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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8

ABC cancels Adam Lambert's 'GMA' appearance, former 'Idol' not sorry

By Christopher Rocchio, 11/24/2009 

ABC has decided to cancel Adam Lambert's scheduled appearance on Wednesday's Good Morning America after the American Idol eighth-season runner-up sparked controversy with his performance at the conclusion of Sunday night's live American Music Awards broadcast on the network.

"Given his controversial live performance on the AMAs we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning," an ABC News spokesperson told Access Hollywood.

During the S&M-themed AMA performance of his debut single "For Your Entertainment," which aired at the conclusion of the three-hour broadcast, Lambert grinded, groped and danced with half-naked men and women -- several of whom were decked out in bondage gear.

"Obviously, I respect their decision," said Lambert about his Good Morning America cancellation during a Tuesday appearance on Idol host Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show.

"They've got to do what they've got to do. It's too bad. I think that there were a lot of fans that were excited to come see me at the Hudson Theater here in New York. So I think that's probably kind of disappointing for them and I feel bad about that. But I don't feel like I owe anybody an apology for anything."

Lambert added that when he took the stage it was "late-night TV" and he did something that "female performers have been doing for years."

"It's no different, it's just the fact that I'm me and it's a little different for people," he told Seacrest. "It's really not that big of a deal."

"Do you think there's a double standard?" asked Seacrest.

"I do think there's a slight double standard, yeah," replied Lambert. "I think we've seen female pop performers doing extremely sexual routines for years. All of a sudden a guy does it and it's crazy."

However Lambert appeared to later contradict his "late-night TV" explanation when Seacrest asked him if he would have "done the same act" if his performance had taken place during the AMA broadcast's first hour.

"I wasn't really thinking about it that way to be honest with you," said Lambert. "I got up on stage and just kind of had a good time. The spirit of rock and roll is alive and well."

Lambert said he feels ABC "probably felt a lot of pressure coming at them from certain people that weren't happy about it," hence the Good Morning America cancellation.

"I respect their decision," he reiterated. "I don't necessarily agree with it."

Seacrest then asked Lambert how he would respond to parents who thought the routine was "too intense" for their children.

"Sorry -- and I don't mean sorry as an apology -- I mean it more of a, 'Well, it's that late. I'm not a babysitter. I'm a performer,'" he responded, adding he feels there's a "double standard because there were other things on that stage that night that were just as inappropriate in other acts."

"I think Janet Jackson's performance had a hand grab of the crotch at one point. I think in Rihanna's performance there were rifles on stage. I think Lady Gaga's performance she was smashing whiskey bottles on her piano. I think Eminem's performance mentioned that Slim Shady has 17 rapes under his belt. I don't have any problem with any of that. I think it's great. I think it's all entertainment."

Lambert said all of the things he had just listed were "pushing the envelope," but were also "questionable."

"I have one move with a male dancer that's tongue-in-cheek and on the fly -- literally," he said. "Honestly, it's really not that big of a deal. I think a mountain has been made out of a molehill."

At one point in the routine, Lambert held a leash attached to a male dancer wearing bondage gear and used it to pull the dancer towards him. 

Lambert then grabbed the back of the dancer's head and shoved the dancer's face in his crotch, simulating a sexual act and causing ABC to cut to an overhead shot of the studio audience during the live East Coast broadcast.

"It's choreography," he told Seacrest of the move. "We were dancing."

"Was that planned choreography?" asked Seacrest.

"The sexuality of it kind of got a little more extreme when I got on stage. I think the adrenaline kind of took me over and I admit and I'm proud of the fact that I did get a little carried away," replied Lambert.  "But I had a good time and was merely interpreting the lyrics of my song."

Lambert formally confirmed he was gay in a June Rolling Stone cover story interview after he finished as the runner-up to Kris Allen during American Idol's eighth-season finale.

"Is it something that you would have done on American Idol?" asked Seacrest.

"Umm... No," replied Lambert, "because I wasn't performing any songs of that subject matter on American Idol... I'm a sexual person. Maybe people did not see that on American Idol. But now they do."

Lambert was scheduled to perform pre-taped during CBS' The Early Show broadcast on Wednesday morning, however Access Hollywood reported that performance will now happen live and also feature Lambert discussing "his recent controversial American Music Awards performance."

Lambert will not perform "For Your Entertainment" as one of his two The Early Show songs, according to Access Hollywood.

In addition, Lambert pre-taped a performance for the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday that will air on Wednesday night's broadcast, Access Hollywood reported, adding he's also scheduled to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show's December 1 episode.

While Parents Television Council president Tim Winter told Access Hollywood that Lambert "chose to treat American families to simulated oral sex and other demeaning behavior" during his AMA performance, the organization's public policy director added "it's a little bit unfortunate" that Lambert's Good Morning America performance was canceled.

"This is not a personal crusade against Adam Lambert," Dan Isett told Access Hollywood.

"The idea that he should be scrubbed from TV completely is not where we're going.  It may be a bit of an overreaction on ABC's part. The important thing is that networks have the easy ability to air on a delay to prevent this sort of thing."

Adam Lambert's racy American Music Awards performance cost him a gig on "Good Morning America," but he will perform live instead on ABC's morning rivals at CBS.

Lambert was to sing Wednesday on "GMA," but the network said Tuesday it was canceling the openly gay singer because "we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning."

While singing his new song, "For Your Entertainment," at the awards program on Sunday, Lambert kissed a male keyboardist, fondled a dancer and had another dancer briefly stuff his face in Lambert's crotch. The performance prompted many complaints to ABC, and the network cut out the brief oral sex simulation for its West Coast broadcasts.

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