Adam Lambert will guest judge in place of Keith Urban during the upcoming New York auditions Wednesday.
He has expressed a past desire for a full-time judging job but it's unclear if 'Idol" ever seriously considered him.
He'd be the first former "Idol" to sit in even as a guest judge that I can recall. (If I'm wrong, please point it out.)
Urban is mourning the death of his wife Nicole Kidman's father.
The season 8 runner up was a mentor last year and did a fine job.
Lambert has been spending the summer fronting Queen in Australia and Europe.
Here are some songs we'll probably hear during the auditions come January. Remember the year of Adele? And Beyonce and Rihanna are recent staples. Ed Sheeran is a popular one, too.
- Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me." Why? It's ubiquitous, it's emotive, it's not terribly hard to sing.
- John Legend's "All Of Me." Why? It's also emotive and pretty and could lend itself well if a good singer can put a twist on it.
- One Direction "Story of My Life" This could work well if it's a teenage boy.
- Taylor Swift "Shake It Off." I'm certain a terrible singer could make mincemeat of this one.
- Meghan Trainor "All About That Bass." One of those inspiring songs for plus-sized folks that someone will inevitably sing.
Phillip Phillips' latest single is "Unpack Your Heart." It's struggling up the Hot AC charts, now at No. 35, behind Daughtry's "Battleships," now at 24. He's now headlining his own tour for the first time and was in New York City.
Here he is performing the song this morning on the "Today" show:
For those who followed the first season of the now defunct "X Factor," Astro is a lot taller and his voice a lot deeper but you'll see him on the ensemble teen drama "Red Band Society" starting Wednesday night on Fox. When I mentioned the "X Factor" thang to Astro at a screening of the show earlier this summer, he rolled his eyes and disavowed the whole thing. Given he's now a foot taller, I'm sure he rarely gets recognized for that anyway.
Jennifer Hudson will perform on tonight's "America's Got Talent" finale, presumably dueting with 12-year-old phenom Quintavious Johnson.