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Adam Lambert Returns as Guest Judge on 'American Idol'

Adam Lambert American Idol

Who says you can’t go back? Not Adam Lambert!

Filling in for Keith Urban as a guest judge, alongside Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr., on Thursday night’s episode 14 opening of American Idol, the show alum was brutally honest – in a shy, caring ‘I’ve been there’ sort of way.

The 2009 Season 8 runner up is the first former contestant ever to sit on the other side of the table. One would have expected him to be a complete pushover, identifying with every contestant, no matter the talent factor, but that was certainly not the case. In fact – he was the toughest judge of the evening, spouting discouraging quips like “cookie cutter”, “dime a dozen,” “we don’t want it to feel corny” and “I don’t see you as an artist”, to quote a few.

It wasn’t all crushing and critical, though. The handsome – and meticulously groomed – current Queen frontman even reversed his decision on one contestant, who literally begged him to do so, exclaiming, “But I did your song!”.

At one exciting and unexpected point, upon praise infused request, Adam even ‘auditioned’ for Jennifer and Harry, crooning a perfected rendition of his original audition piece, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”