In April, back when Lil Rounds, Anoop Desai and Matt Giraud were still in the running (remember them?), and before Allison Iraheta and Danny Gokey were booted, we took our annual look at the traffic in "American Idol"-related merchandise on eBay.
At the time, Adam Lambert was smashing the competition, with more than 340 items for sale, versus the modest tally of 39 Kris Allen-associated knickknacks. Well, now that the Allbert showdown is set for next week, we thought we'd take another look to see who has the all-important lead in this traditionally predictive (if totally unscientific) survey of fandemonium.
It should come as no surprise that Lambert has hugely increased his margin, nearly doubling it to 728. Joining the usual array of creepily made-over Ken dolls ($260 at press time), dog tags, signed photos, flash drives, Lambert-related Web domain names, necklaces, watches, purses, photo sets, drawings, buttons and key chains are a couple of somewhat disturbing new items.
The creepiest is described breathlessly as "Lock of Adam Lambert hair necklace — really his hair!" Enclosed in an iridescent locket that looks like it's filled with tiny gumballs, the seller explains that the lock (which, honestly, looks like one strand of hair), was obtained from the salon where Lambert gets his raven hair done.
"Adam Lambert has a hairstylist he's been working with for a little over two years now," the seller writes. "My friend who gave me the lock of his hair knows both of them very well. She was there when Adam had an appointment with his stylist. As she talked to them and cleaned up the area she kept a lock of his hair for me. Knowing that I am a huge fan, she gave me the lock of hair saying that now I'll always have him close to me." At press time, more than 22 bids had jacked the price up to $202.50 for this priceless memento.
Someone was also selling a copy of the recent Entertainment Weekly featuring Lambert on the cover, jacking up the price to $7.77 (plus $5 shipping), for an issue that would have cost subscribers less than 40 cents.
And clearly some people have started going through their closets and digging up Playbills from shows Lambert has performed in, including "Wicked" ($16.99), "The Ten Commandments" ($14.99) and "110 in the Shade" ($14.99).
Then there was the wishful "Mrs. Adam Lambert" customizable baseball jerseys ($16.95) and perhaps the greatest Lambert, or frankly any "Idol" contestant, keepsake ever: the "Adam Lambert Ravioli," which the seller swears looks just like the singer. It could be yours for just $1.75 at press time.
As for Allen? Well, his merch count has also doubled ... to 70. But in what some might take as a metaphor for the difference between flashy, showbiz-ready club kid Lambert and nice-guy married cutie Allen, the products people are hawking on behalf of the Conway Kid are not nearly as wild. There are the usual buttons, keychains, T-shirts, magnets, autographs and pins, augmented by some pencil sketches, car window decals, copies of Allen's hometown newspaper with him on the cover and, well, that's about it.
No hair, no ravioli, no dolls, no flash drives, no domain names. Is it a sign of who will emerge victorious next week? Maybe, maybe not. But at the very least, it's proof positive that, if nothing else, Lambert has done his part to help stimulate the economy.
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