Evil Adam Lambert slams sweet Susan Boyle? Not exactly
Adam Lambert spoke with U.K. magazine Gay Times for its March issue, in an interview excerpted here. Yes, he criticizes Susan Boyle's album. But does he "slam Susan Boyle"? Was the point of the interview to trash her album and extend his "15 minutes of fame"? Has he "gone on the record to tell everyone what he really thinks" and blame SuBo's album for his failure? Hardly.
[A]dam answered his critics when For Your Entertainment sold 200,000 copies in its first week on sale, charting above new releases from Rihanna and Lady Gaga, albeit outsold by a certain Scottish lassie…
"I know, if only it weren’t for Susan Boyle!” Adam laughs. “I’m happy for her success, but that album is terrible. Wild Horses is the one that made me laugh the hardest. I just died when I heard it, I was crying with laughter. It was the most horrendous, sacrilegious treatment of that song!
"Still, when my album charted, it was validating. I was feeling [a] bit attacked, like I had to vindicate something. I thought: ‘Wow, look what I did.'"
Does that read as if the Real Adam Lambert was twirling his villainous imaginary mustache, or shaking a fist at the heavens, and, in the spirit of "Scooby-Doo," cursing, "If only it hadn't been for Susan Boyle and those meddling kids! I would've gotten away with it!"
Or does it read as if, perhaps ...
(Of course, objectively, "I'm happy for her success" is about as horrific as an attack on another human can get. We realize that brutality might sway your interpretation.)
Now let's take a trip into the irony department, with a bit pulled from higher up in the interview, before the alleged Boyle-clubbing section. (Shock! His album comments aren't actually the lead of the story! Which you'd never know if you did a Google news search of the two names right now!)
These are the words of Gay Times writer Jamie Taberrer; the bold emphasis is mine:
From his forgivable penchant for guyliner (don’t pretend you haven’t been there), to his opinion-polarising album cover, to his controversial performance at last year’s American Music Awards (in which he kissed and groped a male member of his band, inducing thousands of complaints to TV network ABC) it seems Adam can’t bat a mascara-clad eyelash without offending somebody. The irony being, of course, that Adam’s really not shocking underneath it all. In fact, he’s a just a normal guy who – shock, horror! – is actually WILLING to talk about his sexuality.
Boyle and Lambert were both pop-culture sensations on their respective continents and beyond, and were both runners-up in high-profile singing competitions -- so bringing up the comparison isn't shocking. And even if, like me, you have no problem with SuBo, giggling at her take on the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" is hardly out-of-the-box thinking.
Today's flurry sounds suspiciously like widely repeated reports of Adam putting "one of his own fans on blast" for talking on a cellphone during his performance (If what Adam actually said was an attack, a lot of what's on the Ministry probably violates Geneva Conventions). Despite the American Music Awards uproar, Lambert has a track record of good manners and general decency toward others. So of course the search is on for the story or headline that "reveals" some heretofore unseen mean and nasty "real Adam" lurking under the surface.
"Adam's not really shocking at all" doesn't drive Internet traffic like "Adam's picking on poor sweet Susan Boyle" does.
Context, people. It's all about the context. Call me when there's video of Adam clubbing a baby seal, and then maybe I'll believe he's a jerk.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
P.S. Scroll down for a side-by-side comparison of the Stones' original "Wild Horses" recording and Boyle's updated version.
And here it is as envisioned by the Rolling Stones:
Photos: Yeah, the charity work (by both singers) is clearly just a cover-up -- Adam Lambert, in partnership with education charity DonorsChoose.org, delivers music books to a class at Belvedere Middle School on Feb. 18, 2010, in Los Angeles, top. Susan Boyle sings in Copenhagen on Jan. 30, 2010, at a concert to raise money for women in Africa and for earthquake victims in Haiti. Credits: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times, top; Casper Christoffersen / EPA, right.
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