Was Adam Lambert's Censored AMAs Performance More Provocative Because He's a Man?


After his sexually-charged AMAs performance was censored on the West Coast, Adam Lambert complained, "In a way that's discrimination. I don't mean to get political, but Madonna, Britney and Christina weren't edited...Female entertainers have been risqué for years. Honestly, there's a huge double standard." While I agree that people should freak out less when gays or innuendo or "controversy" creep into primetime establishments like the American Music Awards, I've got less sympathy for Lambert's claim that female performers get away with similar antics all the time. As a curated history of award show performances proves, the most scandalous chanteuses reserve their insidiousness for basic cable, not CBS.

All discussions about provocative women at award shows begin with Madonna. The mother of reinvention titillated at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards with her floor-humping rendition of "Like a Virgin," bared her giant underwear in a Marie Antoinette-inspired performance of "Vogue" in 1990, then donned a dinner jacket and exchanged brief kisses with "virgin brides" Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in 2003. But the MTV marquee links all of these instances, and a search of Madonna's network performances returns safe Grammy renditions of "Nothing Really Matters," "Music," and "Hung Up." Lambert can claim the Material Matriarch has been controversial, but he can't claim that she's rattled the viewership of productions like the American Music Awards with blowjob choreography.

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  • Daft Clown says:

    Smells like teen spirit.

  • Victor Ward says:

    He definitely pushed the line for network tv, but, still, I understand his frustration over the editing out of a piece of choreography after he spent so many grueling hours rehearsing it with Kris Allen.

  • Colander says:

    You should've looked up some Prince performances (who also has my favorite black album, btw). The only one I can think of is his ass-bearing performance, which was on MTV, supporting your point, obv.

  • stretch65 says:

    I always took him for more of a bottom - but the screen grab tells a different story...hmmmmm

  • stolidog says:

    They'd have to pay me a lot of money before I'd take a face full of glitterpants.

  • Lucas says:

    personally I think that Adam was very irresponsible. And I don't buy this whole "got caught up in the moment'. it was too polished looking. and will likely look that way to the FCC, who also felt that it was no accident when Janet's top ripped.
    He's a performer and I'm not generally one for censorship but he took it to the line of what is sexually charged art and what is obscene. And as a performer he needs to be aware of the time and the place and keep the racy stuff appropriate venues.

  • JM says:

    Bah...just lame pop star antics. The folks complaining about this would probably willing let their kids go to as sexually-charged a performance by the Jonas and Miley crew.
    As to the 'venue'? The AMAs pulled about 14-15 mil viewers. The MTV VMAs this year had 27 mil, the best since '02. I doubt that there was a significant in '03 so would assume it still drew larger numbers than the AMAs this year. Most likely, more young people watched three women kiss than they did Mr Lambert. *gasp* Poor things. I'm sure it ruined a generation.
    Or they could just not give a damn and it's only prude Olds in the Midwest making a fuss (like they did with Janet, which you couldn't even see unless you had DVRed it).

  • sixhundred says:

    they shoulda censored that whole performance - every feline leukemia howling minute of it, because the real offense is in the hubris of that rampaging no talent banshee.
    it is funny though that they didn't edit out any of Janet's performance at the top of the show - namely the crotch fondle reach-around during 'If.' Everyone knows that choreography and everyone knew it was coming but instead of cutting away from it, they zoomed in. Janet might be a recidivist in choreo uh-ohs, but Lambert's performance was just artless and obnoxious.

  • haha, Britney is so funny! I love her.

  • so the necktie is considered for the most part a choke, right?

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