Adam Lambert Helps 'Idol' Hopefuls Channel Elvis

Last year's runner-up comes out looking like quite the winner with a triumphant return to 'Idol' turf as a mentor

Adam Lambert returned to Fox's American Idol in all his glam-rock splendor to mentor the final nine through Elvis-themed performances. And frankly, it's tough to imagine a better fit. Like Presley, Lambert's a showman who courts scandal while turning up the heat on stage. Igniting Idol's contestants was his goal: "I told them they needed to wake up a little bit," he told Ryan Seacrest. "A little coffee! They all have great personalities. I just want a little more energy, that's all....Let's put on a show!"

Playful and mischievous, he's a fun performer and plenty of viewers surely miss the spontanaity he injected into American Idol's eighth season. (Again, we're reminded that it's not always the winner who achieves post-Idol greatness; Kris Allen wasn't mentioned at all tonight.)

Lambert seemed genuinely committed to helping the singers, or at least identifying pitfalls. "I was bored," he told Andrew Garcia, who then proceeded to bore judges with his "Hound Dog." And when Aaron Kelly failed to take Lambert up on his suggestion to "growl" the lyrics to "Blue Suede Shoes," he paid for it with low marks from the judges.

And while Lambert gave Tim Urban some solid advice -- "I think that ending ["I Can't Help Falling In Love With You"] in that really pretty falsetto is a nice touch"-- the fledgling heartthrob chose to ignore it. Urban ditched the falsetto ending, but earned universal praise from the panel. "That was probably my favorite Tim performance ever," said Kara DioGuardi.

Lambert did repeat advice that's been on continuous loop this season: "Make the song your own." But in his case, he's earned the right to offer it. He'll likely demonstrate, when he performs on tonight's results show (8 p.m. ET), that he's masterful at putting his own spin on songs.

PHOTOS: American Idol: Who's Poised to Win?

What other American Idol alum would you like to see back as a mentor? Chime in below!

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