On Season 8 of American Idol, Adam Lambert battled Kris Allen. And, while he put up a noble fight — and got to sing with his future band, Queen, on the big finale — he didn’t win the show. This week, almost eight years later, Lambert faced off against another worthy opponent. And his time (spoiler alert!), he emerged victorious. He is the champion, my friends.
Thursday on The Late Late Show, host James Corden took issue with the fact that an American singer, Lambert — who just announced that he’ll be back on the road with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor this summer — is fronting one of Britain’s all-time greatest rock groups. So, naturally, the London-born Corden challenged Lambert to a frontman battle to end all frontman battles.
What ensued was hardly an evenly matched duel, but it was an awesome duel nonetheless. In the end, everyone won.
So Lambert threw down the gauntlet straightaway with a flawless “We Will Rock You,” which did exactly what the title promised. Corden countered with an earnest but not exactly unstoppable “Don’t Stop Me Now,” which actually inspired a trash-talking, understandably cocky Lambert to quote Randy Jackson. (“It was OK for me, dawg.”) A slightly desperate Corden, still in it to win it, upped the ante with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”… but his chances of winning this sing-off pretty much bit the dust once, well, Lambert magnificently wailed “Another One Bites the Dust.”
Corden eventually accepted defeat. But a truce was called with a moment warm enough to thaw out even Simon Cowell’s icy heart: a Corden/Lambert collaboration on “Somebody to Love.”
The only thing that would have made this skit even more amazing? If Lambert, May, and Taylor had bundled into Corden’s car afterwards for a Wayne’s World-inspired Carpool Karaoke rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” (or a top-of-lungs singalong to the first seven tracks off Lambert’s Trespassing album).
Let’s hope Queen + Adam Lambert get invited back to The Late Late Show for a rematch very soon. Either that, or American Idol should be revived and just feature Adam versus James every week.
James Corden will host the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 12.