Thursday, May 28, 2009

This week's LVW col: Come Hither, Adam Lambert

Y'all saw the vague first draft of this one last week, but now I've got input from Strip execs, including one who says that they've been pondering the Strip potential of...Susan Boyle! Enjoy. -sf

Larger than life, perfect for Vegas

Someone here needs to sign American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert right now


Until last Thursday, I had never watched an entire episode of American Idol. Yes, I’m one of the six.

As any halfway-conscious consumer of celebrity news would, I generally keep up with the Fox mega-competition in a vague enough way such that by May each year I’m usually able to identify the two finalists the same way I know the teams in the Super Bowl every February. I don’t actually care in either case, but nor do I clamp my ears and squeeze shut my eyes and actively avoid what will inevitably climb into my brain via any available pore or passage anyway.

I wouldn’t have watched this finale, either, except that my 9-year-old nephew and 14-year-old niece, whom I was visiting in Pennsylvania, are nuts for the thing. It struck me as an opportunity to see how the folks who love this phenomenon interact with it.

Plus, I admit, I was curious this cycle because of all the lip about whether the nation was ready for its first probably gay American Idol in one flamboyant Adam Lambert. Lambert had been crowned the favorite months ago and already appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.

So I subjected myself to two bloated hours and did my best to explain to the young’uns who cameo stars Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Richie, Queen Latifah, Santana, Kiss (“What’s with the makeup?” 9-year-old Daniel wondered) and Queen are. And for the first time, I watched Lambert and co-finalist Kris Allen perform and interact with host Ryan Seacrest.

Knowing nothing of any of the other performances to date, it nonetheless seemed fairly obvious to me who would win. When America was allegedly stunned that a handsome, sweet-natured balladeer from the Deep South bested the big-voiced, costuming-prone, guylinered reincarnation of Freddie Mercury, my sole surprise was that anyone expected a different outcome.

I mulled this with a gay AI–devoted friend in Chicago via Facebook later that night wondering what is typically next for these folks. Geoff recited the drill: summer concerts with the rest of the AI top 10-ish, a likely record deal with 19 Entertainment, a solo tour perhaps.

“He should get a show in Vegas,” I wrote.

“That is … brilliant,” Geoff responded.

Read the rest at LasVegasWeekly.Com


mike_ch said...

As I said before, it's a nice vision, but as someone who just watches the finale and goes away you clearly take it for face value and don't know much about the behind the scenes dealings and business as the die-hard Idol fans do. To be honest, neither do I. Most of what I know comes from reading Vote For The Worst and a thread on a forum where one of the Lamberts is a semi-regular poster.

It'd be like if I first came to Vegas and said, "well this Steve Wynn guy designs some pretty nice hotels. They oughta hire him to make one at Disney World." It would be an interesting idea but is completely ignorant that Wynn leads an industry already and isn't for sale.

Simon Cowell isn't dumb. He has options to get first picks on pretty much anybody on the show he wants, not just the winner. Hence why there's a big 19 logo at the bottom of Adam's new site. If you look at Simon's face just after the results while Seacrest thanks the judges, he looked pissed about the result so he obviously already has a plan for Adam.

At least, I *think* he does. According to a relative on a forum somewhere (I'm not telling, but some cursory searching would find it) we've heard everything from "Slash wants to work with him" to more recently an offer to be the new singer for Queen.

Anonymous said...

I assume this is a "what if" column, so I won't talk about how Simon Fuller is the principal of 19 Entertainment, not Simon Cowell, or what their contract sez, etc. I think this is about Adam Lambert in Vegas, so here is my 2 cents.
I think most headliners in Las Vegas nowadays play no more than 100 shows per year, not the 460 mentioned in Steves column. The first time I saw Adam, I told my wife he reminded me of Elvis in is 1968 Comeback Special. Since then, I think the focus is more on his being a Gaybe, than his talent as a performer. I think over age 50 women like him, under age 40 women don't like him, and men will go wherever their women tell them to go. Properly packaged, I think he can do 100 shows with 1200 per, so long as he is more than a guy who can squeal like Christina, or Mariah.
Jeff in OKC