It's late morning in the City of Angels, where the frenzy has slowed to a manageable weekend pace. Families of Hasidic Jews walk leisurely to synagogue past the nearly empty parking lot of CBS Studios. Inside, Lambert sits in a dimly lit windowless room and sings Aerosmith's Cryin'.
"Should I say the word 'Cryin' ' at the end, or is that, you know, too show-tune-y?" Lambert asks Michael Orland, who, along with Dorian Holley, has proffered vocal and musical advice to Lambert and Allen throughout the competition.
Orland agrees he should just draw out the last "me" of the verse.
Lambert nods, then starts talking about a few recent performances, praising recently departed Idol Allison Iraheta, 17, with whom he dueted last week on a raucous version of Foghat's Slow Ride.
"I tell you, give her two years and, bam! She'll be a star," he says with genuine awe. "She is just so, so talented."
He runs through U2's One, which the judges picked for him to sing. Aside from hearing it a few times on the radio, the song was mostly unfamiliar to Lambert until a few hours ago. The three men spend much time working out how to make the last words of the song ("sisters and brothers") a whisper.
"You've got the huge voice, we know that," says Holley. "But sometimes it's more powerful to go the opposite way."
Ten minutes later, Lambert stands up and stomps a single snakeskin boot: "All right, we're done. Let's go shopping."
After a trip of a few blocks by car, Lambert and stylist Miles Siggins walk freely through the posh Beverly Center mall. No one stops the Idol finalist. This is L.A., and Lambert isn't yet A-list.
Inside the hip-with-cash store Traffic, Lambert and Siggins fall in love with a faded denim shirt by Dolce & Gabbana. At $695, it comes close to his two-song budget of $800. Not that that would stop Lambert.
"He's broken Taylor Hicks' record for spending the most out of your own pocket," Siggins says, laughing. "And I'm not telling you by how much."
Lambert says the white suit he wore to sing the Rat Pack-era tune Feeling Good cost $1,700. "But in this competition, the visual is as important as the voice," he says. "I'll spend what I have to."
Says Siggins: "Adam's my modern-day David Bowie."
With that, the two are off to admire a sandblasted pair of jeans from Hysteric Glamour for $855. "I love this," whispers Lambert.
In the end, though, nothing makes Lambert's cut, and he moves on to other stores.
Nancy O'Dell goes shopping with Adam Lambert at one of his favorite stores, American Rag
""Barney's New York" is a high end fashion boutique. The main branch is in NYC, but the other one is in Beverly Hills.... That's the one Adam is shopping at, in this vid."
Upright Cafe by Lily Lim
Adam on falling in love the first time:
So you left “Wicked” to become a rock star?
"I came back [to Los Angeles] and took some promo shots and started rehearsing. We had a handful of songs. I don’t know if any of them were great, but it was a start. At the time, we believed in them. We did a couple gigs here and there. The band was called the Citizen Vein. We performed at the Knitting Factory one night, the Cat Club on Sunset, and a club in Hermosa Beach. We did three gigs and that was it and we recorded a couple things, like rough recordings, and I don’t know, it didn’t quite click.
We kept writing and doing things, but then I got into my first relationship and I fell in love and I was going out a lot. I was dressing up, just living my life and having a great time. Falling in love was major. It changed everything, because up until then, I was 25 and I hadn’t been in love. I felt like there was a part of me that was like, “I don’t understand something about life, like a big thing.”
I listened to these songs on the radio or CDs or I’d see these musicals about people being in love with each other and what that feels like and what heartbreak feels like and the joy of what love is and I had sex but I’d never been in love and just didn’t get it. It was really interesting because during and after that relationship, everything changes. It’s like, “Oh, that’s what they were talking about.”
I thought that was so corny before and now I am crying because I totally identify with what that feels like. So that was a big turning point for personal growth."
Sunday before Labor Pool Party, new pic:
Pool party sandals by @feraltwirler
Pool party sandals by @feraltwirler
Simon interview in TV Guide May 4 -10th
Volume 57, Number 18, Issue #2933-2934
After eight seasons, people still seem surprised that you’re not afraid to tell the truth.
I think a lot of [judges] worry that others will think badly of them for telling the truth, like we’re the ones in the popularity competition, which is absurd. It doesn’t really matter what people think about us, the judges. There are times when I’m sitting on the show, and I look at all the wardrobe and the stylists and the hair, and it’s just for us judges, and I think, hang on a minute. This has all gone a little out of whack here. Apart from Adam [Lambert], who sets his own agenda, I don’t think there’s anything I can tell you about any of these people, even after seven weeks. Kris [Allen] is a good example. He’s a sweet kid, good-looking. I know he’s married because he told us. Other than that, there’s not a single thing I could tell you about that boy. Nothing.
Lil Rounds was such a front-runner during the auditions. What happened?
When you get into a show like this, you become so obsessed about saving yourself and second-guessing what the public will or won’t like, you compromise yourself as an artist. “If I’m not in a sweet dress, they won’t vote for me. If I don’t sing a popular song, they won’t vote for me.” They’re singing to be saved rather than to be fantastic. The only person you genuinely feel is not doing that is Adam. He’s not going to compromise himself as a singer or an artist. He’s unpredictable and he’s fun, and I love that.
Adam also seems completely unfazed by the stories circulating about his sexuality.
Do you think America’s finally gotten beyond that?
I think people only get bothered really when they know somebody’s hiding something. [Laughs] We’ve had that in the past! We’ve obviously never had an issue with it, and nor should anybody else. It’s a huge step forward for the show. It’s just, do you like him as a person, as a singer, full stop.
He’s taking a page from David Cook’s playbook by making each song his own.
Adam’s the only one who’s done it this year. That’s why I was so frustrated with Danny [Gokey] when he did “Endless Love” with a harp. Come on! This song is 25, 30 years old, and a lot’s happened in 30 years. At least pretend to do something different to it, rather than schmaltzing it up."
HOW FAR WILL DANNY GO?
The final will be him and Adam. I think it would be a miracle for that not to happen. But I think it will be a very good final, because you've got real contrast. You've got someone who's safe and popular versus the entertainer. When you get into the final, everything changes hugely becuase now you've got the whole country focusing on just two people. And at that point, Adam would go in at a slight disadvantage.
Danny is the safer option. He hasn't taken as many risks. So I would put it at 55/45 Danny versus Adam. But one song could change everything. We were literally gobsmacked that david Cook won.
THE GIRLS HAVE STRUGGLED SO MUCH THIS YEAR, BUT THE BIGGEST STARS FROM THE SHOW HAVE BEEN FEMALE, KELLY & CARRIE UNDERWOOD.
I've learned over the years that if you think you're going to find a star every year, think again. Are you going to find a winner? Yes,. But are you going to find a star? Absolutely not. Carrie Underwood, Leona Lewis - they were special people. Thank God they happened to walk into our shows. But you can't say that for Taylor Hicks. He never was or will be a star. He was a popular singer on a popular show. There's a difference.
CAN ADAM BE A STAR?
One hundred percent. He's somebody who should be selling records all over the world. He's that good. He could sing the phone book, and a lot of producers will want to work with him.
WHAT ABOUT DANNY?
Not so much. He's more American. He'll do very well here. But when you do a show like this, you hope you're going to find somebody so unique, so different, who can represent the show all over the world. And that's more Adam than Danny. Adam's in control of what he does, down to the nail polish. Imagine what the competition would look like without him. He's shaken everything up, this boy.
DID YOU SEE THAT FROM THE MOMENT YOU AUDITIONED HIM?
No, I didn't. I though the first time I saw him he reminded me of people who've done Broadway. - I thought he was very theatrical, and he couldn't adapt. And to be fair, it was Paula and Randy who really liked him. But during Hollywood week he turned everything around. The American public has had that same relationship with him. It took performances like "Mad World" to really establish him. And now he's got this head of steam going.
WHAT'S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PERFORMANCE SO FAR THIS SEASON?
"Mad World" It's the only one I can really remember. I can remember Adam's Johnny Cash song "Ring of Fire" for all the wrong reasons. Having said that, I love it when a performance polarizes rather than becomes forgettable. Ninety percent of the performances over the last few weeks, I can't remember who sang what.