There's Something About Adam

5.19.2009

By Howard Bragman

In an American Idol season marked by some of the most exceptional talent that's ever been on the hottest show on network television -- it's all about Adam Lambert.

There are multiple roads to discovery in the music business today: the classic demo tape, the club circuit, YouTube, and of course American Idol. But while the show is an amazing platform to showcase talent, no one has ever used it to better advantage than Lambert. He epitomizes what the show is about: that alchemy of performance, talent, instinct and force of will that characterizes great artists.

He has amazing vocal abilities. He takes smart, calculated risks. And, he has made the best and most intuitive song choices in the history of the show. His arrangements are often so much better than the other performers it almost feels like a pro-amateur singing tourney.

Judges have swooned. Paula melting like the Wicked Witch of the West as she searches for evermore hyperbole to praise his performance is not surprising. Yet even Simon, who hates cupcakes and kittens, loses his shit when effusing over Lambert's performances. Sure he likes the performances, but there are dollar signs in his eyes when he allows himself to think of the untold millions that Lambert will make in his career and Simon's own big juicy green piece of gooseberry pie.

So the big question is: Will Adam Lambert win? And the simple answer is he already has. Having done public relations for numerous reality show competitors over the years I have learned one cardinal rule: You don't have to win the show to win. Take Reuben vs. Clay. Ruben won the show but Clay got the better career.

So while Lambert will likely win the show too, it doesn't matter. This kid will sell millions of albums, he will make little girls and little boys swoon, and if he holds on to what got him there, he may even have the rarest thing in music today -- longevity.

Much has been said about the 'alleged' photos of him kissing another man; his brazen androgyny; his fashion choices; his hair color; and every other nuance of his performance art. Let me make one thing clear: Lambert loves his theatrics and may look like the love child of Ziggy Stardust and Zac Efron, but that kid can sing.

There has been a lot of speculation about Lambert's sexual orientation. Were American Idol not on the Fox Network it's a sure bet their foaming'at-the mouth anchors would be up in arms about how a possibly gay singer violates the laws of God and nature. They have been silenced by the market powers that be (mercifully so). Let Adam be judged by what comes out of his mouth'not what goes into it.

Howard Bragman has been a communicator, educator, entrepreneur, writer and lecturer for more than three decades. He founded strategic media and public relations agency, Fifteen Minutes, in 2005. Bragman is also an adjunct professor of Public Relations at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communications for six years. His book, Where's My Fifteen Minutes?: Get Your Company, Your Cause, or Yourself the Recognition You Deserve, was released in 2009.

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