"I know it sounds cliche, but I won by getting to the final," Lambert says with his voice hoarse from singing and a week of interviews.
"To me, it's not about the title of American Idol, it's the experience. I made music with a different performance every week. American Idol was a platform to get out there. There's no need to dwell on negative. I'm excited about an album and the rest of career. I'm totally OK with it. I'm happy for Kris Allen. He's a great guy and a great friend."
After the confetti fell on Allen and the American Idol top 13, what was it like for Lambert to finally take a deep breath? "It was crazy," Adam Lambert says.
American Idol threw a party and Lambert says it allowed him to catch up in a friendly manner with former competitors and judges. "The whole evening was overwhelming. I was trying to interact with as many people as I could. I spoke to Paula and Kara and it was nice to be able to be off the record -- off camera -- and to be able to interact," Lambert says.
"I didn't get to see Simon, but I'm sure I'll be running into them in the future."
Although many say they could see Lambert as a Tony award-winning Broadway presence, this writer believes his straight-forward rock with flair is the mostly likely post-Idol project for Adam Lambert.
"My direction is to try to become a recording artist. I spent time doing theater for years," Lambert admits. "I'm not turning my back on it. I'm going in another direction right now."
His theatrical performances were the talk of the nation for the better part of five months. Something, Lambert sees returning to pop music. "I think it's all in the name of good entertainment. First and foremost, it is about the music. I package it in a little bit more of a flashy way, a dynamic way. But, theatrical is just one way of performing. It isn't the only way, but it's my way. I was lucky American Idol embraced it because it was something new for them."
Lambert's performance style is unlike anything Idol has ever seen. "It's just something I've been doing a long time," he says. "I don't think about it. The thinking comes into play about what I'm singing and how I'm singing. But, when it comes time to perform -- I just go. I don't know how to describe it."
Of Lambert's personal highlights of season eight of American Idol was meeting Lady Gaga and what we will call the "Katy Perry experience."
"Oh my gosh, I was shocked and honored," Lambert says of her Idol performance where the singer wore a cape bearing his name. "I had a huge smile on my face. I wasn't prepared for it. You can imagine my surprise. I gave her a big hug. She's really, really cool and down to earth. She had good advice for me: keep your friends that you had before this started. She's super-talented with a great head on her shoulders."
Simply, Lambert was star struck all season. "Jamie Foxx was amazing. Lady Gaga was amazing. I met Fergie, KISS and Brian May -- everyone that i met -- blew my mind. Every single celebrity was coming up to me and knew who I was -- that was the weirdest part," Lambert says. "You can't be a fan of mine. I'm a fan of yours!"
What were Adam Lambert's personal greatest hits from the season? The singer takes a millisecond to answer.
"I had a lot of fun doing Whole Lotta Love," Lambert says and laughs. "That was a great moment. We were so excited we were able to get the rights. I felt empowered getting to sing that with the band."
Adam Lambert's first concert as a child was none other than Paula Abdul. "I spoke to her about that on my audition," Lambert says. "It was a full circle moment. The first pop artist I saw live -- auditioning in front of her was incredible."
Finally, there's question everyone asks: did sexual orientation questions cost him the title. "Probably," he quickly says and heartily laughs.
Adam Lambert is clearly an Idol for the ages.
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