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Idol Tracker: Thoughts on Adam Lambert and the cliffhanger

April 30, 2009 |  3:43 pm

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"