Adam Lambert rocks CBS 'Early Show.' (Surprise! No one gets groped!)

CBS, 3; ABC, 0.

There’s really no other way to score it, seeing how Good Morning America lost out on one charming, cheeky interview (read what my colleague Ken Tucker had to say about that) and two bad-ass musical performances from American Idol season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert this morning, handing them all over to its rival Early Show because, um, why exactly? Oh yeah, apparently ABC suits didn’t trust the firebrand singer would understand the inherent difference between a 10:55 p.m. performance at a decidedly racy awards show and an 8:30 a.m. gig at a benign, watch-with-your-cereal-and-coffee news program. [Insert eye-roll here.] This isn’t to say I’ve changed my tune on Lambert’s Sunday-night showing. Some 36 hours later, I stand by my contention that his AMA performance of “For Your Entertainment” was a vocal and aesthetic disappointment. But ABC’s finger-wagging disinvitation — “Given his controversial American Music Awards performance, we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning” — seems as disingenuous as it does counter-intuitive. (Really? Why not just put a big bow on top of that ratings gift you’re giving to Harry Smith & Co.?)

The good news for the Glambert Nation is their guy sounded terrific on his one-two punch of the heartfelt anthem “Whataya Want from Me” and the effervescent party-starter “Music Again.” From a lyrical standpoint, the former track sounded like it could’ve been written specifically as a response to a nation thrown into a tizzy by Sunday night’s crotch-fondling, beej-simulating hootenanny. The song (co-written by Pink) contains a plea for patience and understanding from a guy still finding his way in the world (“Just don’t give up/ I’m working it out /Please don’t give in/  I won’t let you down”) and a special thanks to the hard-core fans who’ve never questioned his judgment in the first place (“It’s me, I’m a freak/ But thanks for loving me/ ‘Cause you’re doing it perfectly”). I won’t lie: There was a certain poignancy hearing Adam respond to the “too gay”/”not gay enough”/”too racy”/”not well-sung”/”what about the children?” critics with his pitch-perfect refrain of “Whataya want from me?”

As for “Music Again” (my second-favorite track on FYE, FYI), I can’t imagine a more appropriate track through which Adam could send the message “let’s put the focus back on the actual songs, eh?” Adam’s band sounded slightly canned on this number — I’m guessing there was some kind of backing track supplementing the overall sound in the tiny CBS studio — but Adam’s lead vocal was stellar, especially taking into account the song’s rapid-fire wordplay and octave-scaling swoops. There aren’t many artists on the pop chart today capable of pulling that off live. Thanks, Adam, for reminding us you’re a rare bird indeed.

What did you think of Adam’s Early Show showing? Do you understand Good Morning America‘s decision to nix his appearance there? And, in the wake of everything that’s happened in the last 72 hours, are you planning to buy his CD For Your Entertainment? (Or maybe you’ve bought it already?) Sound off on all of the above in the comments below, and for all my Idol-related musings, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak, and follow this very blog @EWMusicMix! Holla!

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  • BevvieL

    Loved his performances and interview on the Early Show today – have already bought 3 CDs and have one framed. Love Adam; love rock & roll!

    • RoxSox

      Without his antics, people start paying attention to his vocals – which suck.

      That’s a shame.

      • Kiki

        Seriously? You might want to get your ears checked. Today’s vocals were as close to flawless as I’ve heard on tv.

      • Carrie

        haha that’s true, he’s pretty boring without his “shocking” performance value
        The vocals were average, at best

      • @Roxsox

        Okay, 1) Hate American Idol. Never watched American Idol. By seeing pics, I thought Lambert was a Marilyn Manson wannabe.
        2) was sent some Youtube and other links by a friend who wanted me to hear the ‘voice’, rather than see the ‘package’. None of the links were from AI. Hearing him sing ‘Dust in the wind’ nearly killed me. His voice is one very rare commodity. He’s not just a singer with good pipes (a la Celine Dion), he can actually infuse a song with real emotional charge when he puts his mind to it.
        Will his voice always be that pure and moving? Of course not, but the power is there when he’s ready to deliver.
        I may not like the songs he sings in the future, but I’ll gladly listen if he sings them in the ‘zone’.

      • Blondiegrrl

        To @Roxsox … Yeah, “Dust in the Wind” is one of my favorites of his. Also, from his Upright Cabaret performances, “Come Home” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me” just about killed me with their authenticity and raw emotion.

      • Cuban Nerd

        And you need new ears dude

      • TheMorning

        His voice isn’t AWFUL….but yeah, it’s nothing outstanding.

      • Vicki

        As a music teacher, I can tell you that his voice is un-freakin-believable. I wasn’t thrilled with the AMA performance — in terms of both vocals and antics — but anyone who thinks he can’t sing is completely tone deaf themselves. Not agreeing with his lifestyle or not liking his genre of music is a matter of opinion. He can sing his face off. That’s simply a fact. What I don’t understand is why anyone would bother to read this article or watch his performances if they think he’s so horrible. I don’t like Britney Spears. When she comes on TV, I change the channel and when I see articles about her, I don’t read them.

      • Jen

        Celine Dion “just a singer with good pipes”? What are you smoking? She is the definition of infusing songs with emotion. Love Adam and think people just need to calm down. He’s an amazing talent.

      • ks


      • Lyn2

        Lots of us don’t think Adam’s vocals are anything special. And in case you want to think I’m tone-deaf, I’ve been a teacher of vocal performance for 22 years and have sung professionally. No I’m not famous, but I do know an exceptional voice when I hear one. On AI I thought he was a GREAT performer, but that his actual vocals were nothing special, and I still stand by my opinion. I don’t think Josh Groban has a thing to worry about-ha!

      • Lyn2

        Vicky, Yes his voice is technically a good one. He has a huge range and good vocal control, but his quality, I maintain, is nothing special. However, to say that if someone isn’t a fan, they shouldn’t read and comment on an article here is just plain silly. I saw the AMA performance and wanted to read the article, nuff said.

      • Loser

        Adam Lambert is NOTHING without all this hype. He sucked big time. So does his character.

      • They want to hype him? Fine!


      • Kaylee

        Adam Lambert can sing very very very very very good.Kris Allen can sing very very very very very very very good.

      • Kaylee

        Adam Lambert is a very very very very very good and he is the very best singer. It is kris allen’s falut that he did not win american idol

      • jared4ever

        You are a complete and utter moron if you think his vocals suck.

      • Donna

        Soooo true.

      • lastreisand

        Vocal appreciation is often subjective, but every once in a while a talent comes along that is nearly universally acknowledged. Adam Lambert’s voice is a gift – for him to share and us to hear. If you think otherwise, you’re probably reacting to his lifestyle- and not his magnificent voice an delivery. Maybe you don’t even realize that you’re a bigot. I know you know you’re a homophobe.

      • adamsluvjnes

        Pleaseeeeessseee. Adam Lambert’s vocals are stellar,, unstoppable. He is superb.

      • terie

        @RoxSox: I guess you know better than Brian May, Meatloaf, Smokey Robinson, Simon Cowell, Rob Cavallo ….. need I go any further? Now you list your credentials!!!

      • Jenn

        Roxsox you just don’t know vocal power and ability, so go back to sleep. Adam Rocks!! His voice is not only technically phenomenal, but his control is beyond amazing and his range is a full 4 octaves which is sooo unusual for a male. Love it!! All these people wanted to work with Adam because he is mega talented.

    • Rian

      U only bought 3? I thought the minimum was 10? At 99 cents each you can easily do that. Sorry, even 99 cents is too much for me.

      • Get a refund u idiot!

        I am feeling sorry for you that you can’t even spend 99 cents LOL! And by the way u suck!! Send them back you idiot! There are many others who will buy them!

      • FYI

        Soundscan does not count anything under half price for sales. mp3 album on amazon is promotional –and a great idea!

      • DD

        99 cents per SONG you moron!! Are you too young to know what money is??

      • terie

        That was a promotion for downloads ONLY … $3.99 for the album … 99 cents for each song … now it’s $10.99 for album download … $1.29 per song. Regular CD album has been selling for $9.99 right along … GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT PLEASE!!!

    • BB

      Sorry admire his voice, quite a showman, but this is not rock and roll, Adam belongs in musical theatre.

    • dd

      ABC has a double standard, considering the sexual antics that are a staple on Dancing with the Stars.

      • Beauty

        Agreed!!! I read somewhere that Dancing With The Stars has weekly complaints of OVER 1,500 for their “antics” on that show. And it’s during primetime! We all know how Adam’s performance compared with others such as Lady GaGa’s whiskey bottle smashing and curious? behaviour, Janet Jacksons male crotch grab and head volley of her male dancer in front of her crotch, and Eminem’s numerous rape referrences. But shockingly, NO ONE is talking about Rihanna’s nearly naked intro to her perfomance and her again nearly naked costume she paraded around on stage in!!! Rihanna was TOTALLY NAKED (and sweaty) except for 3 small black suction cups covering her “boobies” and “triangle”. As for her “bandage” costume, she DEFINITELY HAD TO BE SHAVED EVERYWHERE to wear that!!! talked about her outfit and gave some closeup pics…NASTY!!! You REALLY had to pray that she didn’t shift a little more to the right or left while she performed or that would have been the first time a female (or anybody) would have shown “full frontal” on international primetime TV!!! But no one’s talking about that.

    • Andrea

      Like him or not, Adam is a phenomenal talent. He is going to be huge. The record is selling beyond expectations, and it should. It is very good. It is also selling very well overseas in some countries.
      Finland: #1 pop chart, #2 general chart
      Denmark: #11 pop chart, #19 general chart
      Sweden: #7 pop chart, #9 general chart
      Norway: #26 pop chart, #79 general chart

      Other European countries:

      UK: #19 pop chart, #36 general chart
      France: #36 pop chart, #100 general chart
      Portugal: #3 pop chart, #6 general chart (both at #2 earlier)
      Holland: #40 pop chart, #71 general chart
      Ireland: #127 general chart

      Rest of world:

      New Zealand: #2 pop chart, #3 general chart
      Canada:#4 pop chart, #6 general chart
      Mexico: #8 pop, #15 general

      In Canada, these are the # for the deluxe album. The regular album is right behind at #5 pop and #10 in general chart.
      He is going to be huge!

      • cricket

        Lambert’s album is not even on the charts in the US. It’s gonna tank.

      • to cricket

        Considering they’ve already said it’s going to be the #2 album, behind Susan Boyle (I think, I’m blanking on her last name, my apologies), I think you need to research before you speak. :)

      • Jenn

        Charts don’t release in the US until Tuesday you fool. He is the top 10 on Amazon and top 5 on itunes. Please wake up.

    • Mel

      The CBS performance was quite good actually, turns out this guy is talented. I don’t see what the fuss is all about, I just watched the AMAs clip and saw nothing new or shocking… rock and pop stars have been doing this kind of stuff for decades (remember Elvis’ hip moves?!) Gosh, the 70’s were all about drugs, and now rap is all about violence, how this can be considered outrageous is beyond me.



      • adamsluvjnes

        Also, no one complained to ABC about the lesbian makeout session that was featured on Fast Forward.

  • 1234

    He was terrific on the Early Show…very short sighted of GMA…I doubt that Adam will ever agree to appear on GMA in the future, but will be very friendly to the Early Show (and the Early Show needs all the help it can get)…

    • carole

      HE WAS COACHED NOT TO GROPE – it’s all about selling the album and putting on the front of being a ‘good’ performer – BRAVO performed well for the tv – now the live shows….wear gloves

      • 1234

        Huh? I’ve seen him perform live several times — including on GMA this past summer — and he has always been appropriate to the venue, event and time of day…he doesn’t need to be “coached” to keep in under control on morning television

      • crispy

        Coached not to grope? WTF? I guess gay guys just can’t stop groping people… they need coaching!

      • @Carole

        Why is everyone blowing this thing out of proportion?
        This was no different than Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at the Superbowl (other than ‘that’ occurred in prime time). This ‘incident’ occurred so late in the show that no children should have been watching in the first place, and secondly HE WAS NOT THE CHOREOGRAPHER!!!!!!!!
        Yes, he agreed to perform the routine and any of the questionable acts that came with it, but you people are raising hell to the wrong person!!!!!
        Who produced the AMA’s? Dick Clark Productions. They share a good part of the blame for what was seen because they hired the choreographers who put together the performance numbers and NO performance would make it out of rehersals if the Chief Producer did not want it to.
        Who choreographed that number? I’ve seen worse in stage shows, in Madonna’s videos, etc. But this person took Adam’s sexual preference and exploited it to the point of stupidity. Even I was slightly shocked at the faux fellatio. So not cool.
        My point is Adam should not be getting ALL of the blame for what people found objectionable at the AMA’s and I don’t think it’s fair for Viewers (and the press…I’m looking at you EW)to forget that he’s just a singer/actor on a tv show who has to do what he’s told just like everybody else.

      • really?

        “Coached not to grope” – the story of your life, Carole. U should be so lucky.

      • Amy

        Can’t imagine that Adam would take anyone’s coaching now. I miss that down to earth Adam who didn’t apologize for who he was, but so down to earth. I feel like his head has gotten so big. I’m looking for a little humility before I jump back on the Glambert bus. I didn’t care about his antics, I cared that he traded the shock for quality of his music. AND almost no one is talking about that!

  • Branwell

    Loved the Early Show, got the CD,,can’t wait for Letterman!

    • djm

      I am so glad he did well this morning. I bought 2 CD’s (“Down the Rabbit Hole” is on constant replay on my iPod) and I hope “Whataya Want From Me” becomes a big hit – I love that song. Good job Adam!!

    • Linda

      Adam has an amazing range. He is much more than the show AMA…that whole thing was just half dressed people grabbing themselves, humping, simulating sex all night long…the males and females… with the exception of Keith Urban, Whitney, and one other group. Rihanna had on a stripped/taped with skin showing, etc…Lady Gaga?????? I was praying the front/fly of her outfit didn’t open or come undone…first time I ever saw her..what kind of **** is that? I have been a fan of Adam’s from the beginning and yes, I was not happy with his performance on AMA, but it will not keep me from listening to his voice/music. He does not need to compromise himself to the devil to sell his music. Yes this was a performance that belonged at the Zodiac not primetime TV. Preordered the CD many weeks ago. I don’t know who choreographed the dances or show, but ABC put it out there. They allowed the others to do their thing. Was Adam right in his choice? No not as a new artist wanting to gain fans. I am a grandmother and my grandkids watched him with me all through IDOL.
      I know how to use a remote and can change channels. If you did not like what you saw you should have used your remote.
      Amazing Michael Jackson won 20 + awards and grabbed his crotch all time,as did his sister on the show.
      Adam took bad advice. Get over it.

    • Frank Anderson

      Yeah, I really wish I had watched this morning. These are two of the best tracks from the CD. Much better than the title track, which sounds like a Spears throw away track.

      I will have to watch Letterman. I am glad to see Adam come back from the controversy so quickly.

  • Rach

    While I don’t agree with your take on the AMA performance (I thought it was fab, if not his best vocal), I completely agree with what you’ve said here. ABC must have been out of their mind. I still don’t understand that decision.

  • LT

    Perfection. GMA you losers, lol. Harry Smith rocks. And that will be the only time I ever say that in my lifetime.

    • Alena

      ROF LMAO! Classic.

    • TheMorning

      Considering GMA throttles CBS nearly 2-to-1 in the ratings, the only (desperate) losers are those at CBS who scooped Adam up to cash in on the controversy
      (and they probably STILL lost in the ratings)

      • terie

        Considering that CBS didn’t have the same amount of time to advertise ADAM’s impromptu performance and GMA made his performance cancellation practically unknown (probably knew the fans wouldn’t know about it … so what if fans from all over the U.S. Japan Pakistan & other parts of the world were coming to see him … did ABC/GMA care? NO!!! So KUDOS to CBS for turning this big disappointment by ABC into a FANTASTIC TREAT for all of US ADAM FANS!!!!

  • Carolyn

    He definitely redeemed himself with this performance! I wasn’t a fan of the AMA’s, mostly because his voice was off, but MAN! The Adam we knew and loved from Idol is back. He can sing like NO OTHER! You’ve got to give him that!

  • Jessica

    I’ve already bought more than one copy of FYE and his performances this morning are reason why I did. His AMA performance did not make me any less of a fan – everything he does is true to himself. I just love him!!

  • diane

    This man is so full of himself I am surprised he can get his head through a door. No I will not buy his CD! Oh look he brought his mommy to the show so everyone could see he is not such a bad boy after all. Too bad he can not sing.

    • lilyx

      FYI His mom and dad were also at the AMA’s, they seem to be a close supportive family. Living with such anger and distrust must be tiring for your head.

    • Debbie Glam# 2473

      maybe u need to read the reviews of professional voice people who think otherwise,
      If u r homophobe just say it and dont hide behind saying he cant sing!

    • Debbie Glam# 2473

      that comment was meant as response to Diane

    • Linda

      you obviously have not been following Adam’s rise to fame because he is so not full of himself. He is one of the most humble, down to earth performer that’s out there. He does not take himself too seriously and is genuinely a nice person. And yes he brought his mom because she is a very important part of his life, wouldn’t all of us mom’s love to be that important in our children’s lives? I know I would. Sorry you are so negative…maybe you could learn a thing or two from Adam.

    • terie

      @Diane: First get your hearing check then listen again. LOL

    • Antinous

      Hey Diane, anyone can be a douche bag, but you, well, you’re special at it.

      • SD Tim


    • T63

      Diane, FYI, Adam’s brother lives in NY, and in an interview Adam said he’d be spending Thanksgiving in NY with his family. If they’re in the city anyway, DUH, his mom is going to go see him sing. Anyway, Adam didn’t drag her up on stage, the show host did.

    • Manny

      Though I didn’t like what he did on AMA, you are wrong by saying he can’t sing. I haven’t heard another male vocalist as good as him since Freddie Mercury. Today’s singers in the POP world don’t even come close to his abilities.
      Adam just needs to chill out with the extreme and let his singing to all the talking.

      • @Manny

        THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
        Your comment about Freddie actually reminded me why I stopped listening to the radio during the 90’s. You are right, there are few, if any Pop/Rock singers with the gift of so fine a voice.
        (Josh Groban fits, but he’s not in that genre of music)

      • Cuban Nerd

        Totally a 100% agree with you.

      • elena

        The high note on the line “music again” was a total “Killer Queen” flashback for me. Adam can have all the craziness on stage he wants as long as he sounds as pitch-perfect as he does in these clips.

      • Alexis


      • agrimesy

        I get it that people got offended by Adam’s AMA performance, but after his live versions of Whataya Want From Me and Music Again on CBS the Early Show, I cannot comprehend how anyone could say with any conviction at all that Adam Lambert cannot sing! The hate has dulled their senses. Adam sang beautifully this morning.

      • Linda

        AMEN! Manny you are so right on!

    • DD

      Diane, well I suppose u need some friends to talk to honey!! You don’t know Adam do you? If you want some company we could join you for dinner and make u a fan!

    • Cuban Nerd

      Another one who needs new ears desperately. At least he loves his mom.

    • Kate

      Honestly? He missed one note–a high G–out of the entirety of his performances. And I would like to see anyone–male, female, Lady Gaga–pull off the kind of performances he turned in at 8:30 in the morning. “Music Again” is a very difficult song to sing. As a vocal teacher, I can tell you that this kid not only can sing very, very well–he has the “golden throat”–but he also has that indescribable “it” that is necessary to make it in the business. I wish him all the success in the world, so I can continue to listen to that marvelous instrument of his.

      • Ed

        ‘male, female, lady GaGa” — I laughed so hard at that! I didn’t know she was in a gender all her own! :)

        Thanks for the laugh…

      • Ed

        oh.. and no comment on the ‘golden throat’ bit. :-x ;)

    • StarFire

      you sneering at a close family unit, isn’t that what America is supposed to be about, guess not, cause there’s too many douches like you. BTW Adam Rocks!!! and thanks for adding to the news and talking about him

    • Daphne

      Are you sure you are not misconstruing having a big head with being an outrageoous (in a good way) performer? More often than not, outlandish artists are some of the most humble in private. The mom comment is just cheap, but then again anyone can post on these sites. IMO Adam is refreshing from a long period of bland artists/entertainers. Sometimes I think if KISS or Queen or similiar artists began their careers today they would not get far with what passes for good for most of the industry.

    • adamsluvjnes

      That’s OK, Diane, I bought an extra one.

  • Sara

    the sound on the videos doesn’t seem to be working.

  • Pam

    Adam was awesome and I’ve already bought 2 copies of his CD.

  • Tina S

    Amazing performance and ABC really shot themselves in the foot over this one!

  • Nancy

    Happy, Happy, Happy!!! He was absolutely amazing! My local CBS station delayed the Early Show by an hour so it was a long wait … What do we want from you Adam? The music again! And, if you knock the world on it’s ass in the process – that’s just fine too!

  • Mrs.P

    I’m just laughing at the peeps out in viewer land who are classifying themselves as children in order to lambast Mr. Lambert. In sounds so much better to say he offended Children on the AMA than conservative adults. This morning was STELLAR.

    • Alena

      I agree. I thought it was really low the way the interviewer kept on about the children and saying there was no warning. BS!

      The parents were warned at every break that it would be over the top.

      For a week Adam and others talked about how sexual the performance would be, previews even included sexy costumes.

      If the parents were too “thick” to anticipate the performance given all of the warning, then what the children saw during the performance by Adam (on the AMAs) is the LEAST of the kids problems.

      • vv

        Thanks for this comment Alena. The parents who complained were indeed thick, since they were warned so many times. Moreover the material before lambert’s performance was even more objectionable (eminem and the rates); but no complaints there. shrug and eye roll.

      • vv

        rapes, not rates

    • Kwise

      Mrs P, you are SO RIGHT. I’ve been wondering why all the concern over children ( who are primarily in bed by 10 or 11pm, depending on time zone). But you’re totally right – it’s conservative America who was most offended by Adam (SHOCKER – a boy kissing another BOY??) and they’re just pretending to be shocked, “for the kids.”

      • sbwm

        It wasn’t the kiss, it was the bj and the female thong grope. But I put my kids to bed and totally enjoyed the show!

      • Kaylee

        Adam Lambert is a very very very very very good and he is the very best singer. It is Kris Allen’s fault that he did not win American idol.

      • terie

        The only thing that concerned me about ADAM’s AMA performance was when ADAM fell (nice recovery, however) and the sound was way off … his backup singers were off key and at times seemed too loud and I contribute that to poor sound mix not poor singing on ADAM’s part. So yeah, if I were ADAM I’d get a little rattled & crazy too … I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it, BTW!!!

    • agrimesy

      Those of us who have followed Adam as a fan throughout his Idol experience saw him interact with children on various occasions in which he was gentle and encouraging. BUT, if parents were paying any attention at all, they would have known that he does NOT perform “child-friendly” music, and thank God! Look at the shackles put on Miley Cyrus.

  • merentha

    CBS should send ABC a thank you card. Adam was awesome, the songs were great, and he struck just the right tone in the interview segments. He’s right, it’s a grown-up world we live in, and as for “Who will think of the children?” — their PARENTS should. It’s not Lambert’s job.

    • Kvivik

      Merentha, you are so right!!!
      The moment I heard about GMA cancelling the interview with Adam I thought the exact same thing.
      They’ve set up a perfect promotions gimmick for CBS to roll with.
      Why could he not have gone on GMA and been interviewed with respect and asked about HIS reactions to the performance and the show?
      I applaud CBS for recognizing that what was shown on the AMA’s was not the same performance that would go on @ 6-9am in the morning and giving Adam a chance to talk about everything including his album and the controversy.

  • Rebecca-Chicago

    ABC lost out on this one! Adam sounded spectacular. I’m so happy for him. I love both songs. He sang them perfectly. Great interview as well. So honest and well spoken.

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