The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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'American Idol's' Adam Lambert: We felt your pain, dude

April 22, 2009 | 11:45 am

Adamlambert As much as I hate to say anything nice about Adam Lambert or, god forbid, ever agree with the lunkheaded Paula Abdul on matters of taste, I confess -- the cherubic sprite nailed it last night, doing a wonderfully silky job of crooning Yvonne Ellman's old "Saturday Night Fever" hit, "If I Can't Have You."

When I heard it was disco night on "American Idol," I was thinking exactly what Simon Cowell was thinking, as he told Lambert: "I would've bet $10,000 you were going to do Donna Summer."

But Lambert went the ballad route. With his swept-back hair and shiny gray suit, he looked a little like the young Wayne Newton in the made-for-TV version of "Reservoir Dogs." But he got the smoldering emotion of the song exactly right, even if Abdul -- as usual -- overstated the case by exclaiming, "It was as if you tore your heart out and left it on the stage." Actually, on "American Idol," the whole idea is to wear your heart on your sleeve and hope Cowell doesn't tear your entire arm off.

But call me a convert -- last night, Lambert gave us a showstopper.

Photo: Adam Lambert. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox.