Haven’t seen Adam Lambert’s AMA performance video yet? No worries; it’s captured forever. For those who missed the Adam Lambert American Music Awards live performance of “For Your Entertainment” Sunday evening, there’s always YouTube (and all those other video media outlets). If J Lo hadn’t fell down during her AMA performance, Monday would have been all about Adam Lambert’s AMA performance. Headlines everywhere screamed he went too far, that his performance was tres objectionable, that he stepped over the line, that he fell, that he sucked, that he was tasteless…and on and on. So, for everyone who was otherwise engaged during his 10:55 p.m. EST performance at the 2009 American Music Awards, the video can be found everywhere online so you too can see what Adam Lambert did that was so terrible that it has everyone from Elisabeth Hasselback to Joe the Viewer commenting…
The Associated Press reported that Adam Lambert’s sexually provocative performance — he kissed his male keyboardist directly on the lips and simulated fellatio with a dancer — generated over 1500 complaints to ABC, which aired the 37th Annual AMAs. ABC executives insist that the number is quite “moderate,” that they’ve had far more complaints for programs over the years.
“It’s going to be sexy, I think,” Adam Lambert told MTV News prior to the performance. Many seemed to think the AMA performance fell more on the side of raunch. It was definitely risqué. But artists like Madonna had had performances that many believed crossed the line of appropriateness at past AMA ceremonies. Adam Lambert said before the show that he wanted to break down that double standard barrier.
Lambert told CNN backstage after the “For Your Entertainment” performance that the hip-thrusts and the several seconds-long kiss with the keyboardist were not rehearsed but done “in the moment.” He said, “Adrenaline is a crazy, crazy feeling” and that “when you’re up there and all of the sudden you just have these feelings, this rush that comes over you.”
“I do feel like there’s a bit of a double standard in the entertainment community, on television, on radio,” Lambert told CNN. “I feel like women performers have been pushing the envelope, especially, for the past 20 years. And all of the sudden a male does it and everybody goes ‘Oh, we can’t show that on TV.’ For me, that’s a form of discrimination and a double standard. And that’s too bad.”
Adam Lambert, who is openly gay, may have crossed the line for some but there are just as many — or more — who found the performance provocative and exciting (like Perez Hilton). That his performance surprised and shocked more than a few goes without saying. But with all the condemnation and defending, the performance and the video have become a viral topic. And if it is one thing that has been learned over the years, controversy sells.
Adam Lambert’s AMA performance (and video) of “For Your Entertainment” has definitely become controversial. And the glam singer has thrown down the gauntlet. On his Twitter account, he wrote: “All hail freedom of expression and artistic integrity. Fans: I adore u.”
Was it sexy? Depends on who is asked. Did it break the double standard barrier? Doubtful, but it did not hurt to make the attempt, because, either way, Adam Lambert’s AMA performance video is worth seeing, if for just the sheer entertainment value of it. Defend it or condemn it, as far as promotional value is concerned (and the American Music Awards are nothing but a promotional event), the Adam Lambert AMA performance and video have done their job — become a matter of interest.