Adam Lambert Weighs in on American Idol, Season 10

Last night’s elimination of Casey Abrams certainly brought into focus that the end of the American Idol Season 10 is coming quickly. We turn to Adam Lambert for some honest assessment on this season’s final contestants. We certainly haven’t gotten any direction from the judges as to who is likely to have a future in the industry. We don’t need to be told who to vote for, but it would be nice to get some direction on technical and industry points. Jimmy Iovine seems to be the only one telling it straight. So let’s look to Adam, someone who came from Idol and has successfully transitioned into the biz, a feat not many before him have accomplished.

In this video from the NewNowNext Awards, Michelle Collins pulls out some defining comments from Adam about this season’s Idol finalists, starting at 1:24. While offering a generally positive view of James Durbin, it’s interesting to see the side-stepping. Hmmmm. The article after the video offers more on this.

Love ya!

~ Carol ~

Thanks to Shirley Halperin of The Hollywood Reporter for the following article which appeared on

“American Idol” Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert was never one to soft-pedal — not when it came to his performances on the show or his opinions on everything from drugs to sexuality to Lady Gaga. It’s one of the many reasons we love him.

And as season 10 winds down, Adam clearly has a lot to say about the top six finalists, first and foremost, his current favorite: Haley Reinhart. “I love Haley so much because musically and vocally, she’s doing things that are at a top-notch level,” he told THR at Wednesday’s ASCAP Pop Music Awards, where Adam introduced Songwriter of the Year winner Max Martin. “It’s incredible how Haley makes it look so easy and effortless. Plus, she’s having fun up there. I don’t feel like she’s working so hard to prove herself or to prove a point. She’s just singing and taking joy in music.”

But when it comes to Haley, Adam does take issue with judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson — he doesn’t think they foist enough positive reinforcement on the girl. “I wish the judges gave her a little bit more praise because what she’s doing is technically superb,” he says.

Similarly, Adam also senses a sort of supreme musicality in Casey Abrams, but is a bit skeptical of the shtick. “The thing about Casey is, the judges will go, ‘We like your quirkiness,’ and now it’s almost like he’s parodying himself a bit,” says Adam. “I think he’s so good, and then he starts grunting and I’m like, ‘Why? You don’t even need to do that.’ I get distracted by it. But I think Casey’s got vocal and musical genius in him. He’s so talented.”

The constant comparisons of James Durbin to Adam have no doubt been a thorn in the side of both singers, but now the senior “Idol” says, he’s “kind of over” James. “I think he’s got talent and passion 100%, but I feel like he’s trying way too hard,” Adam opines.

“Also, his niche is so limited with the metal. When he did that “Heavy Metal” song [by Sammy Hagar], James was note-perfect. He was on pitch, which is usually kind of an issue, and I think he sounded really good but it felt like a copycat. I didn’t feel like I was seeing an original artist yet. And I’m not saying he doesn’t have that in him, but it hasn’t been showing. Whereas Haley and Casey, they’re bringing a little more legitimacy to it. They’re more grounded in their own voices. When they did that jazz duet, that was nuts! They give off a good vibe.”

Click here for the complete article.

About Carol

I started writing on this site back in May 2009, not knowing what I was in for or where it would take me. I had no idea of the joy and personal satisfaction I'd find here. I never dreamed that I'd get to meet Adam, but that dream came true! The bonus of becoming such great friends with Lila and the other fans is what keeps me going. Music gets me though every day. In addition to Adam, I love Muse, Linkin Park, 80s and finding newer bands and supporting them by attending everything that's within 350 miles. With Adam, the boundaries are farther! Thanks for joining us on this ride! :)


  1. It’s kind of weird that Adam mentions Haley. Last nite Ryan asked her what past idol contestant stands out for her & guess what, she said ADAM LAMBERT because he was unique & could hit those impossible notes. She mentioned others, but Adam was 1st on her list. I guess you could call that a mutual admiration society.

    • Well, I think Adam has earned his right to give his opinion. The judges weren’t always kind to him either. Adam got his share of criticism, as did Kris Allen. Adam and Kris earned their way into the finals.

      I don’t think Adam is being smug or arrogant about his opinion of James. He has complimented James numerous times during different interviews. It would have been rude of Adam if he would have said that he thought he was a heck of a lot better than James and that he couldn’t see the comparisions, but he didn’t.

      I’m a huge James Durbin fan, and I look forward to his CD. I think there is room for both artists in this music industry. My loyalties remain with Adam Lambert. I traveled alone to see him in concert, and I will do it again, something I probably will never do for any other idolist.

  2. This idol we do miss the critique of Simon – the contestants are not being given any direction by the judges as they are seeing them from an artist’s point of view and not a record producer’s.

  3. I love Adam & I love James. I disagree with Adam regarding James’s “trying too hard” and being “limited by metal”. James proved that he is not limited by genre Wednesday night. I haven’t watched the video yet because I’m not in a position to watch it right now but to be honest I’m just a bit annoyed that Adam allows himself to be sucked into these kinds of discussions. He did the same thing last season. I don’t see other former Idol winners or finalists doing this.

    • Maybe other finalists aren’t asked. He’s only giving his honest opinion and that’s what’s great about Adam – he’s honest. Everyone has their own opinion – obviously your’s is different to Adam’s – but I do agree with Adam when he says the contestants aren’t listening to the experience ppl enough – they’re given advice and then decide they know better – well, guess what, in the real world they don’t. The judges really need to start giving advice instead of just saying how good everything is.

      • And I am going to disagree with you. The “experienced” people don’t always know best either. Sometimes they’re somewhat full of themselves. I admire people who are true to themselves. Adam was always true to himself. Why not allow people like James the same courtesy? This is just my opinion. I adore Adam. But I think he’s being just a smidge arrogant on this one.

        • For all we know, Adam didn’t always agree with all advice being given. Granted they didn’t have specialists brought in, but the Idol producers/band directors/costumers are qualified to lend comments. Can you imagine what kind of advice Ring of Fire might have brought up?!


        • Amanda says:

          On several occasions Adam thanked the band for helping him with his arrangements – he didn’t do it all by himself – he had help and he listened and look where he got. If you’re not ready to learn as a novice you will never know more than you know.

    • Well, Melinda Doolittle & Michael Johns have written reviews on line. I guess some are asked & some are not. Adam just happens to be honest with criticism as well as praise. And, ya know, Adam was criticized by many as only being theatrical or should be on broadway, yadayada… If ya can’t understand that everyone should receive criticism in order to grow, something Steven Tyler…I really liked it! JLo who can’t criticize w/o tearing up & Randy..well I just don’t know what he’s doing…then perhaps you should realize that you think only you can criticize what someone else has said after being asked about it!

    • While there’s no doubt in my mind who the superior vocalist is of the two (Adam for sure!!)
      I would definitely be buying a James Durbin album if/when it’s released.

      I just love rock music & tried really hard to get behind FYE but to me the pairing of Adam’s powerful voice with those electronic backtracks was odd …. (that’s just me though, hoping he would be my next Rock God) Will admit his Glam Nation concert was the best I’ve ever experienced….

      Would love to see either James or Haley take it out this year …. but sometimes when James hits those high notes it’s not always pleasant!

      • Amanda says:

        I think Adam was better at keeping the viewers guessing – some of us just watched each week to see what he did as he did something so different each week. I think James has a good voice but I am getting sick of the high notes every week – no matter what song he sings he has to fit them in somewhere – this is predictable.

        Adam did nothing the same each week – from hitting those high notes to wearing the same clothes (that tail of James’ is just plain silly). So James has a good voice but lacks the theatrics that Adam got picked on for so much. 🙂

  4. OMG. I LOVE ADAM. he has a boyfriend? HOW DID I NOT KNOW!
    i got to get on things these days. O_o
    anyways, THAT LUCKY GUY!!!!!
    and i effin love Haley too! BUT I AM SO MAD THAT CASEY LEFT!!!!!!
    but i hope Haley wins! i have the same views as Adam. xD


    p.s. haley and casey are the cutest couple i have ever seen!!

    • Just google Adam and Sauli. That’s his boyfriend. He’s a past winner of the Finnish “Big Brother.” I’m glad Adam has someone who understands a bit of his fame, and how it can really complicate a relationship.

  5. i agree with adam that haley is really good. i like her raspy voice & she seems to be getting better every week- but i think the best one this year is james! although people relate him to adam- it is only a compliment for both of them. james can hit the high notes too just like adam & he has a great voice as well as adam. As he has shown in the past few weeks, he can sing anything -not just metal rock. As i did with adam when he was on idol- i get excited to see what james is going to do each week & it is always exciting week after week. adam is still the best but i think there is room for james too in 2011. even if he doesn’t win- i think he will do great….i know i will buy his cd post idol! team james!!! by the way- i saw adam last summer at foxwoods & had a blast! i am also loving his glam nation cd/dvd!! jen johnson- ‘adam lambert’s biggest fan in webster ma!! xoxo ‘

  6. Who else can give an honest opinion but Adam, his been there done that. So I can’t disagree more. Adam is the best judge! Although, Im not into AI anymore.

  7. I agree with Adam, and yes he is the best judge. All of his critique for James is for James’ favor. James should be wise to grab it. Yes, James can hit those high notes, but he doesn’t have to close his eyes and look so strained. This is what Adam meant by James trying too hard, because he shouldn’t look so strained with those high notes, like looking constipated or something. Ha-ha-ha

    Pia looked better than James when she was hitting her higher notes, because she didn’t close her eyes and didn’t look that strained. But then Pia’s fault was she indeed shifted her singing to an upbeat tempo as what the judges suggested, BUT her body, was still in a ballad mode and failed to shift to dancing or rhythmic movements with the song. It was weird to look at her when she was singing a dancing song but her body was not moving at all to the rhythm…. like it was some lamppost while the birds are flying by. You know the beat of the music got people in the audience on their feet, but the experience was half-baked, and there was some disconnect because when you look at the singer— the voice says dance but her body says don’t move. Ha-ha! And so the people and the music were the birds, and Pia the lamppost.

    What’s great with Haley is she knows how to move, and makes her singing seem effortless. And yes, she has the right amount of sexiness, like what Steven said. She is also charming and also seem to glow with an inner beauty.

    Lauren need to improve her movements, rather than just her standard— putting her feet together and sort of bending, like a little girl playing with her frock or skirt. She could look funny and not sexy.

    Maybe these could be the top three.

  8. I can’t stand Haley–she should have gone home long ago. Sorry, Adam, (and other followers) I completely disagree. Hopefully, she’ll be gone next week. I also disagree with him about James–especially after this past week, where he was spot on. Love you Adam, but I think your TV needs a tune-up or something!

  9. I agree w/Adam. I think James has a good voice, but he seems to strain and whomever indicated they thought Adam was a little arrogant about his review of James. Hate to disagree! Adam always thanked the band & gave the other contestants on Idol praise and encouragement, James always looks as if he is giving himself coodos at the end of his performance! I’ve only watched when Adam was on and a couple of times to see why people were comparing the two. Very slight similarities to me! Nothing at all in the looks. No hate towards James at all and I do believe he may very well win! Just proves to me if he does ~ it wasn’t America not liking Adams “type” of “screaming”, but they did not like his sexual orientation!! Did not post this to fight, so don’t bother responding to what I wrote here ~ Not coming back to check!! Adam Lambert is the ONLY Idol for me! Peace out & love to all!

  10. It’s really hard to be unprejudiced….after Adam. Always catch myself on “nothing compares to you”.

    But if make some efforts and pretend that you are impartial, I’d agree with Adam re Haley’s pref: her voice can be not that wide range but really rich and she shows the high vocal technic together with easiness. And – what I like as well, she is not too serious about her “mission, status, stakes, etc.” She just let herself enjoy the great chance to be heard by millions and to hit the world-famous stage.

    • oh my goodness. durbin does not sing well cantg you hear sometimes he is out of tune and he does not sing soft song very well like adam huh

  11. asinmada says:

    This is old news. Saw this vid a couple of weeks ago.

  12. When it comes to singing,—— the gestures, antics, reaching high notes etc–nothing matters to me except listrening to someone with a voice so beautiful that it touches the depths of my soul. And only Adam has been able to do this. Hearing him in person at his concerts, magnified the gift of his voice even more,and I feel so blessed to have experienced such an incredible singer in my lifetime.

  13. I certainly would go with what Adam says as he really knows what he is talking about.. Also his fearless approach to being honest and truthful is really fascinating. Can you imagine how much guts it must take to be truthful to what he thinks. As so many haters etc. will say oh is is jealous etc. The thing is Adam knows so much about music and voices he has studied this for 19 years instead of having a life. So please remember Adam just likes to help and give his advice if it will be useful. He has no agenda here it would be better for his image to stay quiet. Just think about that and really watch James Durbin next time. It is a very different thing being on idol and making it in today’s music business. So the idols should really listen to all the advice they can get. That being said you can of course have your favorites regardless.

  14. Eclipse says:

    James being younger, has an innocence that he conveys, and I agree that there is room for all opinions and both singers. James has that “it” factor of chills and repeat replays that I felt with Adam two years ago. I hope he wins it all. Long live rock and roll and being true to yourself.

  15. Oh I love this video!!! Could Adam be any cuter!!! I love his talking as much as his singing, and that’s saying a lot!!!!

  16. ianaleah says:

    James plans a metal/rock and Adam issued a pop/electric – so they won’t be competing and they are both great. I love them both, double the fun!

  17. martha says:

    Adam has magnificent vocal range and tone and now, James Durbin does also. I agree with Ianleah and like both on these artists. I think Pia is a boring performer, Lauren and Haley are fun and sing well. Casey growls instead of singing. Scott was born to be a star with his perffect country voice. Jacob is a total bore. But this season,( like season seven with Cook,Archuleta,Brook,Jason,Carly) has the most amount of talented contestants. My opinion only.

  18. the article had asked siobhan magnus about this season,daughtry had been asked about adam and cook have been asked as well.

    adam said hes opinion and so does otheres it dosent mean adam being mean to james.besides didnt you all said metal is dead on radio,so james have to work harder.

    i dont want james win because hes gone a stock to rca and wouldnt let him do what he wants and bad promoting.

    by the way i love (the voice show)better.

  19. James is the best singer left and he has proved that he can sing both rock and ballads. He also is a performer and tries to make his participation varied. We need to support him so that he can win.

  20. dainty says:

    Despite his imperfections, James’ vulnerability is loveable. He just needs FINIS, something that Adam got. Adam was right with Haley. The girl’s got enough spunk, to carry this competition through. Maybe she and James can make it to the finals.

    Hope Adam can make another appearance in AI. But it seems like he’s really not up to it. He seem still to be in a “hibernating mode” or just taking his time, enjoying his time just like any other normal guy..

    Tit-for-tat. We had ravaged Adam with our senses, freely and liberally. Had we assaulted him with our senses, and thus he assaulted us with his by liberally kissing Tommy on stage?

    Oh, anything. As long as Adam keeps his balance, positiveness and health.

    Happy Mothers Day to all the Mommy Glambs !!!