‘Idol’ star Lambert takes on judge’s role

by Minoru Matsutani

Adam Lambert, who grabbed second place in last year’s televised singing contest American Idol, visited Japan for the first time to promote his album and perform live at Club Eleven in Tokyo on Monday.

Clad in a leather jacket, very tight pants, golden sparkles on his face and blue sparkles in his hair, Lambert delighted a specially selected crowd of 200 (consisting mostly of screaming young women) by singing tunes from his debut album, “For Your Entertainment.”

“You are so beautiful,” Lambert told the crowd. “I love Japan, I love the people, I love the excitement.”

The show began with an “Adam Lambert Make Believe Contest,” in which five children, six women and five men and performed a 30-second song or dance dressed like the glam-rock singer.

In a reversal of roles, Lambert got to play judge and chose Kazuma Okamoto as the winner. Okamoto sang Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” one of the songs Lambert sang on American Idol.

“I love how you hit every note, and you have the coolest jacket,” Lambert said after Okamoto’s performance.

As a prize, Okamoto received a glitter makeup kit and a hug from Lambert. Okamoto, sobbing, said, “Thank you. I watched Adam from the local qualifier” of last year’s American Idol.

After the fun came to a close, Lambert told the crowd, “Remember, always believe in yourself and be free with who you are and who you wanna be.”

Lambert made headlines in North America when he announced he was gay to Rolling Stone magazine last year. He had kept his sexual orientation a secret during his stint on American Idol.

Lambert also caused a stir in November when he kissed a male dancer during a performance at the American Music Awards. He pointed out that a kiss between singers Madonna and Britney Spears did not generate nearly the same amount of public outrage.