We don’t usually cover the performance of male musicians on AfterEllen.com, because they’re not exactly what our readers are dying to read about, and because they get plenty of coverage everywhere else.
But the showdown between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen on tonight’s American Idol two-hour finale feels a little different, for reasons our brother site AfterElton.com has covered extensively in articles like "Is America Ready for a Gay Idol?" and "We Just Had a Gay Media Earthquake — Did You Feel It?"
And I know from all the tweets I see after each episode that lots of queer women are watching this show — including me.
Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, and Ryan Seacrest
I’m rooting for Adam tonight for both the obvious reason — America needs a gay Idol! — and because I genuinely think he’s a better singer and more memorable than Kris. In their final performances last night, for example, I thought Kris did a great job with "Ain’t No Sunshine," but Adam’s covers of "Mad World" and "A Change is Gonna Come" were truly terrific.
Adam performing "A Change is Gonna Come"
Just don’t get me started on that stupid "No Boundaries" song co-written by Kara, which did neither contestant any favors.
What I really like about how this has turned out is that it could have become a "gays vs. Christians" battle (Kris is an evangelical Christian), and it didn’t — partly because the two finalists made a point to downplay this idea, and partly because, surprisingly, Fox hasn’t played that angle up too much on American Idol (although Bill O’Reilly couldn’t resist milking it). Not that I don’t think these things are going to factor into how some people vote, but it’s nice not to see it marketed that way.
I particularly appreciate that Kris has resisted the temptation to go this route, and that by being so buddy-buddy with Adam on camera, he’s sending the message that straight Christians can actually be friends with gay people and not get cooties. (Imagine that!)
But enough about the politics of the event. Who do you think should win tonight? And if Adam wins, or doesn’t win, does that say anything about American attitudes towards the gay? Discuss!
Reminder: Please don’t put spoilers in the subject lines of your comments!