Adam Lambert Never Felt 'Stifled' By 'American Idol'

'They've been 100 percent supportive of everything that I've done,' over-the-top runner-up says.

Adam Lambert might have been one of the most theatrical contestants ever on "American Idol," but that doesn't mean he's heading straight for Broadway.

We caught up the runner-up to talk about his theater roots, Katy Perry's rhinestone tribute and why he's not losing sleep over his loss.

Q: A lot of your fans are pretty disappointed about your loss. How are you feeling about it?

A: I know it sounds cliché, but I really feel like I won by getting to the final. To me, it's not about the title of American Idol, it's about the experience. I made music, and I got to do a different performance every week, and I was able to use "American Idol" as a platform to get myself out there. I have a career. There's no need to dwell on the negative. We should look forward and be excited about an album and the rest of my career. That's where I'm at.

Q: If a Broadway show came calling after the tour, would you be interested? Or do you plan to focus on a recording career?

A: I think my direction right now is to try to become a recording artist. I spent time doing the theater thing for a number of years. I'm not turning my back on it, but I'm definitely going in the other direction right now.

Q: There's been a lot of theatricality in rock over the years, and you seem to be bringing that back. Why do you gravitate to that over-the-top style?

A: I think it's just in the name of good entertainment. First and foremost, it is about the music. It just kind of packages it in a little bit more of a flashy, interesting, dynamic way, in my opinion. Theatricality is just another way of performing. I don't think it's a better way or the way, but it's my way. [Laughs.]

Q: What did you think about Katy Perry BeDazzling your name on the back of her Elvis cape during her "Idol" performance?

A: I was shocked, and I was completely honored. I had a huge smile on my face the minute I saw it. I wasn't prepared for that. I didn't know she was going to do that, so you can imagine my surprise.

Q: Do you think all the talk about your sexuality had an effect on voting?

A: Probably! [Laughs.]

Q: What kind of album do you plan to put out?

A: We're at the drawing board right now, trying to figure it out. My view of the record industry is that it's a little too specific lately. The labels tend to try to put one box around every artist and keep them in one genre. To me, I'm so fortunate because I got to use this show to get myself out there, so we don't have to go about it that way. Obviously, we want the album to have a cohesive sound, but I think it can kind of be a collection of different styles with me at the center of it. Everybody knows who I am singing it, so that's the common thread.

Q: Your style seems to be a throwback to late-'80s, early '90s glam rock. Do you hope to resurrect that?

A: Maybe little bits of it. My thing is that I don't want to do one specific genre. I'm more about fusion. I kind of like adding little elements of things into the final mix. If anything, I'm more fond of the '70s glam feel than the '80s, even though I have that style of vocal. But we'll see what happens. I'm kind of experimenting with that. There are a lot of pop artists using the glam kind of vibe in their music currently, so I think I'm actually part of a wave, and there just happens to not be many guys doing it right now.

Q: With all the risks you took on the show, did anyone ever tell you "no"?

A: No! [Laughs.] The really cool thing about this show is that they've been 100 percent supportive of everything that I've done, every aspect of everything I've done, from the music to what I'm wearing to how I perform. I would go into a vocal session and be like, "Well, I have this idea. Can we try it?" "Yeah, sure, let's try it." [To] Ricky Minor and the band, I'd be like, "What about this? Can we try something like this?" "Yeah, let's try it, man." It's been very positive and creative. And never once for a second did I feel stifled in any way.

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