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.