had the lowest or highest votes - providing they don't say the same thing once he's in that group. Can anybody clarify, have I got this wrong? Can't wait for tonight's show to help clear this up!

to Barb Smith: not sure if you noticed, it was Rat Pack Standards' night and all of the contestants, including Kris, who looked like a 12 year old boy going to church and I'm pretty sure he also felt like one, wore suits.

Fantastic article.

Please vote people! I'm in Australia so I can't. Fingers crossed that Adam one day does a world tour.

Teenage girls won't vote for you if they know (for a fact) that you are gay. If he had played it coy like Clay Aiken did, he might not have been in the bottom two.

 
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