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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 8


Adam Lambert claims 'no clue' act would be controversial but not sorry

By Christopher Rocchio, 11/25/2009 

Adam Lambert claims he had "no clue" that his performance during Sunday night's live American Music Awards broadcast on ABC would cause so much controversy, but is reiterating previous comments that he's not sorry for it.

"I was really looking forward to it. I worked really hard on it with my dancers and my band for about two weeks putting that together. I admit, I did get carried away. But I don't see anything wrong with it," said Lambert during a Wednesday appearance on CBS' The Early Show, in which he was interviewed by Maggie Rodriguez.

"I do see how people got offended, and that was not my intention. My intention was just to interpret the lyrics of my song and have a good time up there."

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.

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.

Lambert also fondled a female dancer's crotch, made-out with a male keyboardist, and grabbed his own crotch during the performance.

Rodriguez asked Lambert if he planned those "sexually-charged moves."

"Those kind of came from a more of an impromptu place. No, they were not rehearsed," he replied. "So I think ABC was taken a little by surprise. That wasn't my intention -- I wasn't being sneaky -- it just got the most of me."

Rodriguez then pointed out that the performance was on broadcast network television and there were a lot of families watching.

"When I got up on stage I don't think about things like, 'Oh, this is network television, what time, what children are watching.' I was just in the moment," he explained.

"I suppose I can understand why they were upset. Honestly, it didn't cross my mind children [would be watching]. It was 11 o'clock, it was a nighttime show, I was there in the audience of mostly adults."

Since he has a background in theater, Lambert added that sometimes he forgets he's on camera.

"I'm kind of programmed to look at the live audience and that's where I come from," he said.

"So I was looking out into the crowd and saw some of my favorite pop stars and thought, 'I want to let loose.' It just kind of got the best of me. I had a great time. Unfortunately there were people upset, by I think there were people that really enjoyed it. So like Idol, I guess I have a tendency to divide people.  Apples and oranges, you either like it or you don't."

Lambert was then asked point-blank by Rodriguez whether or not he felt an apology would be appropriate.

"I think it's up to the parents to discern what their children are watching on television," he answered before reiterating his previous comments that he feels there was some other "very adult material" during the AMA broadcast from performers such as Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson and Eminem.

"I'm not using it as an excuse. I'm just saying it's up to the parent -- it was almost 11 o'clock at night. If they're concerned with certain material, maybe Tivo it and view it before your small child watches it. I'm not a babysitter; I'm a performer."

Lambert also reiterated previous comments that he feels the public backlash is due to a "double standard."

"I believe there's a double standard because if it had been a female pop performer doing the moves that were on the stage, I don't think there would be nearly as much of an outrage at all," he said.

"Do you think it's because you're male or do you think it's because you're gay?" asked Rodriguez.

"Both," he answered.  "I think it's a double whammy. I think it's because I'm a gay male, and I think people haven't seen that before."

When asked if, in hindsight, he would do anything differently with the performance Lambert said he "would sing it a little bit better."

"The adrenaline took such hold of me that I went back and reviewed it and was like, 'Well it wasn't my best vocal performance.' No one's perfect," he said with a laugh.

"I'm obviously learning. This was my first performance post-Idol on television. The song, lyrically, is sexual. I just was performing the lyrics of my song. I think in the future, I will probably make a little more of an effort to stay consistent with what I do during rehearsal to what I do during the show. That's something I'm learning now. That way if anybody has any problems with what I'm doing they can explore it during rehearsal."

Lambert also expressed hope that his image isn't tarnished due to the performance.

"I hope that people don't put me into a box and say, 'Oh, he's nasty and he's going to be that way all the time,'" he said. "That was one performance."

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