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May. 21 2009 - 12:00 am | 48 views | 2 recommendations | 3 comments

Lambert loses Idol title. Was it the nail polish?

KISS.

Queen.

Rod Stewart.

Carlos Santana, Keith Urban and Cyndi Lauper.

These legends made this year’s American Idol finale a real-time must-see for millions. But let there be no doubt: The night belonged to Adam Lambert.

Those of us who’ve been watching for months knew Lambert’s coronation was inevitable. So certain was his winning that I’m sure I wasn’t the only viewer who relished the time he was relegated to the Bottom Three. Other than that, it was pretty much smooth sailing for the 27 year-old. “I Kissed A Girl” singer Katy Perry had his name monogrammed on the back of the cape she wore during her performance on last week’s show, and Entertainment Weekly gave him a solo cover a few weeks back.

How then did Lambert possibly lose out to the sweet but merely mediocre Kris Allen?!

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20:  Contestant Adam Lam...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

As Lambert proved again and again during the two-part finale, he is on another level. Tonight alone, he was a supernova, way upstaging semi-twinkling star Allen when the two joined Queen on “We are the Champions.”  And Lambert’s appearance in a black leather, Flash Gordon-esque costume and platform boots performing with KISS was easily the two-hour event’s most memorable moment. Kudos to the producers for booking such a legendary act that so perfectly complemented their theatrical, makeup-wearing rock star.

Perhaps that was the problem.

My mother, a pre-Kindergarten teacher’s aide and super Idol fan, told me post-finale that while she believes Lambert is the better singer, “I just couldn’t deal with the black nails and that kinda look. He’s a gorgeous guy — beautiful face and everything. But there was something I didn’t like.”

Please note that this is the same woman who voted for David Cook and Taylor Hicks. In fact, I don’t think she’s ever voted for a runner-up. (FYI, Mom didn’t get through last night, but not for lack of trying: “I gave up after 79 tries” dialing for Allen.)

Me? I should know better. After all, I came close to sitting in Paula Abdul’s judging chair. A magazine editor who nudged along the careers of budding pop stars from Britney and Christina to Usher, Backstreet and ‘Nsync, I pride myself on knowing how to pick ‘em. Yet I was all about Archuleta, Aiken, and, tonight, Lambert. 

That’s not to say Lambert won’t be the bigger story post-finale, as Archuleta and Aiken were, along with Chris Daughtry, who dropped his first name and relegated Hicks to the Whatever Happened To . . .? file.

Also, Lambert shouldn’t reach for the polish remover: Androgyny has been a rock star asset for ages, from the gender-bending Bowie to Boy George to current pop tartlet Lady Gaga, who’s probably the biggest pop artist on the planet right now. So keep sharpening the eyeliner, Adam — but remember that your album has to be as interesting as your image.

P.S. Look for Allison Iraheta to do a Daughtry and shine brighter than her fourth-place finish suggests!


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  1. collapse expand

    My Dad, a right wing Republican who is not an idiot and knew Adam was outta the ballpark better than Kris said the following beforehand: “People are going to say ‘it’s the nail polish.’ He’s gay.” My Dad is a huge Adam supporter. Music is music. That’s the problem with his party sayeth The Real One.

    Just when you thought it was safe to enter the waters of tolerance. Kudos to Idol? It was a great show. I really think this sucks (for want of a better word) for America. It’s sad. Adam was eons better than Kris. Allison should have been in the finals.

    If that little David won last year I would have been pissed, but this is different. It’s wrong.

    It’s so funny you mention nail polish. Unfortunately, you were brighter than I and stuck it in the headline. Mine is buried in some tweet and satire with very offensive titles.

  2. collapse expand

    Yes, it most certainly was the nail polish. But not because Americans have anything against nail polish. It’s what nail polish on a guy (not too mention, the eyeliner, the costumes, the strobelight swagger) represents in the minds of middle Americans. Homophobia is alive and well. Those who want to accuse me of being bitter and deluded may have a point. But not about this. About this, I am right.

  3. collapse expand

    Forget Adam and forget Kris–neither one will have the same success as Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry or Carrie Underwood. I think the real one to watch is Allison, who can not only sing her butt off, but has the ability to relate to teenage girls in the same way Jordin Sparks did. Of these three–Adam, Kris and Allison–I predict Allison will sell the most records and have the most exposure at radio.

    And I’m not forgetting about Gokey, either–he’ll find success going the Christian route.

    MBNY, out!

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    A 16-year media executive, Lori Majewski is a founder and ex-editor-in-chief of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) award-winning Teen People, and a former executive editor of Entertainment Weekly and Us Weekly. Lori is currently a partner in and Chief Content Officer of the upcoming brand launch ThisGirl, a multi-platform community that entertains and empowers women in the 16 to 30 year-old psychographic. She also recently became a member of the team behind the First-Ever Tween Girls Summit, produced by Allykatzz.com and to be held in D.C. on Oct. 10, 2009.

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