Friday, November 27, 2009


On a somewhat similar note, Adam Lambert kept his orientation close to his chest when he was an American Idol contestant, but after finishing second to some other guy who has gotten way less attention ever since (and at the time, too, for that matter), Lambert has become one of the few former Idols to maintain some pop culture interest. His biggest performance to date was last Sunday’s American Music Awards broadcast, at which he ruffled some feathers with a decidedly risqué number – one that quickly became the headline item on the coverage of the event. So controversial were his same-sex kiss and other stage shenanigans that ABC’s Good Morning America program promptly unbooked him from a scheduled Wednesday morning follow-up spot. CBS snapped him up for its rival “Early Show,” during which Lambert pointedly didn’t apologize. “I admit I did get carried away, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. I do see how people got offended, and that was not my intention,” he said. Normally, we would counsel clients in hot water – regardless of intention – to apologize for the unintended offense, but Lambert had a point to make: “Janet Jackson’s crotch grab – I haven’t heard one peep about that.” His message was clear: there’s a double standard at play between the tolerance for edgy performances from straight artists versus gay ones. Touchdown. Now, a warning to young Mr. Lambert: all publicity is not necessarily good publicity. He has gotten a great ride out of the controversy around his spot on the AMA’s – but if his next high-profile performance is similarly about the shock rather than the rock (and his ability as a singer), he runs the risk of cementing his still-being-formed brand in the wrong direction. Caveat rocker.

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