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After AMA debacle, Adam Lambert promises fans ‘a new direction’

by Danielle Berrin

November 30, 2009 | 9:54 pm

After apoplectic reactions to his controversial, sexually explicit performance at the American Music Awards last week, singer Adam Lambert is promising fans “a new direction.”

Earlier today, Lambert announced on Twitter that his “AMA performance was a one time event,” adding, “Goin in a new direction now. Focus back on the music.”

That would be wise for Lambert, who deeply offended some of his fans and prime-time viewers of the AMAs with his racy sexual slavery number. In it, Lambert flaunted his sexuality by simulating various sex acts and even orgasm during the debut performance of his new single, “For Your Entertainment.” In between dragging his dancers by a leash, Lambert gyrated around while holding a male dancer’s head in his crotch. He also made out with his keyboardist.

Lambert has made his sexuality a primary issue from the moment he concluded his run on 2009’s “American Idol.” Last July, about 6 weeks after he was crowned Idol’s runner-up, he came out on the cover of Rolling Stone, under the headline, “The Liberation of Adam Lambert”, confirming speculation that his affinity for eye-liner and nail polish was more than a mere costume choice. 

The RS cover turned out to be rather prescient, as the cover photo itself features Lambert lying on a mattress, in a pose of sexual submission, as a green serpent—the bible’s most sinister creature—heads straight for his groin.

Shortly after that, fans started seeing Lambert in a different light. He was no longer the versatile song and dance man who happened to have a stunning set of vocal chords—he was the gay re-incarnate of Madonna’s Erotica period, a 21st century glam-rock sex object. Soon
Fans were hurling sex toys on stage while Lambert performed on the Idols summer tour. Then he posed in a racy spread for Details Magazine in which he feigned all kinds of heterosexual love for a naked female model. In the article, writer Nancy Jo Sales asked, “Why Does Every Woman in America Want to Sleep with the American Idol?” and subsequently dubbed him “the new American sex symbol.”

After performing with Lambert during the American Idol finale, Gene Simmons, from the band Kiss, said that the post- Rolling Stone Lambert had “killed his career.”

“Because,” Simmons said, “now the conversation is not about his talent but about his sexual preference. He’s done.”

Of course, few believed him then. But after Lambert’s losing performance at the AMAs—ABC edited out parts of his show for re-broadcast and “Good Morning America” canceled his scheduled appearance two days later—Simmons is looking psychic. 

Mainstream opinion of Lambert has undoubtedly changed. People who have been huge fans of Lambert’s talent were turned off by his recent stunt.

So now, Lambert is doing damage control. His announcement on Twitter was more than a desperate backpedal; it’s a cry for forgiveness.

“Don’t worry friends,” Lambert assured fans via Twitter. “I’m still gonna be me. Always. W/o appologies.”

And then added, “Just gonna experiment differently w how I present myself.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Danielle Berrin writes the Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile dubbed her...

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