Reportage of anything Adam Lambert-related is a lot like an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race: You can actually hear her highness’ voice echoing in your ears, “Start your engines! May the best woman win!” Lambert will do something infuriatingly asinine. Then he’ll wonder why everyone’s so quick to jump down his throat. It’s a study in comparisons of American Idol alumna. Because for every Lambert, you have someone graceful like Kelly Clarkson–who, despite putting out album after album of solid pop gems–continues to stay humble in the face of the most intrusive media speculation. She shirks garish eyeliner and costumes, letting her music sing for itself. But unlike her junior Idol peer, Clarkson doesn’t kick and scream whenever the media tries to rake her over coals. She’ll just find a smart way to say, “Oh, that’s nice, but I’ve already sold like 23 million albums worldwide so eff you very much.”
Lambert’s latest crisis: He took a little time out to tell off an audience member who was blabbing away on the phone. Yes, that’s totally poor form. But prefacing a performance with a bleat like “You’re not watching TV, honey–it’s a live show!” because one jerk hasn’t the courtesy to put away his Hello Kitty Samsung? Not poor form, sure, but still too petty for someone who wants to be the David Bowie of bubblegum pop.
When pressed for comment by JustJared, he offers, “Oh, it’s all out there already. I don’t need to bring it up again. Every media outlet out there already picked it up!” It’s here that you could insert a pithy quip about beggars, choosers, and the Warholian concept of 15 minutes.
Clarkson, on the other hand, not only has the distinction of being the first American Idol winner, but also the most successful performer to emerge from the series. She’s also no stranger to industry politics. It’s brilliant then, that she hasn’t devolved into an easily-boxed-in caricature who relies on stunts and shock-and-awe gimmicks to try to move a few records.
If anything, Clarkson’s proved that in the intervening years, she’s grown up. For example: There was her well-worded defense of Taylor Swift. And yesterday, for reasons that confound the rest of us, outlets decided to pick on her for her weight. This has been an issue for sometime now, with one fan even tweeting her back in January. Her response, culled from this tweet and this one:
@kelly_clarkson i miss when u had washboard abs! like in the walk away music video, u looked amazing! u always showed ur bellybutton live @jess123b Yeah ….I traded those in for a life 🙂
@kelly_clarkson i miss when u had a smokin body! uve never been overly thin, youve always had a booty. but u used to be very fit with a but! @jess123b The amount of times you have tweeted about my body makes me think you might be watching me right now outside my window….here’s a tip, stop being weird dude
Brilliant. No unnecessary shots fired. In fact, there’s something inherently great about Clarkson sternly telling off a fan to “stop being weird.” More inspiring is that Clarkson rarely in bitchy form–whether fielding questions about her record label or more needling queries about her weight. In fact, she’s almost always chipper. And should she defect to classic diva behavior, we’d be willing to give her a free pass. After all, she gave the world a string of hits from “Since U Been Gone” to “Never Again.”
So until he gets a “Since U Been Gone” of his own, it’s probably not the best idea for Lambert to get too mouthy with the press. JustJared may not be Rolling Stone, but man, that cover did him no favors, anyway. He’d be wise to take a cue from Clarkson’s humility. After all she managed to take Ryan Tedder’s embarrassing Beyoncé fiasco and turn it into a Top 20 single.