Monday, 4 July 2011

'American Idol' This Week: Adam Lambert's Audition And More

At this time over the past nine seasons, an 'Idol' dad went to Washington and William Hung made his debut.
By Katie Byrne

Adam Lambert auditions for "American Idol" on January 20, 2009
Photo: FOX

The second week of "American Idol" is about to kick off, so let's review what we've learned from season 10 so far: Steven Tyler has taught us the value of a sound bite, Jacee Badeaux and Brett Loewenstern taught us not to judge on first impressions alone, and Randy Jackson taught us ... well, let's not get carried away. We haven't learned that much yet.

But at this same time over the past nine seasons of "American Idol," we had already met Adam Lambert and saw one "Idol" alum's dad replace Ted Kennedy in the U.S. Senate. Let's take a look back at This Week in "American Idol" to see what went down during the second week of seasons past:

2010: Mr. Brown Goes to Washington
Back in season five, Ayla Brown made it to the top 16 with her booming voice, all-American look and prodigious poise. Apparently, all these qualities were better fit for a career in politics, where Ayla's dad, Scott Brown, has thrived, assuming Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in a special election this week last year. MTV News caught up with Ayla in January 2010 right after her dad's win to see why she thought "Idol" didn't work out for her back in 2007. "I didn't think people got the chance to see who I was and my personality," she told us. "It was hard to overcome that, but I gave it my all and I'm just disappointed America didn't vote for me." Well, it looks like America voted for the Brown family the second time around.

2009: Adam Lambert Wails His Way Into Our Hearts
When we were first introduced to Adam Lambert, he was fresh off a stint in the musical "Wicked" and got the "theatrical" brush-off from Simon Cowell (who eventually came around and voted him through to Hollywood after all). While that first meeting wasn't too far off from the over-the-top performer we came to know and love, what's really surprising is how MTV News "Idol" expert Jim Cantiello described Lambert in his live blog of the season-eight San Francisco auditions: "8:48 pm - 'Idol' math: David Cook + Clay Aiken = Adam Lambert." What?!? More like Lady Gaga + Robert Plant, or maybe even new judge Steven Tyler. But Jim turned out to be more than a little prescient in his next live-blog entry: "8:50 pm - Adam just came out of the closet. Welllll, he just said he saw Paula Abdul on tour when he was ten. So... "

2007: "American Idol" and the Sundance Kid
There's nothing "Idol" fans love more than a totally surprising (and totally thrilling) audition. One of the most memorable first impressions belongs to Jason "Sundance" Head, the then-28-year-old son of "Treat Her Right" singer Roy Head. Sundance wowed the judges with his bluesy take on "Stormy Monday" — especially after he walked in the room with an overgrown goatee and his shirt unbuttoned a bit too far. "Powerful voice; didn't expect it," Paula Abdul said when he finished, with hard-to-please Simon Cowell even chiming in, "I'm going to be amazed if you don't make the finals." That part didn't go so well: Sundance never recaptured his "Stormy Monday" glory, and he missed out on the season-six top 12 in favor of Sanjaya Malakar. Ouch.

2004: He Bangs, He Bangs
On the other side of the audition spectrum was William Hung. When it comes to bad auditions, no one is more memorable than the Berkeley engineering student who informed the judges that he had "no professional training." But Hung had the last laugh: His debut album, Inspiration, actually sold tens of thousands of copies, which isn't far off from Lee DeWyze's numbers.

Get your "Idol" fix on MTV News' "American Idol" page, where you'll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.

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