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BWW Exit Interview: 'IDOL' Adam Lambert

Kris Allen was crowned the "American Idol" Season 8 champion, Wednesday night May 20, after nearly 100 million votes were cast. Adam Lambert the glam-rock favorite to take the title came in second, but his future looks very bright indeed. 

Lambert was a true stand out this season, the young Los Angeles based singer, usually had the audience in the palm of his hand with one swooning performance after another.

Once his stint on the American Idol Live 2009 Summer Tour is over, a few well known Broadway producers are very eager for him to work his magic on the New York stage. 

After the "American Idol" finale madness calmed down a bit, Adam Lambert answered questions from reporters on Friday, May 21st in a mass media phone conference. Lambert's message was all about the music and his successful goal of creating togetherness.

The questions and answers came fast and furious as the singing sensation met the press, here are some highlights below!

Q: What are your first thoughts post-finale?

Adam Lambert: "I got to sing with Queen and with Kiss"! "First or second, it doesn't matter. I got to sing with two great heroic rock bands of mine."

Q: Your performances were so inspired and dynamic. What is your definition of "theatricality", it was a word used many times during the season in regards to your singing?

AL: "It's all in the name of good entertainment... I think theatricality is just a way of performing. I don't think it's a better way. It's my way... I was lucky American Idol embraced it. It was something a little bit new to them."

Q: What was yout personal favorite performance?

AL: "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin."

Q: What was it like working with the celebrity mentors and guests, half the time it seemed like they were more excited about working with you?

AL: "I was star-struck every time. Smokey Robinson was amazing. Jamie Foxx was amazing. I met Lady Gaga backstage when she came on the show and that was amazing. I can't even name one. And every single celebrity was coming up to me and knew who I was and that to me was the weirdest part. I was like, 'Wait a minute. I'm a fan of yours. You can't be a fan of mine.' It was so strange." 

Q: You had worked pretty much continuously in Los Angeles, but "Idol" as expected provided a giant spotlight to be "discovered", which doesn't happen the way it used too. Like Lana Turner's story of being discovered at a counter at Schwab's drug store...

AL: "The concept of being discovered is a dying art. You have to put yourself out there. I was doing the theater on the side. I had a band for awhile. I started writing music. I was getting to the point I was thinking of submitting music to labels. Then this opportunity came along and I jumped at it. Things happen when they're supposed to happen."

Q: Speaking of theatre, you were in "Wicked", when did you decide you wanted to explore the potential of going from "stage" to "screen" by auditioning for "American Idol"?

AL: "I think one of the reasons I decided to audition with the show is I got to the point, I was on The Ensemble of "Wicked" in L.A. It was a great job and I had a lot of friends. And it was paying the bills. I wasn't satisfied artistically. About a year and a half ago, I was in my room one day and thinking, ‘Is this it?' I just turned 26. I said I wanted more. There's more to what I'm supposed to be doing... the timing of "Idol" was right. I hadn't auditioned before but I wasn't ready. Everything just lined up. I'm really fortunate."

Q: Can Broadway expect an Adam Lambert visit one day? You won't forget the stage as some have suggested?

AL: "That's my family. That was my community for years and years. I have so many friends who are in shows in New York and whenever I'm in New York, I plan on coming to see shows and sitting right in the front row and cheering them on. I, in no way, will ever forget my roots, so to speak. I learned so much with theater. Now I'm just in a new journey and learning this way."

Q: Regarding the speculation about your sexuality, do you think that had anything to do with coming in second place?

AL: "You know, probably." (Laughs-and is ready for the next question)

Q: Back to your main passion your music, what are your thoughts on the current state of the record industry?

AL: "It's too specific lately. The labels tend to put one box around an artist and keep them in one genre. To me, I'm so fortunate, I got to use the show to get me out there. We don't have to go about it that way. We want the album to have a cohesive sound, for sure, but I think it can be a collection of different styles with me at the center of it. That's The Common thread."

Q: Any ideas of when you'll be heading into the recording studio?

AL: "We're at the drawing board right now trying to figure that out."

Q: How will you keep your vision intact once you begin your CD?

AL: "I never really listen to what people say. My thing is that my favorite artists are artists that are theatrical. Obviously when you are doing a recording, things aren't gonna translate as over-the-top. Doing a live performance of something, it takes on another life. I really enjoy the recording process and it's gonna represent itself differently. Anybody that bought the iTunes version of what I did on the show could see, 'OK. I get how he sounds in a recording session versus how he is live. It's different.' The live performance takes it to a different level. So I think people are in store for a treat. I think it's gonna be a really cool album and I'm excited to start working on it."

Q: You were labeled "glam rock" a lot on the show, would you agree?

AL: "I'm more about fusion. I like adding little elements into the final mix. I'm more fond of the '70s glam than '80s. I have that style of vocals... there are a lot of pop artists who are using the glam vibe in their music currently. I'm part of that wave."

Q: Doing the show will let you continue that "wave", now America is ready for more. Even with coming in second, you made your mark as far as getting your talent out there for the world to see and hear.

AL: "I wasn't going after the title of American Idol but the experience. I made music and got to perform every week. I was able to use Idol as a platform. Now I have a career. There is no need to draw a negative. We should look forward and see my album when it comes out. That's where I'm at. I don't think being first or second really matters."

Q: The post show party at Sky Bar was said to be insane, a great celebration, were you able to enjoy any of it?

AL:  "It was crazy. It was pretty crowded. The whole evening was overwhelming you can imagine, trying to interact with as many people as I could. It was so exciting. And I got to speak to Paula and Kara. We got to chat a little bit. It was nice to be kind of off the record, off camera to just interact."

Q: Were the "Idol" producers supportive of you during the season?

AL: "They've been 100 percent supportive of everything I've done... It's been very positive and creative. I never felt stifled in any way."

Q: Any final "exit interview" thoughts?

AL: "I knew it was going to be a close race. Kris is incredibly talented, and he's a good person. We got to do a really good finale, and we're both going to do great things in the future. For me, it's about tomorrow, it's about what's next. We are seemingly so different, but we found a way to get along and find a common bond, mostly through music, but also just through talking and getting to know each other. And if there's anything that can come from this experience that I hope all the fans out there can pick up is that even if you're really different, there's a way to get along with each other. It's not about, 'You beat me because of this.' Or, you're different. It's about finding The Common stuff that makes it work. We got out there and did the Queen duet and we made it work because we found a common ground with each other. If there's anything we can take from this, it's bringing you guys together is what our goal was, not separating you."

American Idol Season 8 winner Kris Allen gave his thoughts on Lambert, gushing with praise that, "I feel that Adam deserved to win just as much as I did. He was the most consistent person all year. He was the most gifted performer that I've ever met. And he's really just a great guy. We became great friends... it could have gone either way."

Adam Lambert appeared in "Wicked" twice, once with the touring company in March 2005 for a six month contract, and then opening in the sitdown Los Angeles production in February 2007 and remaining with the show until October 2008. For both engagements in "Wicked", he was a member of The Ensemble and understudied the role of Fieryo, the show's love interest. "Wicked" interestingly enough was not one of the productions mentioned in regards to his hoped for casting.

In addition to performing in WICKED, Adam Lambert also had a role in The Ten Commandments and appeared in The Zodiac Show.

Photo Credit: Sarah DeBoer/Retna Ltd.


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