Adam – Full Circle

Adam used that phrase last December, when he headlined one of his two homecoming GNT concerts in the Music Box theater, where he’d performed years before.

To me, as to many of us, these last few weeks have seemed like full circle moments in Adam’s career, rewriting low points of 2009 – not erasing them, but maybe getting past them. Which is always a good thing.

To those of us who discovered Adam on American Idol, the first true low point was when he lost. It was disappointing and, to his fans, surprising.

But Adam himself focused on the facts that he made it to the finals, that he believed Kris deserved to win and that he’d gotten to sing with two iconic bands, one of which he’d idolized his entire life. Queen.

In retrospect, of course, not winning did not hurt him at all. In fact, he probably got more notice because everyone expected him to win, and the only real difference was that he didn’t headline the Idol concerts. But at the time, his singing with Queen and Kiss were the best part of that night.

Two weeks ago, Adam sang with Queen again, on the EMA stage in Belfast. And instead of sharing that moment with other artists – a line in a medley, or part of a song, or a duet as he’d done on Idol – he fronted Queen all by himself, just as the rumors had said two and a half years ago.

And he did so spectacularly and in front of the whole planet, singing with legends as if he belonged while never losing sight of the fact that he was merely substituting for the man who should have been there.

At that moment, he was a champion, and we all saw that he always was one.

The next low point should have been a high – he was featured in the Out 100. He had an amazing, open interview, and a place on the cover. Even an artist who wanted to be known  for something beyond his sexuality, this was an achievement.

And the editorial took it all away, implying that Adam was, at best, not in control of his publicity, or trying to minimize his gayness (pointing to the Details shoot, where he posed with a near-nude woman, as evidence).

Already stinging from a single no one was playing and the end of a romance killed by his celebrity, this editorial hurt – hurt enough for Adam to lash out with Twitter. Adam knows that beds of roses have thorns, but this must have felt like betrayal.

Two years later, older and wiser, and able to be gay and a singer, not just a gay singer, he sat down with that same editor, featured in that same issue and it was as it should have been.

Having a strong, happy relationship helped, I’m sure.

But there was a final circle to be closed. In 2009, he closed another award show, as his debut as an artist. And it all went wrong. He hurt from the editorial, he knew this was the end of the song, and he was nervous because you only debut once.

He sang off-key, the song is difficult live, he had a complex routine and he fell. He’d also seen act after act pushing the envelope.

And something happened that culminated in his kissing a man on television.

And it felt like he’d ruined his career right then.

He hadn’t, but the flurry of canceled appearances sure felt that way. And he had a large drop in sales after a terrific first week, too.

He survived. He went on to two hit songs, mentoring on Idol, a world-wide headlining tour, a Grammy nomination and love. He more than survived.

And to prove it, he walked onto the AMA stage last night in most of the same suit to the sound of applause. And the circle was completed. Maybe next year he’ll perform from his new album, even win something, but that will be its own thing.

And with this, and even with an extra problem, the road to Trespassing seems smooth and right, no baggage from the past its way.


About mamadeb

I'm a devoted fan of Adam Lambert, but also of cooking, knitting, science fiction and pretty anything pop culture. I'm @_mamadeb on Twitter.
This entry was posted in Adam Lambert, American Idol and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Adam – Full Circle

  1. robin says:

    Wonderfully written !! and spot on !!

  2. Love this! Tweeted earlier this morning about another full-circle moment for Adam and you fleshed it all out brilliantly. It DOES feel as if we all have come full circle and now we can all move onward and upward. No rehashing the past. No baggage. Eyes on the prize.

  3. Audsidol says:

    I like especially the idea that Adam’s 2nd era will now be it’s own thing. It’s so rare to get the opportunity to revisit former issues and resolve them making room for a fresh start. Yet another example of Adam’s unique stardom, so fulfilling.

  4. Jon Baker says:

    More of your usual nice (strong, warm, supportive) writing.

    One problem: You write, “the AMA stage last night in most of the same suit.” The same suit as *what*? I reread the essay twice, and used Ctrl-F, and saw no other mention of a suit. If you use the “same” suit at the denouement, it implies that you must have put it on the mantelpiece in Ch. 2.

  5. CAROL says:

    Great article and right to the point. ADAM deserves a second chance. He works hard, and runs into road blocks constantly, but never gives up. Next year will be performing at AMA. New album, new single on the way. “TRESPASSING”.

    • mamadeb says:

      Adam doesn’t need a second chance – he did just fine with his first one, as it turns out. But it’s good he has closure on the first era before embarking on the second.

  6. DeborahRose says:

    Adam is smart, talented, humble, yet bold. He is mature. Did I mention gorgeous and an incredible role-model, because he is real. May he go on to every success he deserves. I am one avid fan who will continue to support him. I buy the music, I attend the concerts, I buy the magazines with him on the cover. Oh, and did I mention I have the Eye of Horus on my car?

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