Regarding Adam Lambert’s performance at AMAs

The internet is abuzz right now debating if Adam Lambert’s AMA performance was softcore porn or simply somewhat raunchy. During his performance he and a dancer touched his crotch (Madonna did this before), he had male dancers on leash (Madonna did this before), he put his face to another male’s crotch (Madonna did this before), and finally he kissed a same-sex band member (Madonna did this before).

So, everything of what Lambert did on stage last night was already done before (17 years ago, no less). The difference is that what he did was all part of the same number, and that it was broadcasted live in national television (most of what Madonna did was for her live performances only available on VHS/DVD). And when Madonna kissed Britney and Christina on stage it was for the cable MTV channel rather than on a network channel (in the US, there are different rules for networked and cable TV channels).

So basically, what shocked most people is not exactly what Lambert did (since it was all done before), but the fact that it was all that shown on network television within 4 minutes — and rumor has it that ABC did not know of the kiss. But the question really is: was it really that shocking?

In my opinion, no. I found his performance theatrical and entertaining. I was not offended at all. And I don’t really understand why people get offended over real or simulated sex. It’s just sex. It’s something everyone and every living thing does. Why the taboo? Why the shock? My guess is because half of the people who found the performance “offending” are boring puritans, and the other half are homophobes. That’s how I see it.

BTW, Lambert told CNN that his kiss with the male keyboardist was not rehearsed, but I don’t buy that. The keyboardist did not look shocked at all. It was probably not rehearsed at AMAs (and that’s why ABC didn’t know about it), but it was surely agreed with the band. I mean, come on. Lambert will have to play that card and say it was just an impulsive move to avoid future award/TV/show banning. Of course, if TV viewers didn’t get offended that easily he wouldn’t have to lie to do what he wanted to do.

The bottom line is that Lambert is doing his thing one way or another (I never expected anything less from him btw), and just like Madonna, he will use that controversy to build a career. It was a calculated risk he took last night. I would have done the same thing.


Kragil wrote on November 23rd, 2009 at 3:59 AM PST:

In almost all parts of Europe calling is softcore is considered totally insane.

When will the US grow up?

Norm Christofferson wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 9:19 AM PST:

Adam Lambert’s performance was absolutely disgusting. ABC should be ashamed for allowing such filth on television. NO MORE PLEASE!!!!

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Eugenia wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 1:27 PM PST:

You don’t elaborate why you found it disgusting though. I mean, if viewing simulated sex makes you disgusted, I imagine that you should never have real sex in real life. That would disgust you even more! But I am pretty sure that you do have sex in real life, and if not having oral sex you at least fantasize about it, which makes you a hypocrite.

Mike wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 3:37 PM PST:

I’m not titillated by these “shocking” performances…they bore me. Someone trying to “push the boundaries” to me is a lame attempt to generate more buzz and it unfortunately works. The trouble is when you become a parent like me and wish that these type of performances were not on broadcast stations but on cable channels where you might be expecting them. The world does change once you have children and suddenly these “wild” and “edgy” performers simply become annoying. Many of my friends never had children and cannot understand this world view, but it does happen and there are appropriate avenues for more this type of expression.

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Eugenia wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 3:39 PM PST:

Why was your kid up at 10:55 PM?

Mike wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 3:50 PM PST:

Well I broke down because she loves music. I should have known. It won’t happen again.

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Eugenia wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 4:11 PM PST:

In all honesty, I don’t see the trouble with it. Of course, as a parent it’s your call, but if that was my kid I wouldn’t have a problem with it. And if my kid was asking me questions regarding what he/she just witnessed, I would just try to explain it all: from artistic expression, to the shock value business, to sex. If he/she wouldn’t grasp these concepts, then probably wouldn’t understand what he/she just saw on TV anyway, so no harm was done in the first place.

That’s no different than someone getting hold of top-secret hydrogen bomb schematics. 99.99% of the population wouldn’t understand these schematics, so there’s no harm done in the first place (unless the person tries to sell them to someone who does).

Mike wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 4:22 PM PST:

I was very very liberal in my pre-parent days. It is more difficult to live with that view now. Ideals and reality are two very differant concepts. But I will do my best.

pluijzer wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 4:52 PM PST:

@mike: Putting children to bed late is much, much more harmful to them letting them watch extreme softcore for prudes. (The brain needs much sleep to develop at young ages)

Mike wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 5:14 PM PST:


Phil wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 7:47 PM PST:

Didn’t see the performance but in general the pop industry is rather enthusiastic about pumping erotica into the minds of the audience. It really wouldn’t matter if the audience was completely made up of adults (I suppose) but the reality of the situation is that they are pissing in the brains (excuse my language) of large numbers of young kids. I can’t help noticing, when exposed to pop videos, how many cynically use sexual provocation – it really comes across as rather sick. Not the kind of misleading cues you really want being pumped into a young mind.

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Eugenia wrote on November 24th, 2009 at 11:15 PM PST:

Oh, I agree. I would prefer if people were singing about the morality of stem cells, or human rights for cyborgs, and all these issues that will be more prominent in the next 100 years, but thing is, sex sells. When people listen to pop music they want to hear about universal things that can reach easily. And sex is one of these things. There’s a market for it, so Lambert, and all the rest of the pop singers go for it. Like any other product, it’s up to the consumer to disregard it, or adopt it. I personally don’t snob pop music like most “intellectual” people do. Pop music has its place in the world because it fills a market and a personal need.

pluijzer wrote on November 25th, 2009 at 6:24 AM PST:

“Oh, I agree. I would prefer if people were singing about the morality of stem cells, or human rights for cyborgs, and all these issues that will be more prominent in the next 100 years”

Did you ever listen to the Dutch musician Ayreon ? It there could be a chance that it’s you cup-a-tea. The lyrics are intelligent and sci-fi’ish, if you want to give it a chance, start with his latest album:

Janet Hansen wrote on November 28th, 2009 at 11:34 AM PST:

Agree completlely with this post. These incidents are taken from the playbook of Michael Jackson, albeit stepped up a notch in every case. Publicists, managers, and promoters revel in this stuff as they know how the media machine works.

And really, do the networks object? If they did object nary another word would be spoken. If they are trying to protect viewers and advertisers, why do they get involved in the ongoing conversation?

In the case of Adam Lambert, it seems this might be the first time same sex male overtures have been made on a major network music award show, even though the time it occured was well past primetime when children might be watching.

ABC’s Sunday night series, “Brothers & Sisters” displays male kissing between a gay couple as part of the script!
So how can ABC realistically say what Lambert did was untoward?

The American public really needs to get hip to what is a real news story and what is a PR stunt regardless of how they feel about it.

Janet Hansen

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