The projected ‘American Idol’ favorite, and projected homo, is robbed of his title

From Left: Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Ryan Seacrest at the 'American Idol' finale

From Left: Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Ryan Seacrest at the 'American Idol' finale

Buzz across TV land predicted that the outlandish, and quite probably gay, Adam Lambert would take home the top prize at this year’s American Idol. Alas, the favorite was upset by the cute, but not nearly as deserving, Kris Allen.

Even Mr. Allen was slightly stunned by the news: after the host Ryan Seacrest had told him he had won, he said, “Adam deserves this.” (By contrast, Simon Cowell appeared to lodge a silent protest from his seat, declining to stand and applaud Mr. Allen’s victory with his fellow judges.)

LA Times blogger Ann Powers argues that, although she felt Lambert more deserving, Allen’s approachable and unassuming nature was more appealing to a mass Idol audience.

Allen has his undeniable strong points. In terms of the music industry, he cuts a more contemporary figure than Lambert: Many stars now (specifically rock-oriented, male ones) tend to do better when they draw themselves to scale, offering songs that make fans feel warm and connected, not blown away.

Think Jack Johnson. Dave Matthews. Jason Mraz, who performed on the “Idol” finale. And on the country side, Keith Urban, with whom Allen did a spirited duet early in the show.

This approachable kind of pop figure is one that often naturally emerges from the “Idol” competition. David Cook, last year’s winner, is cut from this natural-fiber cloth. Performing “Permanent,” the song he has dedicated to the brother he recently lost to cancer, Cook epitomized what Allen will likely soon become — a crowd favorite, empathetic and touchable.

No one has any doubt, at this point, that the flamboyant and explosive Adam Lambert will have a successful career, even as a runner up. Just look at Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, and Chris Daughtry.

But is does beg the question as to whether mainstream America is ready to welcome a possibly gay, and most certainly gender-bending performer. Lambert still has not officially come out, instead remaining coy with quotes such as “I know who I am. I’m an honest guy, and I’m just going to keep singing.” And though it is unclear if he chooses not to discuss his sexuality for personal reasons or at the advice of publicists, it seems like it does not much matter.

America is making strides, and indeed, might be ready for calm, complacent queers to be out and proud sexless singing daddies like Aiken. But are they really ready to accept the brazenness of an Adam Lambert? It seems not. So might he as just well as been out and proud throughout the competition? And what will he do now?

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