Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Did America's Homophobia Kill Adam Lambert's Idol Chances?

By now you've heard that Adam Lambert did not win American Idol. Kris Allen, the affable singer and guitar player from Conway, Ark., won. No way to keep that news from the west coast tonight, folks. Sorry L.A.

Updated 5/21, 8:24 AM with snippet from AP
on American Idol vote margin indicating the race between Kris and Adam was close:
Last week, only 1 million viewer votes separated them — a tiny margin considering that nearly 100 million votes were cast for the finale.

"I knew it was going to be a close race," Lambert said backstage. "I think Kris is incredibly talented, and he's a good person.
" (AP story on Kris, his humility)
Also adding this LaTimes blog link:The Rushfield Review: Allen win gives idol its heart back.

ORIGINAL post continued: Simon Cowell was careful last night during the Top 2 sing-off not to make the same mistake he made last year when he implied David Archuleta was the winner over David Cook during the Top 2 show, which was the night before finale results. Cook won the 2008 title, and many a little girl wept when the baby-faced Archuleta was not crowned American Idol.

This year Cowell was very gracious to both contestants, Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, calling both singers brilliant in their own way. But even Kris looked shocked and so did his family. He clearly did not expect to win and said Adam should have won. I like Kris, but Adam's the more talented singer. As the show closed Kris wept on someone's shoulder.

For many people it's a shock. They assumed Lambert win. I was surprised but not wholly shocked because I've been watching the clippings and blogs on the anti-Adam side.

I think Adam may have faced backlash from America's heartland due to the pictures of him in drag, kissing boys, and people blasting him for performing in a play in which he bleated the National Anthem. It's highly possible he got creamed by homophobia and nationalistic fervor by the masses who voted in a preference for the adorable boy next door, Kris.

You know how some Americans get about God, country, and what they think will be a bad influence on their children. Remember how the public tried to crucify Idol Fantasia when it was revealed she had a child and wasn't married?

However, for some it was probably just Lambert's style is not their cup of tea. He's very dramatic and thinks out of the box, a genuine artist who some people said "screamed" too much when he sang. Yet, to scream on key is a gift, folks.

I'm not going to recap the AI finale, just say I laughed at Bikini Girl getting served by Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. Kara sang that body opportunist under the table, and then flashed the audience her own sleek bikini-clad bod for the sake of charity.

Here are my tweets from Twitter tonight. A screen shot is better than a rewrite at this late hour.

Other than the shocker of the night, Kris winning, it was a solid show, including performances by the Black Eyed Peas, David Cook, Kiss, Fergie, Cyndi Lauper, Queen, Keith Urban, Queen Latifah, Lionel Richie, and Rod Stewart. However, it could be argued that Adam losing made it an even better show, high drama.

In many ways, it didn't matter who won. Kris, while not having Adam's range, is talented and likable with his own James Taylor-like stylings, meaning low-key. He could end up as big as James Taylor one day, and Adam Lambert will land on his feet so can't cry for him. He probably has a record deal already lined up.


ByJane said...

I'm not homophobic (some of my best friends, etc etc) so that wasn't why I voted for Kris. Adam, while wildly talented, always seemed somewhat wooden. I seem to recall the judges saying something to him back in Hollywood Week about his lack of connection with the audience. That was his "thing to work on" and he did enough to get into the final group. But singing is a form of communication and Adam always seemed to be communicating with his mirror.

Vérité Parlant said...

Actually, ByJane, you are exactly the kind of person I had in mind when I said for some people it was Adam's style, meaning that it was not homophobia that made them shrink away from him. I remembered your saying why you didn't like him on a BlogHer post. :-)

I didn't vote period. Didn't care who won once they were down to the final 4 because I felt any of the final 4 was marketable. But I think Adam will go far. Kris reminds me of James Taylor because he's so low-key, not because of voice. I like James and I like rock. And as we know, James has withstood the test of time while some performers who were known for being as flamboyant and talented as Adam have disappeared.

Adam however is more consistent than Kris as a performer and I think it's because of all his theater training. I appreciate good craft.

Yet, I know I wouldn't buy music by either of them. (Okay, after he's aged some and becomes more confident and if he has a song with killer lyrics, maybe Kris.) Likewise, I could see going to see Adam in concert for the sake of spectacle, not Kris, but I do believe Kris makes lots of young women's hearts go pitter patter.

I will pick up a Danny Gokey CD if it has lots of ballads. I downloaded "Come Rain or Come Shine" from iTunes.