Mad Idol

(AP) Winding down for the night, Gary Jules turned on "American Idol" - his guilty pleasure - and left the room to watch surfing videos on his computer. Then he heard some eerily familiar notes. It was Adam Lambert - one the top finalists on the most popular TV show in the country - performing Jules' arrangement of the Tears for Fears song "Mad World."

"I ran out and I was like, 'I knew he was gonna do it! I knew it!'" he recalls. "I've been waiting for years for somebody to do it. I thought David Cook was gonna do it last year for sure. ... As soon as I saw that guy Adam on 'American Idol,' I was like, 'Oooh, this could be it.'"

The singer-songwriter deserves at least some of the credit for Lambert's haunting performance that earned a rare standing ovation from "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell.

Jules covered the '80s song on his 2001 album, "Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets." His stripped-down, slowed-down version, recorded with producer Michael Andrews, was featured in the cult movie "Donnie Darko" the same year. The song topped the charts in Britain in 2003 but is little known to U.S. listeners. - more on this story

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