I don't watch American Idol with any regularity. In fact, I believe that each season's beginning episodes, the ones where they show the auditions, are just plain poisonous. Personalities comprised of such a raging mix of ego and desperation and entitlement and need have no business competing for anything, airtime least of all. But, I did pay just a bit more attention last season for two reasons: Chris Allen was adorable, and Adam Lambert was so unapologetically gay.
Much has been written about Adam, and while I've read some headlines, that's where I stopped. But a couple things happened this week that have made me think about him a little bit more.
During his performance at the American Music Awards he grabbed one of the male dancers for a little crotch-to-face grind, and ABC has been fielding complaints ever since. Then today, the network abruptly canceled his scheduled performance tomorrow morning on Good Morning America. (CBS, with nothing to lose, has promptly taken advantage of his surprise availability for their Morning Show) The network (ABC) that has so proudly showcased a new show featuring a gay couple, half of whom is being played by my cousin, promptly folded when the gay got a little bit gritty.
There's a part of me that thinks it was a tasteless move on Adam's part, considering the venue. When you perform on an awards show on network tv you know the size of the audience, and you might think that would be the time to tame your act just a little bit. I can totally argue that point.
But then there's another part of me, part of me that has watched Madonna and Britney and Christina and Shakira and countless other performers for years. That part of me wonders if Adam's little face plant was really so horrible? I mean Britney has a song on the radio entitled "If You Seek Amy." And we're upset about a few seconds of simulated fellatio? Come on.
Plenty of those complaints I'm sure came from parents, and their dismay is probably justified. Honestly, might it not be a good idea to put every live award show on a tape delay? Just in case? Then again, having seen what we've seen from so many performers, should kids of a certain age even be allowed to watch? I could argue either way.
Today Towleroad featured Adam's new video for his song "For Your Entertainment." Before I watched it I don't think I ever heard a whole Adam Lambert song. There's a lot to like. The song is strong and sexy, and the video is fun, a den of goth guys and girls dancing and grinding far, far underground. I hate his haircut, but Adam is darkly attractive in a leather suit with silver shoulder spikes and a lot of guyliner.
There's something good there, something that makes me want to see and hear what he'll do next. I just worry that there's a gay/straight double-standard in play, and it would be a real shame if he fell victim to it. Thinking about slasher movies and crime dramas, is a little bit of sex, even man-on-man sex, really the worst thing we could see?
What do you think?