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Entertainment

Adam Lambert Back to ‘Idol’ to Mentor Finalists Through Queen’s Catalog

Variety logo Variety 2019-04-20 Michele Amabile Angermiller
© Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert.

On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps into the mentor role guiding the top eight “Idol” finalists as they each perform a song from the Queen catalog.

Viewers will get a bonus dose of Lambert, as on May 19 as he is set to perform on the season finale of the ABC show.

Shortly after hearing the news, former “Idol” musical director and vocal coach Michael Orland, who nurtured Lambert and other contestants for 16 seasons with the show, took to Twitter to offer congratulations. “Hey @adamlambert I should be a psychic. I said a month ago (let’s find the original tweet or insta comment) that if Idol wanted some ratings finally they would have you on as a mentor,” he wrote. “Happy to see that’s happening. So proud of u always. One more reason I’ll have to watch.”

The night following Lambert’s appearance, ABC will air the special “The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story.”

As previously reported by Variety, Lambert has music in the works for a new album to be released through the independent label and distributor EMPIRE. He is represented by Phillymack, the management firm founded by Phil McIntrye which also counts Nick Jonas, DNCE, the Band Perry and Lambert’s fellow “X Factor Australia” judge Iggy Azalea on its roster.

Lambert was a recurring presence on “Idol” in its previous Fox incarnation, after coming up a runner-up in season 8. He was a mentor the following season, and served as a judge in auditions for season 14. He also was on hand for “Idol Boot Camp” with Chris Daughtry in 2014.

April 28’s two-hour episode won’t be an all-blowout: After Lambert helps teach the finalists how to go about replacing Freddie Mercury, another part of the show will be devoted to pairing the eight for “classic movie duets.”

Viewers will be able to watch and vote simultaneously across all U.S. time zones, with the show having an initial 5 p.m. airing on the west coast. Results will be announced at the end of the show.

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