When Quentin Met Adam


Last night marked Quentin Tarantino's return to American Idol, his first time back since serving in the capacity of visiting karaoke-appraising dignitary in the show's third season. It was a responsibility he did not take lightly, casting at times brutally honest judgment upon the quickly winnowing herd of prized musical heifers. Any one of his pullquote-ready verdicts could literally make or break a career. (On Jennifer Hudson: "Hudson takes on Houston ... and wins!" The rest was history.)

The Tarantino who appeared on last night's show was a little older, a little heavier, a little less cross-eyed with girlish Idol fever. Gone was the stylish Caesar haircut and youthful puka shell necklace. Yes, his discomfiting enthusiasm for the world's uncoolest TV show was still very much on display, but it's unlikely that the Quentin of 2009 -- the one who forces his actors to drone, "Because we love making movies," before calling action on that morning's Gestapo-disemboweling sequence -- really thinks the problems of a half-dozen adult-sized child stars really amounts to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

Any magic came from his session with foundation-hording shriek-maestro Adam Lambert, whose mutant, 14-octave vocal range produces sounds rarely heard outside of nuclear fission turbines. For one thing, the two at least seemed physically compatible -- almost like brothers, really. (By contrast, the arrival of Kris Allen transformed the director into some kind of Kelly Clarkson-obsessed bridge ogre, capable of swallowing the miniature heartthrob at any moment should he develop a hankering for a light, Christian Rock snack.)

But it went deeper than that. In Lambert, Tarantino found a star in his own image: one who could both appreciate Madonna references shared around a diner table by a crew of color-coded gangsters, while at the same time looking perfectly at home behind the wheel of skull-hooded 1970 Chevy Nova that just happened to be running down Danny Gokey for bloodsport. Adam is Quentin's kind of Idol.

His performance:


  • Inhaler says:

    He got the spirit, yes he do. He got the spirit, how 'bout you?
    Hilarious recap BTW Seth, thanks.

  • icallthebigonebitey says:

    Oh Adam. I really want to like you but you make it so hard. Your father is a dick, you're not a natural brunette. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. But I just can't handle this Emo Banshee shit. Either SING a song, or DON'T, y'know?

  • HwoodHills says:

    I don't think it's "Thunder" he likes smokin'. (Seacrap can attest.)

  • NoWireHangers says:

    I'm a little obsessed with Adam Lambert. Some people hate him, but I want a sweet sweet glitter kiss from the Velvet Goldmine. He'll be the first out Idol, and that's good for the kids. He's sure of himself, he doesn't hold back, and I love him for it. That said, on that last note I was waiting for the klieg lights in Idol Stadium to shatter and light his hair on fire. Be careful with the Aquanet, girl.

  • el smrtmnky says:

    i can't stand Sister Mary Pantages. those notes are going to kill some doplhins soon. also, i'm surprised axl rose hasn't tried to sue him for stealing his signature wailing.