May 24, 2009

A Comment On Adam Lambert

Since everyone wants to make his American Idol loss a gay/straight thing, I suppose it is time to comment on why my wife and I both voted against him (repeatedly).

It wasn't his sexuality. After all, we are both pretty gay-friendly -- indeed, I've spoken with only two non-family members on the phone this weekend, and neither of the two is straight. Indeed, one of them certainly qualifies as my best friend. So personal feelings about sexuality didn't do it.

Neither did religion. Both of us are seminary trained, and my wife was, for a time, pastor of a church in a liberal, gay-friendly denomination.

And we both voted for Clay Aiken, assuming he was gay long before he came out of the closet, because we liked his style and were put off by the constant shilling of the judges for other contestants during that season.

So why not vote for Adam, and instead pick Kris Allen?

Easy. We didn't like the "hard sell" tactics of certain of the judges on the show. They were declaring Adam to be the winner weeks ago, even though it was not at all clear to us that he deserved the crown. I was fond of Danny & Allison -- indeed, I thought the final three should have been Adam, Allison, and Danny, with Kris disappearing when they reduced the crew to three. And of the final three, my pick would have been Danny because I liked his voice and his style. I thought Kris had the same sort of stuff going for him.

Which brings me back to Adam. Aside from the shameless shilling by the judges, there was one other problem -- Adam was too theatrical in his style. No, that isn't a code for "gay" -- it is a recognition that Adam has a long history as a stage performer, and that he sings and presents himself like a stage performer.. Indeed, his phrasing often reminded me of this.

Well, maybe not quite that bad, but Adam Lambert was just a little bit too precise in his delivery -- great for Broadway, not so much for pop or rock music. Even when he rocked out (and I'll concede, Adam gave some great rock performances) it all seemed a bit . . . artificial, sort of like the example above.

That doesn't mean that I wouldn't pay to see Adam Lambert -- I would, but probably not as a concert performer. If, however, he were to be the lead in just about any musical, I'd buy a ticket and go -- and be thoroughly pleased by his performance.

But who knows -- Adam may yet have a fantastic career as a solo artist. And I may yet become a serious fan. But my faith and his sexuality won't be factors in that change, either.

So when I see an analysis like this one, I simply have to laugh at how misguided those who put forth this thesis really are.

UPDATE: Lots of traffic on this one -- I'll open the comments for you. Play nice.

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I hear what you are saying, but there are facts surfacing about the rather nefarious ways in which people from Arkansas and the South in particular got the word out via churches and radio to use certain software and gimmicks to enable them to cast millions of votes beyond what the rest of us could do with phone in hand.

And there are a lot of people who have not watched AI for years, and some never, who were on the edges of their seats every week to see what Adam would do next time. We hadn't watched the show since Constantine Maroulis got the boot, whatever year that was.

Adam was always polite and good-humored, and what were the judges going to say when he was already an example of what they were trying to tell others to do most of the time? Yes, they could have been a little less obviously in Adam's corner, but Adam is so good, and has such a marvelous voice that I can't blame them. Everyone else paled in comparison.

Also, we LIKE to hear what the words are! We like the way he set things up and played with the songs to make them fresh. He made them his like few others we have ever seen. We, and many others, feel like we are watching the birth of a star, and wait with anticipation for any more from Adam. I'm buying everything he has put out from itunes so far, and have never had the slightest urge to buy from an Idol winner before.

The "win" that Kris achieved by underhanded measures on the part of his fan base is pretty tarnished. Even Kris knew that Adam should have had it. In the end though Kris is the one saddled with dancing to the tune of AI for 5 years, while Adam got national exposure and a huge fan base, and will be relatively free to do as he wants by comparison. I don't mean to put Kris down. It is those who voted for him underhandedly who have done this to him. As far as I can see, he and Danny and Adam were all quite close and far less concerned with the outcome than others.

What is the better honor - to win American Idol or to have Queen asking you to walk in Freddie Mercury's shoes? We are old boomers and as far as we are concerned Freddie was the best, and Adam is probably one of the few who just might be able to come anywhere close. We'd like to see him make a few appearances with them at least, while he's working on his album, if he can work it in. Whatever he does, it will be worth watching him unfold his wings and fly.

|| Posted by Donna Hughes, May 24, 2009 12:31 PM ||

Your first sentence speaks volumes. You didn't vote FOR Kris, but AGAINST Adam. In fact, you go on to say that the best three were Adam, Danny and Allison, with Kris in 4th. Yet, when it's down to Adam and Kris, you vote for Kris (excuse me; I mean against Adam)? I wonder, if you're voting against somebody, as opposed to "for" who you really like, why vote at all? Whether it's for the gay reason or other anti reason, it's voters like you who costs the most talented and entertaining performer ever on AI the title.

|| Posted by Shannon Rose, May 24, 2009 01:08 PM ||

Actually, Shannon, I did not say that. I simply recognized that Danny and Kris split the same sort of fan base, and so there could not be both of them in the finals. Indeed, I was shocked to see Allison go when she did, but she had a bad night.

And as for "the most talented and entertaining performer ever on AI", dare I suggest that said individual was not even on this year's show?

Oh, and Donna -- it isn't that I think Adam is a bad guy. He isn't, and I suspect that I would personally like him very much. I just don't support him as a pop star -- I think he is in the right genre in theater. And as for the "nefarious ways" used to win the thing for Kris, would you care to share them? Or do you simply want to engage in character assassination?

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, May 24, 2009 03:12 PM ||

38 million votes came from Arkansas, which has a population of about 2.8 million. They were using GIZMO and DIAL IDOL software technology. One Arkansas church group of 150 people said they got in 436,655 votes using the software and their texts. If it isn't cheating then it is very close.

Copied from "We're starting right now to prepare for Tuesday night. KAnation, you should have just one task for today: download GIZMO if you haven't already. EVERYONE should have GIZMO - it's a free online phone program like Skype. It's safe for your computer(CNET editors give it a 4 star rating). It's free for toll-free numbers like Kris' AI voting numbers and it allows for an extra 3 hours of voting. We'll be posting instructions on how to use GIZMO and a GIZMO FAQ post soon, but in the meantime, we're keeping it simple: just download GIZMO."

|| Posted by Donna Hughes, May 24, 2009 07:41 PM ||

Do you have any actual proof, or simply a blog claim?

You know, some actual official statistics about where the calls came from.

Or is this simply sour grapes?

And are you seriously telling me that Arkansas, not the high tech capital of the world, somehow out-teched California?

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, May 25, 2009 09:28 AM ||

The figures came from AT&T about 38 million votes from Arkansas.

|| Posted by Donna Hughes, May 25, 2009 09:37 AM ||

would you direct me to a source for that.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, May 25, 2009 07:31 PM ||

Well i think kris is more fit in church singing, he doesnt have the star quality, soz to say:(. Unlike Adam Lambert he has the quality to become a huge star. He can sing all kind of songs, just name it and you have it!!!!:D he look still fantastic when he singing high notes unlike Kris seems to me that he looks struggling with his voice he's face looks horrible when he sing, its just my opinion and observation. soz :(

|| Posted by lenie, May 26, 2009 02:00 AM ||

The reason you voted for Kris is because the judges endorsed him. Hmmm. Is that Adam's fault? No. Does this affect Adam's talent? No. Are you an idiot? Yes.

|| Posted by minnie , May 27, 2009 11:12 AM ||
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