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.