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During the closing act, the openly gay singer simulated sex on stage with a back-up dancer and kissed a male musician on the mouth. Lambert told US network CNN that the kiss was "in the moment". ABC said the number of complaints was "moderate". The show's producers have declined to comment. Lambert, who performed his debut single For Your Entertainment, said that if people had been upset by his performance that it is a "form of discrimination and it's too bad". He added: "I had fun, my dancers had fun, the audience that was in the Nokia [Theatre] had fun. "Anybody else who was watching it and enjoying it, thank you for being entertained." 'Tasteless'The Parents Television Council (PTC), a media pressure group which campaigns against "indecent" content on US television, posted a statement on its website calling the show "tasteless" and "vulgar". President Timothy Winter said members were "outraged". He added: "They just can't believe the nature of the content, the explicit nature, and how much graphic content there was." Lambert's kiss recalled the MTV Video Music Awards moment in 2003 when Madonna and Britney Spears briefly kissed on stage. And in 2004, Janet Jackson exposed her right breast during the Super Bowl half-time show. The "wardrobe malfunction" prompted more than 500,000 complaints.
Have you been following the Adam Lambert controversy this week? If not, let me fill you in. Lambert, the runner-up in season eight of American Idol, performed at the American music awards on Sunday and sparked almost 1,500 complaints, apparently because his routine involved planting a kiss on another man. While America's Parents Television Council were quick to label the stunt "indecent", Lambert initially brushed off the criticisms, telling Rolling Stone magazine: "Female performers have been doing this for years – pushing the envelope about sexuality – and the minute a man does it everybody freaks out." Now it seems the singer, nicknamed Glambert, has had a scheduled performance on Good Morning America cancelled because the show's network, ABC, is "concerned about airing a concert similar to that of Sunday night's so early in the morning". So are the complaints homophobic or justified?My immediate reaction was that this is a case of double standards, as the articles I read highlighted the gay kiss as the cause of complaint. Back in 2003, Britney Spears, Madonna and Christina Aguilera stuck their tongues in each other's mouths at the MTV awards in the name of entertainment. Some were shocked, but most rolled their eyes, and headlines using phrases such as "steamy kisses" and "cheeks blush" conveyed the response that Madonna et al knew they would be stirring up. Furthermore, when CBS re-broadcast Lambert's kiss they blurred out the image of his male partner, but then showed the Madonna and Britney kiss unedited. So, women kissing women is fine, but when two men kiss it's cause for 1,500 people to get dialling?Well, not quite. Once I'd actually watched the performance, it became clear why an early morning programme would be wary of giving Lambert airtime. Occupying a vast stage, Lambert chose to convey the message of his song by simulating oral sex, cavorting in bondage gear and dragging two dancers across the stage on a leash. Hardly surprising considering his song, For Your Entertainment, features the lines, "Baby, don't be afraid. I'm a hurt 'ya real good", and the distinctly provocative, "I told you I'm a hold ya down until you're amazed". Lambert is obviously keen to make some kind of statement, to liberate himself from the banality of American Idol and underline his own identity by pushing his sexuality to the fore. Instead of shying away from the threat that homophobia may wield over record sales, Lambert is flaunting it to the extreme.My issue, however, isn't with the kiss but with the way Lambert has chosen to present his sexuality, particularly in his lyrics. Lambert's idea of sex is imbued with aggression. It is forceful and sneering and has no issue with holding someone down until they acquiesce. What depresses me is that the 27-year-old singer is just the latest pop star for whom sexuality and violence have become entwined. Rihanna's publicity campaign for her current album, Rated R, is one recent big-name example, where the singer can be seen barely wearing a barbed-wire dress. This might be her way of contexualising what happened to her in a way that presents her as in control, but it's still a disturbing set of images to project to your audience.Those behind the documentary Dreamworlds 3 – Desire, Sex and Power in Music Video cite numerous examples of this trend in mainstream pop videos, including one in which Justin Timberlake jumps on an unsuspecting woman after hiding in her hotel room and throws her against the wall. The woman initially resists but then succumbs to Timberlake's advances, presumably because being attacked by a stranger in your hotel room is OK if that person is an attractive and famous singer.The message being played out again and again, most recently in Lambert's case, is that sex is aggressive. It is about a dominator and a victim, not two willing participants, and more often than not it's the women who find themselves in the position of being held down and jumped on. In light of this, Lambert's dry and ultimately staged gay kiss is far from outrageous, it's the rest of his performance and his lyrics that are unsettling. Entertainment Weekly's Michael Slezac is right when he says it "felt less like a genuine expression of his high-octane sexuality and more like a carefully planned stab at dominating the post-AMA blogosphere/water-cooler discussion". But for millions of teenagers interested in Lambert's music it sets a dangerous precedent.
Smoochgate: Adam Lambert, America's new enemy!After his controversial performance at the recent American Music Awards, news and talk shows have been fuelling the fire against Idol runner up Adam Lambert. The American Idol rocker stole the show on Monday (23.11.2009) when he French-ed a male keyboardist (who is straight, by the way) and simulated oral sex among other racy things while performing his debut single ‘For Your Entertainment’ on stage. The response? ABC has received 1,500 complaints up to date, perhaps prompting them to cancel his appearance on Good Morning America. In response ABC cancelled Lambert's scheduled mini concert on ‘Good Morning America’, the week of his album's release.Speaking to Access Hollywood, an ABC News spokesperson said: "Given his controversial live performance on the AMAs we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning."Lambert's response to Smoochgate? Speaking in an interview on The Early Show, he pointed out that Janet Jackson too grabbed the crouch of a male dancer that night, adding, "I didn't hear one peep about that...". He also stated that he believed most of the complaints came in because he is, "a gay male," admitting that if there was one thing he'd change, "I would sing it a little bit better!"
The songs I have heard Adam sing are not what I believe will sell. He has a fantastic voice and should be true to his self. Sorry still a David Cook fan through and through.
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