0187OAKLAND – It hadn’t even been a year, so remembering his American Idol roots wasn’t hard for Adam Lambert.
On July 11, 2009, he was sitting in Oracle Arena as he  pointed west.
“Yes, it all started right over there,” he said, “at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. “Sitting here I feel like I’ve kind of come full circle. I kind of wish we were doing this show at the Cow Palace. That would have been perfect.”
So, how did the Season 8 AI runnerup start his improbable journey?
“Well, I drove up from L.A. with a couple of friends and we stayed at my mom’s house in Burlingame,” he said. “Right now the whole year is kind of a blur.
“But I was so nervous the night before that I couldn’t fall asleep. Maybe I slept an hour all night. That morning we went over to the Cow Palace and I was so tired I maybe got another hour’s nap while were waiting in line.
“The first song I sang – not in front of the judges – was (I Make You) ‘Crazy’  by Gnarles Barkeley. Remember there are a lot of previous rounds before they advance you to be on camera in front of the judges.
“My biggest fear was that they wouldn’t get it.  But fortunately they did. When I finally got in front of the judges I sang “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen) which is the song they showed on TV.
“The funny part is that on TV you see Paula rocking out and she is actually dancing to ‘Rock With You’ not ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ She probably looks a little coo-coo doing that.”
But the judges gave him a yellow ticket for his trip back to Hollywood and he’s no longer sitting in line in front of the Cow Palace. Now, less than a year later, he’s playing to enormous applause in front of huge audiences across the U.S. on the AI Tour.