Adam Lambert: Change We Can Believe In

With the 'Idol' front-runner, Americans have another opportunity to lead a nontraditional candidate to victory, in Bigger Than the Sound.

I have shocking information for you: Adam Lambert might be gay. I know! I am as floored by this as you are.

Sorry, I was just getting my Bill O'Reilly on for a second there. But sadly, I wasn't exaggerating. Apparently, the notion that Lambert — the musical-theater kid with the penchant for eyeliner and the flair for the dramatic — could possibly be gay is quite the jaw-dropper. I'm not exactly sure why this is, but boy, do people love talking about it.

And that's a bummer.

Because Lambert's sexual orientation — which, for the record, he has never commented on, because, really, why should he? — has nothing to do with his talent, and the last time I checked, it was his talent that has made him the odds-on favorite to win this season of "American Idol." I mean, it's not even close at this point. Lambert has dominated the competition like some singing, strutting hybrid of Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Secretariat. If he were anyone else — say, a lantern-jawed, lacrosse-playing guy from Pueblo, Colorado (or wherever) — we wouldn't even be speculating about this. It would be like the fourth season of "Idol," when Carrie Underwood steamrolled her way through everyone, only if, in the finals, she went up against someone like John Stevens or Kevin Covais or Camille Velasco. It should be game over.

Only it's not, and because of a bunch of insinuations and Internet buzzings and stuff that we probably shouldn't still be talking about in 2009, there is a very real chance Lambert might not win "American Idol." Some people will ignore the fact that he is clearly the best singer in the race because they do not agree with some (perceived) aspect of his personality, which means that someone less talented, yet more, uh, traditional — like Kris Allen or (God forbid) Danny Gokey — could steal his thunder and walk away with the crown.

And this is why Adam Lambert reminds me of Barack Obama.

See, in the months leading up to the election, my liberal friends (we have a cabal up here in New York City) believed that Obama would breeze to victory over John McCain. It wouldn't even be close. He had the youth vote, the people in this country were ready for change — no problem, this one's in the bag.

I wasn't so confident. Sure, I wanted to believe that voters in the great expanses of this country could bring themselves to vote for the nontraditional candidate — the African-American with the weird-sounding name — but I grew up in Florida. I had been all around the South. I spent time in Ohio and West Virginia and Iowa. I once went to a wedding in Maryland. I saw the uproar the photo of Obama in his so-called "Muslim" clothes caused. I knew that when you Google "Barack Obama" and "Muslim," you got 11 million results (his name plus "birth certificate" turned up another 670,000). I wasn't sure the American people had it in them.

And this is not meant to be some sort of hoity-toity, ultra-liberal missive from the enclaves of NYC (though it sort of reads like it); it was just that I didn't have faith in blue-collar workers, in the very religious, in the conspiracy theorists out there. I didn't think there was any way they'd be able to pull the lever for Obama. I thought, because of rumors and whispers, he was going to lose to an old white guy from Arizona. And I kind of feel the same way about Lambert.

Of course, we all know what happened in the election. It turns out I was wrong. Somehow, Obama won in places like Pennsylvania and Florida and Colorado. People looked past the ephemera and the bullsh-- and just voted for whom they believed would be the best man for the job. And maybe they'll be able to bring themselves to do the same for Lambert. Sure, there are people out there who think homosexuality is an aberration and a sin and whatnot, but that shouldn't affect whom they vote for on "American Idol."

I want to believe that we as a nation have it in us to look past all the stuff that might outrage us or fly in the face of what we believe to be traditional and vote for the weirdo, the nonconformist, the guy who may (or may not) be gay. A Lambert victory would be historic. It would bring hope to the hopeless. It would change our standing in geopolitics. Adam Lambert is Change We Can Believe In. I hope you can find it in your heart to dial for him.

I mean, seriously, anyone but Gokey. Please.

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