From MyLocalNews.com – – May 26, 2009
Mt. Carmel High welcomes home ‘Idol’ hopeful Adam Lambert
By José A. López
May 8, 2009
Adam Lambert, an “American Idol” finalist, made a triumphant return to Mt. Carmel High School on Friday, where he told students to embrace their differences.
WEB UPDATE (May 14): Lambert has made it to the “American Idol” finale. He will be performing live on the show Tuesday, May 19 and he will find out on Wednesday May 20 whether he’s the next winner of the popular singing competition. The Pomerado Newspaper Group will be in Los Angeles and provide coverage of the finale both online and in our May 28 issue.
Thousands of students and Lambert fans filled the school’s stadium to see the 2000 Sundevil grad, who has bowled over millions in the popular televised singing competition.
After a whirlwind morning — Lambert gave interviews to two morning radio shows and the local FOX television affiliate — he arrived at the stadium shortly after 10 a.m.
The entire homecoming — which also included a private appearance at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar — was filmed for the show.
Lambert, along with remaining contestants Kris Allen and Danny Gokey, were scheduled to perform two songs each on the show airing Tuesday, May 12. The one with the least number of votes was to be sent home at the end of a show on Wednesday, May 13.
The show’s grand finale will air on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 19 and 20.
At Mt. Carmel, Lambert made his entrance atop a red Mustang convertible, which was surrounded by the Mt. Carmel cheer squad as it circled the stadium, which has a capacity of 4,000.
The cheers from the stands were deafening as the charismatic singer with blue streaks in his hair waved to the crowd, his fingernails shellacked with chipped black polish.
Taking the stage, Lambert — who excelled at drama at Mt. Carmel and is known for his theatrical stage persona — reached out to students who might not feel included.
“This is an example of believing in yourself …” Lambert said. “Everyone who feels outcast or weird … Embrace each other’s differences … It’s cool to be different.”
With that, he sang Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and a version of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” and took another ride along the track.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was on hand to declare Friday “Adam Lambert Day” in San Diego.
Fans started lining up outside Sundevil stadium hours before the appearance and many were eager to share their adulation for Lambert.
By the time he arrived, the school bleachers were packed. Others watched from Hilltop Park, or from elevated points in the canyons overlooking the stadium.
Carol Hagey, who drove in from Chula Vista, kept exhorting those around her to vote for the 27-year-old, and shared a printout detailing how to get the most number of votes.
“If we want Adam to be the next American Idol, we have to vote,” she would say. “Remember, it’s a voting competition now, not a singing competition. We all know Adam can sing.”
Nearby, PQ resident Lori Haussler, her daughter, Aime and a group friends awaited Lambert’s arrival in the sun.
“I’m looking forward to his singing,” said 12-year-old Katie Schultz. “He’s really good, and I just want to see him live, it’s probably going to be better than on TV.”
Also in attendance was Joan Stewart, who was Mt. Carmel’s principal from 1999 to 2005 and said she remembered Lambert well.
“His senior year was my first year here,” Stewart said. “I went to everything and Adam starred in everything … I told him, when you get to Broadway, remember me because I’ll be knocking on your door.”
Fans who missed Lambert’s homecoming will have a second chance of sorts — Lambert, along with the rest of the top 10 contestants — will be touring the U.S. this summer.
The “American Idols Live!” tour will be in San Diego on July 18. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale this Saturday, May 9 at http://www.ticketmaster.com