Ryan Seacrest was there to introduce Adam Lambert on Sunday night, but his American Music Awards performance of "For Your Entertainment" was a long way removed from the family-friendly confines of "American Idol." There was groping, dragging and bondage outfits, bringing the ABC program to an end with theatrical images of sexual slavery.
"It's about to get rough," Lambert sings in the song's opening moments, and for many of Pop & Hiss' readers, it went too far. Within minutes of the American Music Awards coming to an end, irate viewers had begun writing in. Reader Kathie Kunish declared that the telecast should have been rated "PG-14," and user "penny" noted that she had to cover the eyes of her 10-year-old daughter.
Reader Richard Bowen agreed, posting on Pop & Hiss, "I know he wants to break out and show the world his dangerous side, but why alienate an entire population of kids to do it?"
Lambert wasn't the only former "American Idol" contestant to get risqué. Earlier in the night, Carrie Underwood strutted in a pants-less outfit, but the country star was still a long way removed from Lambert's sexually suggestive performance. With a crotch rub and a make-out session with a band member, Lambert sent tongues wagging and the Twittisphere erupting in controversy, bolting to the top of the site's trending topics.
"The energy felt good. Adrenaline is a crazy thing to feel," Lambert said to Pop & Hiss after the show. "That's what I love about performing. I'm hoping people were entertained. For those who weren't, maybe I'm not their cup of tea."
When asked if he thought the most extreme moments would be edited out of the West Coast broadcast, Lambert wasn't shy about how he would react to such a move.
"If it's gonna be edited, then in a way that's discrimination. I don't mean to get political, but Madonna, Britney and Christina weren't edited," Lambert said. "It's a shame. Female entertainers have been risqué for years. Honestly, there's a huge double standard."
Lambert said his goal wasn't to upset anyone with his performance: "I'm just trying to have a good time onstage. It's a sexy song. It's 2009, it's time to take more risks. It's about entertainment. People want to be surprised. It's too bad that people are so scared."
A clip of the performance, which as of Sunday night is available on YouTube, is embedded below.