American Idol, say what?
I should preface this entry by saying that I do not watch American Idol. I watched one full season to see what the big deal was (season 3) and then stopped again. So I didn't see even a single episode of this last season, BUT I heard plenty of feedback from friends about it and all of it was very pro-Adam.
Tonight, a friend of mine said someone had sent him Adam Lambert's version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and that he liked it a lot. I looked it up on YouTube and the most surprising thing I found in it was that he stated quite plainly that he had heard a middle-eastern version of the song and that is what inspired him. It definitely sounded like a version I already knew, and really, how many middle-eastern inspired versions can there be? I went to a few Idol forums to read comments, a few fans said he got the idea for it from another reality TV show (Dilana sang it on Rockstar: Supernova in '06). Though I agree it is similar, I think Dilana's version definitely kept it a bit more countrified, especially towards the end of it, whereas Adam's was not one bit country.
The version I believe inspired him is by Universal Hall Pass, (and later a commenter did mention it, though it seems to have gone unnoticed). The song was recorded by Melissa Kaplan (aka Universal Hall Pass) for the 2003 short film "Ring of Fire". So, not only does it come before the Dilana version, it also sounds a lot more like Adam's version, and is specifically middle-eastern, as that is what Melissa's specialty is, and what they specifically asked for for the movie. Maybe it's just my loyalty to UHP and my disloyalty for AI, but I think her version is worlds better. That said, I went ahead and listened to some of his other performances and thought they were much better, people just thought this was very different and original, which it is, but the originality was not his.
- Universal Hall Pass - "Ring of Fire"