Adam Lambert is a singing contest winner with an absurd haircut. Before Sunday, that was all I knew about him. Then he performed at a music awards show that is not the Grammys and everyone got mad. Good Morning America, which airs on the same network that carried the American Music Awards, canceled his appearance. The Early Show, CBS's perpetual third-place morning also-ran, jumped at the sudden vacancy in Lambert's schedule with hopes of riding the wave of "scandal" into, well, maybe a slightly less-than-third-place ratings bump. Except that at the end of the interview, Lambert looked good and The Early Show folks looked like idiots.
Aside from the stupid haircut, Lambert was impressive during the interview. He was charming, self-deprecating, and well-spoken. He also had the virtue of being right. He mentioned that there were plenty of other artists at the AMAs who put on racy performances, and that his appearance aired at 11pm in front of an audience of adults. He also admitted that he suspects the outrage over his performance is due to the fact that he is a man, and openly gay. Which, duh. Remember when the Video Music Awards, Britney Spears, and Madonna were all relevant? And Britney got within a few square inches of cloth of all-out stripping? And then made out with Madonna? Everyone was like, "Oh, cool." Lambert should be applauded for not apologizing, and defending his performance. The performance was silly, and the haircut has got to go, but he didn't do anything grotesque, or offensive, or whatever.
So that leaves CBS. The "Straight Talk" banner displayed on-screen was bad enough. And the questions, which used phrases like "without warning" and "children who are your fans" to describe a musical number, made Lambert's performance sound like a sex crime. When showing footage of the act, they blurred out all the "controversial" parts, like when Lambert stage-kissed a backup dancer. It seemed that The Early Show was caught between wanting to improve its numbers by having Lambert on, but also wanted to make it clear that they did not approve of their guest in any way. Nothing they did was surprising, but that doesn't make it less annoying. Watch the segment for yourself in the clip below.