Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Back Down to Earth

Despite seeming quite upbeat on CBS, it seems that Adam has done plenty of self-reflection since then in a really difficult week. It's disheartening to know that he's feeling the pressure and as a result of that, has had to respond and back down somewhat. He tweeted about taking things in a different direction in the aftermath of the AMA controversy. I really hope that it doesn't mean he'll be too cautious and over-think everything he does in future, because it's his subversive streak and his spontaneity — which makes every performance unique — that are the very things that add the passion to my fandom. Here is his interview on Ellen:

Again, Adam looked great, smart but very understated with minimal makeup, which seemed to distance him from AMA Adam. He wore a brown leather jacket that had the cut of the WATC one without the embellishments, dark shirt, black trousers and gold tie. This look seemed to say that this was Adam, the real, bare human being rather than the fiercely sexual rockstar performer.

From the interview, I think Adam has analysed everything to death and has come to regret that the AMA performance wasn't quite suited to the intended audience, but I'm glad he still feels the content of the performance wasn't a mistake. Unlike after RoF where he talked about getting a kick out of the love/hate split in reactions, I get the feeling that he was much less happy about the negativity amongst even the fan boards where many voiced their disappointment. For fans to be lukewarm about your big debut performance in which you put so much effort must hurt, and I imagine that he has been harder on himself than anyone else.

Adam is so many different things to so many different people that everyone has different expectations. His versatility in applying himself to any style — one of his greatest strengths — makes it an impossible task to please all fans and I hope it's not something he's going to focus on. It would be a shame if he felt the need to tone down in order to make himself more palatable to those who aren't as open-minded as he initially assumed. I was hoping that he would now have much more artistic freedom after the Idol days of staying on his best behaviour so people would keep him on their screens. Unfortunately it looks as if it's not going to be vastly different now. Back then, it was arguably down to individual votes, but now the power is all in the hands of the networks and corporations and that's a different matter. Adam inadvertently made ABC and CBS look like fools and they can't have taken kindly to it. He may have enough buzz now to attract a huge audiences, but like it or not he needs the networks for promotion and has to be careful to keep them on board. As frustrating as it is, there will still be that balancing act between keeping his subversive edge by staying true to his art, and being TV friendly. Through various iterations, I'm sure he'll manage to nail the right balance for TV and perhaps leave the risqué for his tour. Although I hate that Adam felt the need to back down and concede his shortcomings, I think his humility during the interview was enough to pacify many and win over some.

This week has been a bit of reality check for us all and we've rather depressingly been reminded that corporations rule over artistic expression, especially in the US. Adam, despite all his fabulous alien glitteriness, is still subject to their rules. There is plenty of hope though, as without him, the debate about male sexuality would not be taking place. Without him, individuals would not have campaigned to stop ABC from condoning violence with GMA's invition to Chris Brown. I'd like for Adam to know that there are plenty of us in other parts of the world who don't think he went too far. I understand that he'll have to make concessions, but for me it's his dedication to staying true to himself, taking bold risks and pushing boundaries that win my respect and admiration. I think he's learned a lot over the past week and believe his positivity will make him much stronger after this. For now, I hope he knows he has enough support to feel confident in continuing to be bold and unapologetically Adam.

This version of Whataya Want From Me? was a vulnerable one and the vibe I got from this was closest to his performance of One, where he seemed very exposed. There were a few shaky notes and it wasn't as perfect as the one on The Early Show but he poured in plenty of passion and I loved it when he let rip with his vocals at the end.


  1. thank You Very beautifully said. I feel Adam was filled with emotion in this performance on Ellen. Although I want Adam to be Adam, we all live in the real world. we all know if Adam didn't at least meet everyone who complained a quarter of the way, his career would suffer, and now hopefully people would give him a second chance because he a Beautiful Man.A great talent.Everybody makes mistakes and Adam is Human. My heart feels for him being pulled in so many different directions it can't be easy for Adam. The Idea of this Huge Instant fame can also take a toll on him. I think after a long rough week for Adam, I think he's a big man to take those steps to tone things down. To Make the rest of America Love Him as we do.. I love and Support Adam 110% to me He will always be my #1 American Idol.

  2. AB, Another spot on summation. Adam has made amends as best he can without compromising himself. I applaud him.
    Adam has inadvertently brought many issues to the surface that need to be dealt with here in the US.
    I felt that the end of this performance was a heartfelt plea for his fans not to give up on him. It made me want to cry.

  3. (from australia) Inspiring comeback by Adam! How could he not succeed? Adam and his cool band delivering another powerful performance, Adam showing both passion, vulnerability in a vocal performance, while showing his sensibilities and objectivity in his interview. Adam is a class act and people like myself will continue to admire him, his music and what he represents.

  4. from here in the UK I am in total agreement with this beautifully written critique and incisive comments.......
    Adam by the sheer beauty and grace of his personality, his honesty and his humility should....will.....MUST win through

    The world is waiting for him.....................

  5. Adam Bombed, totally agree with you at every point. I do hope Adam will stay true to himself. Yes he should know that there are fans all over the world who loves him because of his huge talent and beautiful personality. And all his true fans would give him the same warm hug as Ellen did. I felt that there was kind of chemistry between them and I was very touched. Such hugs can be only between really good friends. I give such hugs to people who I really love and care about. And I would like to hug Adam too. :) But there is one thing I worry about. In spite of good album sales why FYE still is not topping USA charts?! Maybe WWFM will succeed better? And when Adam album and his singles will be launched in Europe? Adam, welcome to Europe! Diana
    P.S. Still can’t get enough of Down The Rabbit Hole. One of the best of the best song, at least to me :)
    P.S. P.S. Sorry for grammar mistakes... :)

  6. Adam is the most honest, brave and beautiful musician to have surfaced in a very long time. I am totally entranced by this man and he is a completely unique individual. The AMA's performance was like a break out from Idol, though if you look at some of the summer Idol shows, we had a rough idea what to expect, however that was the Idol tour and not national TV. Adam does not need to apologise for anything and his bravery, humility, integrity and honesty are just some of the reasons why I love him so. I was moved to tears during WWFM on Ellen when Adam laid his soul bare for us all to see. Adam, we will always have your back and I will be your loving supporter always.

  7. Canceling Adam on Jimmy Kimmel is insane.

    No one complains about the Victoria' Secret show where the ladies have their fannies totally exposed. There is a definite double standard for gay men. Let the man sing.

  8. Anonymous, it must be a such stressful time with the other ABC cancellations. While I'm sure he'll get so much more publicity and even more cred for being a rebel, I can't help but feel irritated that it's about everything but the music. I'm proud that he's standing his ground though.

    Adamspirit, I felt it too. He seemed very emotional in that performance and ever so slightly deflated. I do wonder what the heck is happening to the US these days. It seems to be heading down the puritanical route.

    Anonymous from Australia, in addition to his talent, I never fail to be impressed by the way he handles criticism. He has handled it all with such grace and has never been negative about ABC, even sympathising with them somewhat in his tweets.

    suebella, I agree - there can be no denying his talent and that coupled with his personality will bring him success.

    Diana, which part of Europe are you from? I think the US charts work a lot differently than they do in the UK (and maybe where you are from?). The charts here are quite fickle and it's usual for singles to enter at #1 then fade but in the US it can take months for singles to climb the charts. I think they need to get a lot of radio play and I guess FYE isn't as radio friendly as WWFM. Perhaps our US friends can enlighten us a little?
    I love Down The Rabbit Hole too, I think it might be my favourite at the moment.
    Don't worry about your grammar - it's fine!

    missmcglambert1, well said! I get really frustrated that there are people who would feel offended by what he does. They don't deserve him.

    Lynn, I completely agree with you. All they're doing is generating sympathy for Adam while they look small-minded and petty. I'm trying to look on the positive side though. Adam is responsible for starting an important debate which may be a catalyst for change. ABC's loss will be someone else's gain and this has given him added publicity. We can safely say he has shot the AI stigma to pieces and by being a rebel may have gained extra credibility and fans. Everyone likes an underdog and It's Adam vs a faceless corporate entity.
    And yes, I want to see him sing on TV and am pissed off that they're trying to prevent him from doing that.

  9. I think in the Baltic states charts works the same as in UK and usually there is no big difference between playlists in West or East part of Europe. Of course each region has local shiny stars. Hope we will hear Adam soon. D.

  10. I need not comment - you are definitely on my wavelength! I was visiting USA when the AMA performance aired and was shocked at the reactions. Do America not know what a Superstar they have - the last one left the building over 30 years ago!

  11. Anonymous, I hope they will soon! The USA seems to be getting increasingly polarised with very little separation between religion and politics.