Despite a mostly forgettable singing performance at last night’s American Music Awards, the glam rocker did accomplish one thing: Getting people to discuss his sexuality. As if he needs to help the press do that.
From riding his male dancers, to making out with his (straight) male keyboardist Tommy Joe Ratliff, to simulating head with another dancer, Lambert certainly delivered plenty of talking points during his debut performance. And it might have completely negated Out magazine editor Aaron Hicklin’s argument that Lambert wasn’t “gay enough.”
Before ABC’s cameras (or censors) could cut to another shot, Adam had firmly planted his crotch in the face of a minion. A minute later, he was making out with his keyboardist. And again ABC ran to another shot.
So was the whole thing a carefully staged pop culture shock moment? Absolutely. “Adrenaline is crazy and sometimes things just happen,” Lambert told reporters after the show. ““We had this great dance number totally staged. It’s a sexy song about seduction and power and I was just doing the lyrics justice. My intention was not to try and create a controversy. But if a controversy ensues, then so be it.”
Okay, but did keyboardist Ratliff, of the band Mouthlike, know the kiss was coming? Supposedly not. “He just believes in the spirit of rock & roll, as do I. He’s a really cool open guy. There’s a quote from the movie Velvet Goldmine that we both get a kick out of: ‘Rock & roll is a prostitute — it should be tarted up.’ He believes in that the same way I do.”
Sounds like someone will be hearing from the Parents Television Council, eh?