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Screams greet “Idol” Adam Lambert at Mt. Carmel High

12 July 2010 No Comment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

See original story on SDNN

Friday, May 8, 2009

Adam Lambert, welcome home to San Diego!

Cheerleaders screamed, the band played and some 4,000 fans filled the stadium at Mt. Carmel High School, Lambert’s alma mater, where the San Diego native visited and sang for the crowd on Friday.

It was part of the homecoming for the “American Idol” contestant, one of three finalists in the national television show.

Students from the high school and Black Mountain Middle School sat on one side of the stadium and the general public on another, as helicopters circled above and photographers and cameramen covered the field.

Lambert arrived in a long white limousine escorted by security and his parents. In a closed visit, he went to the school’s Performing Arts Center and chatted with students in the drama and choir groups.

He and his parents then transferred to a red 2010 Ford Mustang, which took them to the stadium behind the band and cheerleaders.

As the car entered the stadium, Lambert sat high on the car’s back and waved to the crowd. In the back seat, his father and mother flanked him on each side.

Lambert was dressed in a black leather jacket, black T-shirt and black pants. His black hair was highlighted in blue.

When Lambert got on stage, he shared with the audience: “This is so weird,” he said. “Like, imagine, graduating and coming back and having all this happen.

“Without trying to be too cheesy or be on a soapbox, I just want to say a couple things.

“This is an example of believing in yourself, knowing who you are,” he said. “Anybody that feels different or weird, screw it! Embrace it!

“Embrace each other’s differences, ok? Celebrate it. It’s cool to be different.”

When he asked if he could play a song, the crowd broke out in screams. He then sang Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” and “Mad World,” made famous by Tears for Fears.

After his second song, a woman who took off her shirt revealing a bright green bra, stormed the stage and attempted to climb on, before security guards grabbed her and escorted her out.

San Diego’s Mayor Jerry Sanders then got on the stage and declared it “Adam Lambert Day.” He said San Diego was proud of Lambert.

The school principal, Dr. Tom McCoy, encouraged the audience to vote and make Lambert “America’s next Idol.”

Lambert and his parents later climbed back into the escort car which slowly circled the track, where fans on both sides could cheer him on. Between moments, he also answered questions from the press.

What does Lambert, who lives in Hollywood now, remember most about San Diego? He thought for a moment, then said, “The traffic!”

His father Eber lives in San Diego, while his mother Leila, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“It’s great, loving it,” said his mother from the car. “I fly to every show [he performs at] and I flew here.”

Earlier in the morning, while visiting the performing arts center, Lambert met with about 30 students in the advanced drama class, said student Hannah Gillespie, who missed out on the meeting because she is in the beginning drama class. Lambert also met students in the classical choir group.

“The drama teacher said [Lambert] was very nice and he wanted to see the stage,” Gillespie said. “He used to be in drama and there was an old drum, to present the show, and all the cast and crew signed it and he signed it when he was a student. He enjoyed (seeing the drum and) reminiscing.”

Fans came from all over. One woman, Tanya, drove two hours from Venice, Calif., arriving at the school at 8 a.m. She is a member of www.theadamlambertconnection.com, which has members nationwide. They pool money to buy jewelry for him, which he has worn, she said.

Another woman gave Lambert a necklace, while others held up posters and balloons.

As his car left the stadium, Lambert thanked people and shook their hands. “This has been amazing, Amazing!” he said. “I feel all the support, all the love.”

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenChang.

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