Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Welcome a new generation of hags!

Tonight, the two finalists were announced on "American Idol." Eighty-eight freakin' million votes were phoned in or texted by people with a lot of time on their hands and fervor in their hearts. Next week is the big sing-off for the crown.

On any other season of AI, this wouldn't have been a
noteworthy occasion. At all. Guaranteed some
country-western warbler or rock screamer or r&b boomer with gospel-music roots would've been in the finals. Not this year, though. Nuh-uh. This year, the stage will be taken by the exotic creature you see on the left -- but not, sad to say, quite the way he looks there. ("Idol" hasn't come that far!)

That's right, he. Adam Lambert: gorgeous gay man, sometimes drag queen, and musical-theater performer extraordinaire. As well as the most astonishing vocalist in the show's eight-season history (he has something like a zillion-octave range, expressive at all levels; perfect pitch; clear and even vibrato). And . . . he can dance!

Anyway, the top three contestants all made "triumphant" returns to their hometowns last week, camera crews in tow. Kris Allen went back to Somewhere, Arkansas. (Oh, the salacious fanfic that's cropped up involving him and Adam!) Danny Gokey went back to Milwaukee. (No, Jackson Spey wasn't in the crowd. Neither was I, although I was born and raised there, too.) And lovely Adam flew to San Diego.

It tickled me no end. Shrieking females run amok. Hordes of them, from the age of seven to seventy. Reaching for him, grasping at him. One even ripping off her halter top for him (clearly an exercise in futility if ever I saw one). Between giggles I said to JLA, "Poor guy probably hasn't had to endure so much estrogen since he was in the womb!" In spite of my amusement, as I watched this outpouring of adoration I couldn't help thinking what a very good thing it was.

When Adam Lambert becomes the next American Idol a week from today -- for there should be no "if" about it -- America will be idolizing a gay man. A man who's made no particular secret of his sexuality and has pictures of himself from pre-Idol days all over the Internet, including photographs of him in flamboyant costumes, sometimes kissing guys.

Maybe I'm making too big a deal of this. Many bloggers and columnists have said, essentially, "Eh, so what? Like anybody cares? This is the 21st century, and there've been plenty of queer celebrities in recent decades, especially in the music world." Yes, but how open were they? And did they ever get this kind of press? And were they associated with an iconic entertainment institution? More to the point, there's still plenty of gay bashing going on in this country -- verbal, physical, and political -- and maybe the well-deserved popularity of one individual can help change that.

I love this dude. I love his extraordinary talent and his easy, good-natured grace and his absolute comfort with himself. The only regrettable thing about the AI situation is that Lambert can't, I assume, declare himself to be gay and speak about it openly. The show likely has some "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But at least he's not bending over backwards to pretend he ain't no damned 'mo. (Hell, he even changed the phrase another girl to somebody else when he sang "Tracks of My Tears" for Motown week.)

Now I'll indulge myself in a bit of pettiness. To all those people who ever voted against Adam Lambert simply out of bigotry, and all those prayer groups that've been begging Jesus to rinse the sodomy out of Adam's soul and turn him into the wholesome chick-banger God obviously intended him to be . . .


Emeraldjaguar said...

I'm very curious to see how he does outside of AI. There have been other contestants in the past whom the AI fans just *loved*, but they all got dropped from their labels after one album. Including past AI winners.

I haven't watched the show in the last few season because I just couldn't listen to Paula talk anymore, but Adam is a total hottie. Dammit *sigh*

K. Z. Snow said...

The "sequel" should be interesting, Emmy. I haven't followed the show since Season 5, I think it was, when Taylor Hicks won. And his career pretty much tanked before it even got off the ground.

But Lambert has such an insane level of talent, it's hard to believe he won't go somewhere with it. And, yes, he's a hottie to boot!

Jeanne said...

As soon as I saw him during the auditions and yes, the dh and I are hooked, though initially we said not again for this season, I knew in my heart that this guy was finally going to break the invisible barrier.
Statistically, I *knew* the AI folk wanted a guy to win this season. Out of 7 previous ones, only three males have won. Ruben barely made a dent, Hicks is well Hicks, I think David Cook is pretty good, but they needed another guy.
Only other group not represented has been Latinos and with Allison Huerta, I was hoping...she'd at least make the final.
I have absolutely no fear that Adam will disappear like most of the other winners other than Carrie Underwood and clinging on Kelley Clarkson.
I was frankly astonished by the response to one or two performances. There was one that was so musical theater I thought sure Simon was going to say something.
All I know is Adam is an incredible artist whose training and dedication and self awareness made him far more mature than almost all the winners previously.
And he is one hottie!
Yeah, he was cracking up about the female adulation. There was a guy in his family/friends group who was adorable...wonder if he's Adam's??

K. Z. Snow said...

If you give him the stamp of approval, Jeanne, he must be a superb singer!

There's been some online speculation about that guy who sits with Adam's family. Most AI commenters seem to think it's his boyfriend. Don't know if he has any brothers or not.