Adam Lambert: Loud, yes. Cagey and coy about the personal questions? Maybe not.
This ABC News piece about current American Idol front-runner Adam Lambert has perhaps the most unintentionally hilarious opener I've seen in the recent entertainment press, all under the headline, "Adam Lambert: America's First Gay 'Idol'?" and the subhead, "'American Idol's' Adam Lambert Leads Competition, Keeps Coy About Sexuality."
There's the eyeliner. There's the YouTube video in which he declares kissing girls is "not necessarily" his preference. There are the Web photos of him making out with guys.
Wait, he...wears eyeliner? Why, that is a powerful clue!
Why "coy" is not the right descriptor for this particular young man, after the jump...
For those who haven't been watching Idol this year, Lambert is...well, it's hard to explain. Here he is on last night's show, singing "Born To Be Wild." He's one of the most intensely theatrical, over-the-top contestants the show has ever had. He's also very polarizing: people tend to either love this stuff or hate it.
The gist of the piece is that Lambert looks like the odds-on winner, now grabbing most of the judges' most enthusiastic praise and key endorsements from guest judges like Smokey Robinson. And if he wins, he'll be the first gay winner of American Idol, as far as we know. Or maybe we don't know, since the writer alleges that he has been "coy" about his sexuality.
(Part of the spin in this particular article is that widespread discussion of Lambert's sexuality has not hurt him, "signaling a shift from the moral scrutiny once piled on Idol contestants." Isn't a more interesting question whether Idol viewers are as judgmental as ever, but a critical mass of them simply don't care about this?)
While not a fan of Lambert's singing (it's too screechy for my tastes), I find myself awfully sympathetic to his position when someone claims he's being particularly cagey about all this. After the public confirmation that yes, those photos depict him tongue-kissing men? After the decision to alter song lyrics so the love song he's singing doesn't appear to be directed at a woman?
Okay, it's neither the "Yes, I'm Gay" cover of People nor some kind of spirited denial (and what kind of message would that send?). But he's not employing any particularly aggressive subterfuge, either.
In fact his behavior seems less than usually coy to me, particularly in the context of American Idol, in which all the contestants are always under close supervision in dealing with the press — and in which "It's really not