With Lady Gaga smashing glass and wearing complicated headgear, Rihanna taking a sci-fi trip to the dark side and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys earning a key to the city with their homage to New York, what's a poor glam-rock boy to do?
But, good to his word, Adam Lambert — the man with the silver nail polish and the golden glint in his eyes — brought the "sexy" vibe he promised at Sunday night's American Music Awards.
"It's gonna be sexy, I think," he told MTV News last week about the event, praising the wardrobe (barely) worn by his five male and female dancers.
Backed by his "For Your Entertainment" video band, Lambert didn't just borrow them for the performance: He made them a centerpiece to his homage to the [url id="http://newsroom.mtv.com/2009/11/16/adam-lambert-for-your-entertainment-video/"]Ray Kay-directed video for the song[/url]. In the process, the "American Idol" runner-up presented what might be the most NSFW performance in the history of the AMAs, one that frequently crossed the border from sexy to rather graphic, and which put some previous provocative awards-show appearances by Madonna to shame.
His named emblazoned in giant letters on the screen behind him, Lambert, hair thrust up in a towering pompadour and dressed in a shiny silver suit with spiky studs on one shoulder and studded gloves, wailed through a moody gothic piano intro that ended with one of his signature rebel yells.
And then the dance beats kicked in. Spinning a female dancer around and then dragging her across the stage as he swiveled his hips suggestively, Lambert closed a night of eye-popping performances with a few sights that have likely never been seen on the AMA stage.
At one point, he slunk along to the song's throbbing beat and dropped the line, "Don't be afraid, I'mma hurt ya real good," while walking two scantily clad male dancers across the stage.
And then there was the bit shortly after where he grabbed another male dancer's head and thrust it into his gyrating crotch as the camera quickly cut away. A female dancer got the same treatment on the way up a staircase for a sprawling, shiny silver set that resembled a post-apocalyptic "Hollywood Squares" of the future, and another placed her hand on his privates before Lambert did a tuck-and-roll across the scaffolding and grabbed a cane for no apparent reason.
Lambert was then surrounded by female dancers wearing various kinds of barely there fishnet and leather outfits, who crawled across the stage suggestively while he sat on a giant chair/stripper-pole throne and forcefully fondled the leather outfit painted onto the pole dancer.
There were a few more tongue-wagging yelps, a half dozen more hip-level gyrations, a back-of-the-head-grabbing kiss with a male keyboard player, some fireworks, another lung-busting scream — and then Lambert, panting, stared into the camera with a look that mixed defiance with exhaustion.