Adam Lambert on judging 'Starstruck': 'If I went on the show I'd perform as George Michael or Elton John!'

Adam Lambert is ready to judge in ITV's 'Starstruck'.
Adam Lambert is ready to judge in ITV's 'Starstruck'. (Image credit: ITV)

Queen frontman Adam Lambert is part of a show that pays tribute to Stars in Their Eyes. That classic 1990s series gets a 21st-century reboot with ITV’s new talent show Starstruck, which begins on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 8.30 pm. It sees some incredible sound-alike vocals and a few jaw-dropping transformations. 

Each week, host Olly Murs oversees proceedings as four teams made up of three members of the public transform into some of the world’s biggest music icons, which this week includes Freddie Mercury, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Marvin Gaye. 

Adam Lambert is part of the all-star panel of judges that also includes Sheridan Smith, Jason Manford and Beverley Knight. They choose their favourite team to perform again in the sing-off, which sees the ultimate solo sound-alike going through to the grand final and a chance to win a £50,000 prize.

"It’s tricky because we’re having to judge on a whole handful of criteria, the look, the sound, the movement," explains Queen's Adam Lambert. "I think the format of the show is really fun because every episode you get to see somebody go through and position themselves to be in the final. You get that rush watching a contestant you have been rooting for from the beginning episode to the end which is really fun. 

"The teams come on, there are three members of each team, that are all paying tribute to the same artist at the same time. The songs are broken up into three parts as a trio and there are four artists that are being honoured for every episode so we as judges have to take a look at everything and then we have to make the very difficult decision: who is the strongest team? 

"Once we have picked the strongest team, there is a sing-off between the members of the team. The audience at home gets to vote on who their favourite is. What’s really exciting about that, as well, is it’s partially up to us and it’s partially up to the public which I think is just a really lovely way to have people involved in the show."

Team Marvin Gaye are performing in 'Starstruck' episode one... what will Adam Lambert make of them?

Team Marvin Gaye performed in 'Starstruck' episode one. (Image credit: ITV)

Adam Lambert on judging Team Freddie Mercury in episode 1 of 'Starstruck'

Adam’s judging skills are really put to the test in the very first performance of Starstruck which sees one team impersonate Freddie Mercury with a version of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

"I was really apprehensive when I found out one of the teams was going to be Freddie Mercury. I thought I’d be a tough critic," says Adam. "But they were all so talented. With one of them, it was literally like someone had put the Queen record on! I actually had a meal with Brian May and Roger Taylor earlier this year and the show came up and I said you know there’s a Freddie Mercury in the first episode and they were like oh really. And I said here’s the thing that’s so lovely about it, we’re not making fun of anybody. We’re not making fun of Freddie. It’s not a parody. 

"You have to bear in mind it’s not like X Factor or The Voice where people are competing for a deal to be in the music industry. This is a bucket list moment for regular people, so the tone of the show really reflects that. They’re superfans. They’re getting up on stage because they love these artists and they want to pay tribute. It’s a real celebration."

The Freddie Mercury performers from episode one of ITV's 'Starstruck'.

The Freddie Mercury performers from episode one of ITV's 'Starstruck'. (Image credit: ITV)

'Starstruck' host Olly Murs with Team Ariana Grande.

Team Ariana Grande (here with Olly Murs) who performed in the first show. (Image credit: ITV)

Adam on performing with Olly Murs and the other judges in 'Starstruck episode 1

Starstruck opens with Adam Lambert, Olly Murs, Sheridan Smith, Beverley Knight and Jason Manford performing the classic Tina Turner hit River Deep Mountain High.

Adam says: "This helped us bond. It really did, but we do another group performance one more time later in the series. I have to say it was lovely working with professionals. It’s in our comfort zone. We walked in and it was instant chemistry. Everyone genuinely likes each other. And when it came to the time to sing together it was like the icing on the cake. We’re all performers so to be able to perform together was a good bonding experience."

Olly Murs with the 'Starstruck' judges.

Adam, Olly, Jason, Beverley and Jason perform a group number together in episode one of 'Starstruck'. (Image credit: ITV)

Adam on what kind of judge he is on 'Starstruck'

"I think I am a fair judge. I try to be as honest as possible. I like trying to balance out any bad news with good news because I think that there are always two ways to look at something. You know there’s always a piece of advice for them to take away and maybe a bit of constructive criticism. 

"There’s definitely been a difference of opinion among us judges but we are really nice to each other. It’s very respectful and diplomatic. We tend to all get there in the end - we have a good discussion. Jason, Beverley, Sheridan are all really really intelligent, experienced performers. I think we all bring some really interesting perspectives to the table. Beverley and I tend to focus on the singing technique and the vocals and I think Sheridan is emotionally connected and wants to feel something and these icons know how to do that so that’s an important element as well. And Jason really appreciates the overall study I think. I think seeing these people work really hard is something that Jason really recognizes."

Adam Lambert with his fellow 'Starstruck' judges.

Adam Lambert with his fellow 'Starstruck' judges Sheridan Smith, Jason Manford and Beverley Knight. (Image credit: ITV)

Adam on being starstruck himself...

Adam says: "I have definitely been starstruck. I remember meeting Madonna at one point and just feeling like it was just a surreal moment. I think when you grow up with an artist you remember from your childhood, seeing them on TV and having them make a strong impression on you, I think those are the ones I tend to be the most starstruck around."

And finally, who would Adam like to perform as on 'Starstruck'?

 Adam says "I would go for George Michael or Elton John. Let’s say, George Michael! I’ve been told that in some light, I resemble Elvis. I always take it as a great compliment so I would give that a go. I think I could probably pull that off. I can see myself wearing one of those 1970s jumpsuits with all the rhinestones all over it. That’s a vibe."

Starstruck starts on ITV on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 8.30 pm and runs weekly. Take a look at Adam in the Starstruck trailer below...

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.