Drama Erupts Over Kara DioGuardi Comparing Andrew Garcia To Adam Lambert

Last night’s “American Idol” propelled Andrew Garcia to frontrunner status thanks to his soulful acoustic interpretation of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.” But it was Kara’s comments comparing Garcia’s show-stopping performance to Adam Lambert (and not Kris Allen) that has sparked a passionate debate amongst “Idol” fans.

Who deserved to get a shout-out from Kara last night: Adam Lambert or Kris Allen?

This afternoon I had a private chat with a close friend of mine, who believes Kara was in the right by referencing Adam, and I think our civilized discussion is worth sharing with other “Idol” fans.

Glambert696969: So, Jim, I read your “Idol” recap last night.

Jim: Oh yeah? Thanks!

Glambert696969: I don’t understand why us Glamberts have such a bad rep for defending Adam tooth and nail when you and [EW.com's Michael] Slezak are just as defensive about Kris.

Jim: Was I being defensive though?

Glambert696969: Yes! You just couldn’t bear that Kara name dropped Adam instead of your beloved Kris.

Jim: Haha. First of all, I’m a fan of both Adam and Kris. It is possible! But more importantly, I was frustrated that Kara botched an obvious comparison. It was confusing television and it made her look like an idiot.

Glambert696969: But why was Kris Allen the obvious comparison there? You don’t remember Adam’s brilliant stripped down Hollywood Week performance of Cher’s “Believe?”

Jim: Of course I remember that! But unless you’re an Adam fan, I’m not sure that brief snippet of “Believe,” as genius as it was, is burned into the public’s collective consciousness the way Kris Allen’s stripped down “Heartless” is.

Glambert696969: But that’s irrelevant. Kara saw a guy take a dance song originally performed by a woman and flip it on its head. Therefore, Garcia’s “Straight Up” = Lambert’s “Believe.” That’s all she was saying.

Jim
: But Kris did the same thing when he sang Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard for the Money” during disco week. And Kara gushed over that performance!

Glambert696969: Look, you just have to accept that Adam’s legacy on the show is that he always rearranged songs to fit his unique point of view. And he did it more than Kris.

Jim: But didn’t Kris end up in the finals precisely because he did just that? And weren’t his rearrangements of the acoustic variety?

Glambert696969
: Your inner Krisbert is showing. Accept it: Adam’s rearrangements were more groundbreaking and noteworthy and memorable than Allen’s. That’s why Kara thought of Lambert and not Kris.

Jim: Listen, I’m not denying Adam’s brilliant game-changing run on “Idol.” Not in the least bit! But what he did with “Ring of Fire” and “Tracks of my Tears” and “One” and “Mad World” is completely irrelevant to what Andrew Garcia did on “Idol” last night.

Glambert696969: But Kara was pointing out that Andrew “flipped” a pop song, which Adam did all the time.

Jim: But by ignoring what was going on musically during Andrew’s performance makes Kara seem all the more “Idol”-illiterate and simplistic! That’s like if she said to Katie Stevens, “The way you sing on pitch? That reminds me of Jennifer Hudson!” Or if she said to a fresh-baked cookie, “The way you’re warm and soft in the middle? You remind me of a filet mignon.”

Glambert696969: You’re reading too much into it.

Jim: And you’re not reading into it enough.

Glambert696969: At least give me this much: Kara was correct by saying Adam consistently flipped songs to make them his own.

Jim: Of course! It wasn’t a wrong comparison for Kara to make. I’m arguing that there was a better reference point to highlight. And my frustration stemmed from Kara not improving as a judge in her second year. That’s all.

Glambert696969: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Come on, Glammy. Andrew Garcia was even wearing plaid!

Glambert696969: Oh, what, now Kris Allen invented plaid, too? Sheesh! Besides, Adam wore plaid when you interviewed him in November. How can you accuse Kara for making “simplistic” comparisons when you’re essentially treating “Idol” contestants like paper dolls right now?

Jim: Fair enough. So, I guess it’s just another case of you say potato, I say potahto.

Glambert696969: But you say potato. I say Adam Lambert rules.

What did you think of Andrew Garcia’s performance? Did it remind you more of Kris or Adam? Or perhaps even another “Idol” contestant? Comment below! And for more “Idol” chatter, follow me on Twitter @Jambajim.