Last night were the American Music Awards. Which are sort of like the Grammys, but even less important, putting them somewhere between the Cable Ace Awards and the World’s Best Grandma on the scale of “trophies that don’t mean anything.” But any excuse for live performances is A-OK by us, especially when that excuse includes the first televised live performance by Adam Lambert since his single “For Your Entertainment” debuted. And Lambert was ready: Before a single note came out of his 24K-Gold mouth, even his hair seemed on the edge of its scalp-seat. The spikes on his tasteful shoulderpad quivered with anticipation.
Then, it began. And what slowly unfolded in front of our eyes seemed less techno dance number from Mars and more uncensored deleted scene from Eyes Wide Shut. It was like the Cunnilinling Brothers Circus rolled into town, and everyone in the audience was given a bag of circus penis. (Too many sexual circus puns? Totally.) And Adam was there at the helm, the Whorecerer’s Apprentice controlling these puppets with literal harnesses.
Things you never thought you’d see on ABC: Lambert pulling a man on a leash, grinding his crotch into another man’s face, grinding his face into another man’s face, snapping a dancer’s leotard directly back into her v-crack, a painful looking stop, drop and roll. These, ladies and gentlemen, were the highlights, and the effect was less sexual than it was hilarious. You couldn’t help but laugh: The entire thing was so effing unbelievable. Which, one can guess, was the point.
Now, of course, the downside: If you think taking place in a cross-country orgy is tiring, try doing it while singing a robotic dance tune. What we learned, folks, is that it is damn near impossible, as even Lambert, who we know has a God-given vocal gift, had trouble pulling it off. Then again, have you ever tried singing while a person’s face was in your crotch? We have, and allow us to assure you, “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” sounds much better when you can really focus on the material at hand. Singing while aroused is the equivalent of operating heavy machinery while medicated: It’s a risk, and someone might die, but at least the job’s getting done.
Was this Adam’s finest performance? No, it wasn’t. Was it his most outrageous? Yes, by far. We know the guy has talent off the charts, and much of his album speaks for itself, so in a way this AMA performance was exactly the right move. Not his best vocally, but entertaining and confusing and funny and over-the-top and perhaps distasteful… exactly what will get people talking and keep Lambert culturally relevant, surviving past the usual expiration date for Idol graduates.
In conclusion, Lambert will have many more opportunities to fine tune his over-the-topness to give us that exact mix of raw sexuality and musical expertise that propelled him to the top of the Idol pack. The good news is, knowing that Lambert has a pretty great sense of humor, he’s probably enjoying this post-performance hoopla more than you think. And the very good news is: We’ll be chatting with Adam this week (albeit for around 120 seconds, but still) as he stops by MTV to promote his new album. Now, we’re just trying to figure out exactly how much vodka we’ll need to feed him to get a live reenactment of last night’s carnal cruise.
Here’s the performance. What did you think?