Now that Adam Lambert’s made it official, it’s looking like the traditional media may move on to fretting over how his drug admissions will influence our children. A child of the sixties myself, you won’t find me concerned with that. Instead, I will revel in how much America loves their Idol runner up. Here are two takes on the Kris Allen/Adam Lambert bromance. Both were written prior to Lambert’s Rolling Stone admissions.

First, from Ken Tucker on Fresh Air :

[Adam Lambert] is a guy who knows his own inner David Bowie, his Lou Reed, his Elton John and his Better Midler. On Idol, Lambert was drastically rearranging songs, bending them to his will to power.

By contrast, the young man who eventually won, Kris Allen, fits a more conventional mode, a cross between a soft-voiced teen pop star and a sensitive singer-songwriter who, given the rules of Idol, wasn’t writing his own songs. He sang well, he’s ordinary-guy handsome and, above all, he’s not threatening or polarizing. He became, among all the finalists, the least objectionable choice, which is probably what won him the American Idol title.

When Kris Allen sang “No Boundaries,” it’s as though he’s completely hemmed in by it. By contrast, Adam Lambert is a fascinating mixture of characteristics: On Idol, he was unfailingly polite, frequently using time other contestants use to plug themselves to instead credit the show’s house band. Instead of quailing before the judges or sassing them back, Lambert looked each one in the eye with a warm smile and a delightful calmness, as if to say, “There’s no comment you can make that will dissuade me from what I want to do here, which is to make you question everything you think you know about music.” Which is also why, many weeks, the judges responded to an Adam Lambert performance with variations on, “I’m speechless” and “I don’t know what you just did but I love it.”

Me, I started thinking, “A gay Elvis Presley — this is exactly what America needs right now.” … The night Lambert lost, a friend immediately emailed me that this vote was the delayed red-state backlash to Barack Obama’s victory. He was joking — somewhat. It’s too bad that the one contestant who really could have done something with the title — expanded our notions of what a mass-audience, family-friendly TV idol could be — was denied that tantalizing opportunity. I’m sure Lambert will have some sort of career after his defeat. It’s just that I also believe it would have been a lot more interesting career if he was also spending the next year as the kind of American Idol this steamroller of a TV show was designed to crush.

A slightly different take on the match-up from An Unapproved Road:

I think [Kris] and Adam together will deserve some credit for having altered the cultural landscape. I’m well aware that the lion’s share of press has gone to Adam Lambert, not to mention the stratospheric numbers he’s generated on Google. Yet, if Kris hadn’t played the part he did, Adam’s story would have been quite different. And not nearly so powerful. …

I know next to nothing about Kris Allen’s non-musical life, except that he’s married, he calls himself Christian and he’s done missionary work across the world. I heard about the exchanges among the other contestants that made reference to what is supposedly “godly” and right in relationships, but Kris’s name wasn’t part of that. I don’t know what kind of Christianity he practises, or how he envisions his God. I do know this: he declares himself Christian to the television audience – i.e. to the world; and he freely, publicly, verbally, and especially non-verbally, loves Adam Lambert like a brother. …

It’s joyously evident that Kris has no qualms whatsoever about his trust in Adam, or about the message he’s sending to viewers. When they hugged, they hugged for real – there was none of the typical back-slapping not-too-close! hugs between men in public. To pick just one, there’s a telling moment in front of the press corps immediately after Kris’ win. Adam is patiently doing his post-episode 10-minute Q&A beside the Fox logo, when Kris comes around the corner into camera range and nearly tackles Adam with a broadside bear-hug. It’s spontaneous, genuine, and affectionate, for the world to see.

They’ve had each other’s backs. They’ve learned from each other, and they’ve advocated for each other. With and for each other they are respectful and generous. Open. Trusting. And loving.
Adam Lambert could not be happier for his friend, Kris Allen, American Idol 2009. And Kris Allen admires and celebrates the extraordinary gifts of his larger-than-life friend, Adam Lambert.

Kris Allen is my kind of Christian.

The latter via Andrew Sullivan. Here Adam’s rendition of Mad World:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUmzGl0zy4k

I’ll be buying his debut album in the fall. Kris Allen has also been signed by the same company. May we expect a duet? lambert_in_hollywood.jpg

JOE WINDISH, Technology Editor
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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • cheyennew

    Two well written articles. Mr. Andrew Sullivan, I concur. I am also a Christian, who knows that ‘all are sinners and fall short of the grace of God’. As my pastor always says, when I point my finger at you, there are three pointing right back at me. We are, indeed, to love one another.

  • Oh man I love that guy. What a sweetheart.

  • AustinRoth

    Adam is what rock is supposed to about – breaking barriers, edgy, and unafraid to speak his mind, but of course in a ‘media-savvy’ manner. Granted, he played it smart and didn’t ‘out’ himself during the competition, but that doesn’t change anything. Rock stars need to pay attention to succeeding, too.

    Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote “Eight Days a Week” with the intent of making money for a new swimming pool for John’s house!

  • ewl

    I am a republican who voted for McCain…I voted for Adam all four hours! So don’t assume this is a red state blue state thing. I am obsessed with Adam, but I’m still fiscally conservative 🙂

  • SAKIMOTO

    I am an old lady who had chills when Adam sang. go baby!

  • denise61

    Adam Lambert is a beautiful soul, fabulous singer and artist. He has changed my life for the better. I am 48 year old mom. I graduated in 1979 and enjoyed Queen and Kiss and Aerosmith. Over the years I have fell into this dulldrum life of going to work everyday and going through the motions of each and every day like most americans. I have 2 children around Adam’s age and I mostly listened to Christain radio. Nothing wrong with that at all. God is a big part of my life. When I seen Adam for the first time at his audition when he sang a queen song I thought to myself, WOW this guy is good. Then Hollywood week and then top 36 and then the song satisfaction. Through the weeks I could not get enough of him. All those songs and artists that I loved so much in my high school days came rushing back and gave me my spunk back. I enjoy life so much more now because of Adam. I bought me a Ipod and have downloaded everything possible from itunes of Adam. I have started excersizing to his music and have lost 18 pounds already. I listen to him in my car everyday and I am anxiously waiting for his CD in the fall. And all this junk that’s out there about his sexuality is his business. It does not change who he is and what he means to all of us Glamberts. The few haters out there need to chill. Your just plain missing out. Adam if you ever read this, I thank you so much for trying out for idol and sharing your beautiful soul with the world. I have a deep respect for you and my daughter and i will be at the idol tour in august in St. Louis. I hope some way that I can shake your hand and thank you myself in person. I love you very much!!

  • DeedleDee

    Nice article. I’m a Christian woman who thinks openly and acceptingly. It’s nice to know there are others out there!

    I love Adam and Kris both.