Adam Lambert, the bad boy American Idol runner-up, who shocked the American Music Awards by kissing a male musician on air, is getting a second act on the television show.
More than 1,500 people called ABC to complain about Lambert’s sexually charged performance at the 2009 music awards show.
ABC seemingly froze him out after that, booting him from scheduled appearances on “Good Morning America,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve.”
But Jay Leno stuck with Lambert for his NBC show, and CBS aired his AMA performance on its “Early Show,” although it blurred the kiss footage.
Adam, in full rock star mode, blew off the hoopla. “I don’t feel like I owe anyone an apology,” he said at the time.
But now all seems to be forgiven.
“Adam Lambert was never banned from the show,” AMA Executive Producer Larry Klein told The Hollywood reporter.
Not only will the singer be seated prominently in the audience (behind supermodel Heid Klum and husband Seal), but he will also present an award, Klein said.
Lambert’s 2009 AMA performance was sexually charged throughout. It included dancers on leashes, an obvious reference to BDSM, and a female dancer mimicking fellatio.
Lambert claimed his kiss was spontaneous, but, really, who believed that?
“I did something female performers have been doing for years. All of a sudden a guy does it, and it’s crazy. I do think there’s a slight double standard,” he said.
He’s probably right about that. No one kicked up a fuss when Madonna kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on stage during a performance at the 2007 MTV Music Awards.
Klein now agrees it was probably a spur of the moment thing and defends the performance.
“We rehearsed it, and what we rehearsed was not what we saw on the air that night,” he continues. “The kiss wasn’t in the script. Did Adam rehearse it on his own and not tell us? I have no idea.”
Klein also noted that the network had a seven-second delay and didn’t censor the incident. “The kiss went on and that’s all there is to it,” he said.
Klein also says he can see the day when Lambert returns to perform as well, but not this year.
Separately, Lambert tweeted that his second album Trespassing will be released in Spring 2012.
The American Music Awards airs Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
Watch Lambert seal his 2009 performance with a kiss below: