Ten years ago Adam Lambert took the stage during Top 8 week of “American Idol” and gave a haunting performance of “Mad World” that’s still making fans cry to this day. Adam’s stripped-down rendition of the Tears for Fears song from the April 7, 2009 episode is considered by many to be one of the best in the history of the reality TV show. It helped propel the wide-eyed 27-year-old all the way to second place, where he ultimately lost to Kris Allen. Watch the “American Idol” flashback video above.
Even though he lost the title of “American Idol,” the past decade has been quite kind to Adam with killer record sales and many acting gigs (including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in “Bohemian Rhapsody”). Oh, and did we mention he’s now the front-man of Queen?
On Sunday’s all-new episode, Adam will return to “American Idol” to mentor the current Top 8 of Season 17: Laine Hardy, Madison VanDenburg, Alejandro Aranda, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Laci Kaye Booth, Walker Burroughs, Alyssa Raghu and Wade Cota. He’s also tapped to perform a classic Queen song live coast-to-coast.
Following his “Mad World” performance, then-judges Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson correctly recognized it as a proper “Idol” moment. Gold Derby’s senior editor Susan Wloszczyna even recently called it “one for the ages.”
“Adam, um, the bad news is we’re running out of time,” declared normally grumpy judge Simon, who had to shout to be heard over the boisterous crowd. “The good news is I’m the only one who’s gonna be talking. I think words are unnecessary, but I want to give you a standing ovation.”
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