Adam Lambert's AMA (or S&M?) Performance

American Idol alum gets racy at last night's American Music Awards

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Awards shows are typically a platform for new and seasoned artists to try to jump-start record sales with a stellar live performance. Such was the case last night when season eight American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert ended the American Music Awards show with a risqué staging of his new single, "For Your Entertainment." Despite ABC's best efforts to cut away from the borderline S&M choreography, the broadcast showed Lambert surrounded by leather-clad dancers writhing on the floor, a mock fellatio episode and an aggressive makeout session between the singer and a male band member. Here's the number:

As expected (and probably intended), the performance has entertainment bloggers in an uproar. Here's what they're saying:
  • Contrived says Entertainment Weekly's Michael Slezack. "The bottom line is that Adam's AMA performance felt less like a genuine expression of his high-octane sexuality (so playfully erotic when he fondled the mic stand during "Whole Lotta Love" this summer), and more like a carefully planned stab at dominating the post-AMA blogosphere/water-cooler discussion."
  • Tired, says Mediaite's Rachel Sklar. Comparing and contrasting Lady GaGa's edgy performance to Lamberts, she says that Lambert fell flat. "It felt a little like a starlet timing her crotch shot just so for the paprazzi. S&M-garbed dancers and that already-infamous head-grab (yes, that one) are not exactly subtle. Or, really, even that edgy; crude gestures are nothing new to rock music, which is part of the in-your-face legacy that Lambert has inherited. Like Gaga, he wore rather than pushed the envelope; he just didn't wear it well."
  • Thoughtless says Gawker's Azaria Jagger. Recapping the highlights of Lambert's boy-on-boy gesturing, Jagger says, "Lambert's act reminds me of Justin Timberlake ripping off Janet Jackson's bra, a crude and generally thoughtless depiction of male sexual energy."
  • Plain Bad Music says conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. "I don't care about Adam Lambert's sexuality. What he did at the American Music Awards was...certainly not 'music' or 'entertainment.' It sounded like kittens being boiled in hot oil while a kindergarten class pounded on '80s synthesizers and a Rock Band drum set."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.