American Idol got a shot in the arm tonight when Adam Lambert turned up - all glam - and mentored a handful of the young hopefuls competing on this season's talent show extravaganza.
The first thing you notice about the charismatic pop icon is his eyes.
The luminous peepers - with a hint of sparkle and sly mischief peering out - are a startling blue (me thinks!) brought to the fore with shades of eye shadow that accent the obvious.
This boy is pretty!
The "do" was a little over-the-top, though. Too much gel, Adam.
And the wardrobe - a make-shift ensemble of shirt-like shifts - a bit drab.
Under the weather last night, kid?
But, Lambert is mesmerizing, and definitely has star quality.
A couple of the kids warbled Elvis tunes - which, in the case of crooner Casey James - was a terrible mistake.
Simon echoed my sentiments precisely.
"It was such a forgetable song. Why would you perform that?"
Ellen and the other Judges were polite, commended the cutie for taking on the challenge, and offered up kudos for his golden voice, stage persona, and the like.
"You look at home in a sea of girls," one quipped.
Frankly, the ponytail look, is a dead one as far as I'm concerned.
And, the wispy bit of whiskers at his lip, downright silly.
Would you plunk a sloppy kiss on that?
Casey pines to be a rocker, but is middle-of-the-road top-forty, all the way.
Until he fathoms that reality he's kidding himself, eh?
Tim's rendition of "Can't Help Falling in Love" - with a spare bare-bones guitar back-up - was straightforward and honest.
Whenvever I get up at Karaoke in WeHo (heh, Kenny!) and warble that one, I jokingly snarl to the half-drunk crowd of buffed dudes, that it is one of the songs that "killed" Elvis.
There were two Elvis's essentially.
The lithe, hip-swivelling crooner, who was raw and wild and oozing with sensuality.
Best hits of that era?
"Return to Sender" and "Heartbreak Hotel"!
The "E" of a later generation was all smaltz, Vegas routine, and a spent shadow of "Elvis".
A gentleman I once knew who worked on one of the TV Specials Elvis signed on for, confided that the editors were forced to utilize quite a few magic studio techniques, to make the musical event fly.
For good reason.
Elvis oft forgot the words, stumbled on stage, and lost focus throughout.
But, the fans didn't care, they gobbled the legend up.
Like the Kennedy assassination, folks tend to recall where they were when they heard the shocking news of Elvis's death.
I was on Toronto Island at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club when a friend telephoned me about the disturbing unexpected news.
When I turned to an immigrant from India next to me, and relayed the unbelievable news, his response was pretty low-key.
"Oh, he was just a pop star. No one will remember him tomorrow. Who cares?"
I distinctly recall that I assured him that Elvis death's was "big news" and that many people would - not only be stunned - but plummet into a deep well of despair.
Sure enough - within days - fans, hungry media hounds, and curious lookie-loo's - were on their way to Memphis to take part in the circus-like atmosphere that prevailed for weeks-on-end.
When Michael sang "In the Ghetto" tonight, it brought back memories of Elvis.
Just before Elvis released that song, his music career was pretty much in the dumper.
With the release of that song (which touched fans and music aficiandos and tough critics alike) Elvis was elevated to a new status (and level of respect) in the industry.
It wasn't just the ballad, or his phrasing, that struck a chord.
No sir, it was the sentiment.
The lyrics were comparable to Martin Luther King's speech about having a dream.
One judge labelled Michael's performance sleepy, but on the heels of that harsh criticism, he noted the vocals were hot.
Ellen, on the other hand, noted that she was glad (in retrospect) that they saved Mike from packing up and heading home with his tail between-his-legs last week..
Katie Stevens was a fine mess visually.
All those do-dads and tacky sequins on her outfit were distracting.
Judges need to stress that the music industry is not just about cutting records and performing, but also, about style, originality, stage presence and persona.
By the way, the popular cast of "Glee" was in the audience.
The hit ensemble show follows "American Idol" on the Fox Network.
In closing, you may be excited to hear that Adam Lambert is slated to perform live tonight on Idol.
He'll show those kids how it's done, just betcha!