Before embarking on a wildly successful solo career and becoming the new frontman of Queen, pop-rock singer Adam Lambert made his debut on American Idol, winning America’s hearts as the glam rock boy next door before placing second in the competition.
The show not only introduced us to Lambert’s lovable personality and out-of-this-world fashion, but to his stratospheric vocals, making him one of the most impressive contestants in the show’s history.
But which of his performances on the show, both during and after the competition, stand out among the rest?
Here are the 8 times that Adam Lambert blew us away on the stage of American Idol.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (Audition)
It all started here, with a young stage actor trying to make it big in the music industry. Lambert’s choice of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” along with being nearly-prophetic, was clearly well-thought out, as the star wowed all of the judges with his extremely impressive voice.
This song may not be the first that comes to mind when you think of Lambert, but his haunting rendition of the Gary Jules track is a stunning reminder that the star can take any kind of song and make it his own. The song was so well-received, that he even came back in 2016 to perform it again.
Complete with Lambert’s signature high notes and his unwavering stage presence, “Feeling Good” was definitely a high point during the singer’s run on the show’s eighth season, showing the audience that he was playing to win.
“A Change Is Gonna Come”
Lambert’s cover of this classic Sam Cooke song showed off a different flavor of the singer’s voice, allowing him to still go all-out with his dizzying belts, while also highlighting a soulful quality that we had yet to see in his earlier performances.
“We Are the Champions” with Queen
While this song also featured the eventual winner of season 8, Kris Allen, performing with the band, there was no denying that this performance belonged to Adam, as he embodied the spirit of Queen on the stage and showed us why he deserved to front the legendary band, three years before making that dream a reality.
“Whataya Want From Me”
Showing up on the show just a year after competing, Lambert’s effortless rendition of his second-ever single proved once and for all that not winning the show’s title didn’t mean he wasn’t about to blow up.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” with Dimitrius Graham
A decade after auditioning with the Queen track, Lambert returned to Idol for a stunning duet with season 17 contestant Dimitrius Graham, electrifying the audience while also giving the contestant plenty of room to make the song his own.
With his new single out, Lambert also performed a smooth rendition of “New Eyes” during the season 17 finale of the show, taking a step back from his glam rock roots to provide a more intimate performance for his fans.