Monday, 15 June 2009
Adam Comes Out (and also answers the Gay Question)
It's now become quite a distant memory, but I think Adam considered the consequences beforehand and made a concious decision, perhaps even rehearsed his reaction for when he didn't win. After much thought, I can't see how he could've handled it better. His broad freckled shoulders carried the weight of many projected hopes and dreams. He did us all a favour by lifting us and making us focus on the positive, even if he was hurting on the inside. His optimism carried us through the dejection. Can you imagine how distraught his fans would have been if he openly displayed his disappointment? Fandom manifests itself in some extreme incarnations and his fans are most rabid. It's not beyond reason that lives may even have been at stake so he probably felt some responsibility to hold them up.
I can completely understand all the reasons for keeping up his happy appearance with the result. Perhaps I just felt uneasy that he could hide any negative emotions so well, presenting a calculated exterior and proving what a good actor he is in his ability to dupe. That's why I felt somewhat relieved and pleased when his snark emerged. It made him seem more real, more believable and it allowed me to reconcile Nice Guy with Showman.
There had been early indicators of Adam's wicked and sarcastic side from various sources. From his old MySpace profile, he listed shows such as Weeds, Dexter, Six Feet Under, The Office and Nip/Tuck amongst his favourites. I also love these shows for their dark humour. There were all his crazy friends with all their hilariously far-out comments that they left him. Then there were Eber's wry comments about Adam not really liking sports, said with a smirk. I interpreted it as his amusement of skirting around the subject of Adam's sexual orientation on the show. And let's not forget Negative Neil whose acerbic blog is built from snark.
There were some hints during the show when Adam responded to criticism from Simon. There was his confident 'I can' during Hollywood week, the shrugging after Satisfaction to the remark about parts being terrible, and he just managed to check himself and bite his tongue after RoF. The Rocky Horror comment he cleverly chewed up, twisted and spat back with a sweet smile as his riposte, and he brushed off the Phantom of the Opera criticism. There was also the glee at singing or sneaking in smutty lyrics such as his 'seven inches in the midday sun', 'do what you do down on me', and his 'playing with the boys all night'. Then there was the encounter with the TMZ pap who he confronted head-on and swiftly dealt with by slapping everything back at the biatch to make him feel awkward.
It was only after Adam got out of the Idol bubble that I felt we got to see him unshackled and free from worrying about staying on the show. We saw the slightly sniggery way of dealing with questions about the cheesefest that is No Boundaries. After a few days of keeping up appearances, the snark began to emerge, first in his retort towards Clay Aiken's bitching, then his hilarious reference to the pink elephant, his swearing at Hair, his 'liking the top' double entendre and then his Idolatry interview where he bit back at Gene Simmons's comment about his voice. And of course we have the very frank interview with Rolling Stone and his bi-curious teasing during the 20/20 interview.
I admired the way Adam bitchslapped Clay Aiken after his scathing criticism. There was no resorting to crude insults or outright rudeness, just a snap putting him back into his place. I loved the snarky comment about helping him out, which was probably even more infuriating because he couldn't really dispute what Adam said as it actually rang true. I'm guessing Adam has little respect for the way he lied about his sexuality from the Rolling Stone article. In those early post-Idol interviews, the best ones seemed to be where the interviewer went in with the assumption that he was gay and didn't try to find some convoluted way of trying to trip him up and get it out of him. I thought Adam seemed most natural in the Idolatry one, which was helped by him and Michael Slezak understanding each other's humour. Much of what he said on it he would not have said during AI, like sticking up for RoF, regarding dissing country music as 'bull' and telling people to 'buy the other guy's record' if they don't understand his trying to shake up Idol. And I thought they actually talked quite openly about Adam's sexuality. His swipe back at Gene Simmons was pure genius and was a wonderful demonstration of snark. If not for Slezak cracking up, the irony would probably have shot over the heads of many. If quoted in print, there was nothing incriminating, but the subtext for anyone paying attention was that Simmons's boots were the best thing about him because in his glass house his own singing is rubbish and he only pretended to play guitar. From his reaction to criticism on Idol, you may have been led to believe that Adam would take it quietly, but he's made it clear straight away that he would be a formidable adversary, taking no shit from anyone. Good on him.
Some other things that have made me laugh are his mock scolding of people pretending to be him, his stand mid-song against hecklers after simulating masturbation, his deadpan Best Week Ever appearance, and his wanting to play Judas alongside Kris's Jesus.
I like the fact that Adam is slightly more brazen than he was during the AI run and I can finally see why he thinks he lacks a filter. I'll be covering my thoughts on the Rolling Stone article in a different post but I just want to end by highlighting one of Adam's qualities that will serve him extremely well in the future, and that is his ability to build a rapport with anyone. You often see him leading others to mirror his body language. In interviews, he manages to adapt himself, setting the appropriate tone for the situation and interviewer. There were huge differences between his formal but charming manner on 20/20 to the snark on Idolatry, to the surreal comedy of the Best Week Ever interview to his audacious turn on Rolling Stone. He's been networking for years and one of his greatest skills is knowing how to work people. Before they know it, he's left them in a puff of glitter, standing there semi-naked, confused and wondering what the hell just happened after he cheekily charmed the pants off them without their knowledge because they were too busy entranced by him. I'm glad to see that other facets of Adam are unfolding and no longer being kept under wraps because they're such fun and add extra colour to this already fascinating chameleon.