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So Lady Gaga Was Pretty Great at the AMAs. And Adam Lambert Was Pretty Terrible

There were no wardrobe malfunctions for Janet Jackson last night. Which is a shame, because throughout her entire seven-minute performance, we yearned for her to lose the boxy brown pantsuit-from-the-future. It didn’t happen, but the medley of “If,” “Miss You Much,” “Make Me,” and “Together Again” were in there. But how did Ms. Whitney Houston — and the rest of this season’s rotating cast of pop talent, including Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga — do?

Interestingly, Whitney was introduced by Samuel L. Jackson, the same man who introduced her performance at Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 10, 2001.

It was a little shaky at times, but we’re assuming that’s par for the course in her live performances moving forward. But damn, she looks good.

But that wasn’t all the diva-dom in store last night. ‘Cause Glambert was there!

We’ve seen this Adam Lambert look before. But somehow his first public performance was, uh, worse than anything we ever saw on Idol. And while we must admit we liked the “guys on leashes” thing, we can’t help but wonder, How did this go so badly? (And no, it wasn’t his decision to kiss a male keyboardist, nor “give head” to a male dancer.)

Meanwhile, Jennifer Lopez made a lackluster attempt to return to pop culture. Her new song “Louboutins,” and her boxing ring motif, will all be forgotten for this: she fell on her ass. Ouch. We miss old J. Lo. The one from the block.

Rather than deliver the more popular “She Wolf,” Shakira hot-stepped her way through “Give It Up to Me,” which felt more “Rhythm Nation” than anything Janet did. Too bad, because there goes a missed opportunity to gyrate inside a cage in front of millions of viewers.

And don’t forget, the Black Eyed Peas want the gay fans! Which explains, uh, all the sharp objects?

And last but not least, Lady Gaga in a nude body suit gave “Bad Romance” a try on a live audience. We liked it! And while her second song, the “Speechless” ballad number, was pretty blah, what’s lovely about Ms. Gaga is that it’s hard to remember each of her individual performances — not because they’re all forgettable, but because they’re all so unique, that it’s hard to pick out just one that stands apart. (Well, that bloody MTV one does, but for all the wrong reasons.) The only thing we remember for all of The Gaga’s performances? The way her legs seem to move independently of her body. And her joints.