Sunday, June 7, 2009

WE GET TO CARRY EACH OTHER




Kris Allen has my vote … for the classiest man of faith on prime-time television.


Oh yeah, he won that Fox TV talent thing last month? Yeah, that one. But the real drama, the storyline that put some reality in “reality” TV for once, was and is his new friendship with the runner-up, Adam Lambert. The understated Mr. Allen probably wasn’t looking to change the world when he auditioned for American Idol – he apparently wasn’t even looking to win, God bless him – but I think he and Adam together will deserve some credit for having altered the cultural landscape. I’m well aware that the lion’s share of press has gone to Adam Lambert, not to mention the stratospheric numbers he’s generated on Google. Yet, if Kris hadn’t played the part he did, Adam’s story would have been quite different. And not nearly so powerful.

Adam Lambert is completely magnetic, and not only because of his astounding voice. He has charisma, he has star power; and he has what many "stars" do not: manners. Grace. Thoughtfulness. And did anyone else mention he's as beautiful as a screen goddess (hair and makeup by The Cure)? Oh, you probably noticed that.
I had never watched an American Idol episode in my life. But one of my Fave Fab Females started sending me cryptic notes and pictures: "You have to see this guy. Click here, and here, and here...And oh, wait ‘til you hear him sing 'Brigadoon!' " 'Scuse me, Brigadoon? Sure, and there's internet footage of Adam in an elegant suit, singing The Prayer at the Yitzhak Rabin Tribute concert; there's him upstaging Val Kilmer in The Ten Commandments; there's some extraordinary clips of him vamping some hard-rock burlesque surrounded by dancers of various sexes and persuasions... the boy is clearly a club creature, openly glam, proudly theatrical, but also well-trained and a serious professional.


So he struts into American Idol's carefully contrived world, and apparently blows it apart, one sector at a time.

Week after week, he kept showing up and wowing his audience, and probably drawing in more and more people like me, who otherwise would never watch. I don't know what American Idol usually looks like, but it was pretty thrilling by ANY standards to see the likes of Glambert in full-throated sex-machine howl on Whole Lotta Love -- and props to the band who also rode it hard -- in American prime time.
Yet, at the end of every Idol performance, he steps out of his hellcat prowl (or purr) and instantaneously becomes the boy next door. He's articulate and self-aware, shrewd about his career but spontaneous enough to gush about the cool outfits he gets to wear for work. The world is his oyster now, and he will be one to watch for the next few years (especially once he's off the Idol leash, after this year's tour).


Adam is a compelling personality because he appears so completely at ease in his own skin -- and in this world. He knows what he's good at; he knows what he has to work at, he's educated about his medium. His confidence -- however hard-won it might have been -- is ... well, kind of infectious. He treats everyone with respect and puts people at ease. In a word, he is likeable. Flamboyant, theatrical, goth, guyliner and all, he is genuinely likeable.
But he is more than just "nice." So much more. He doesn't speak in spiritualized terms, but he does speak with disciplined positivity and, I dare say, a certain sense of mission about acceptance and inclusion of difference. Given a new and vast platform, he's using it to encourage parents to applaud and support their children who are a little "different," who want to be creative. Send them to dance class, give them vocal training. "Artists are a little bit special, they need the support," he says.


Now, the (pink) elephant in the room is nudging me to mention the difference that all of America is talking about, and it ain't about practicing scales. But Adam has been more honest than any of the speculators or gossips, because all of us know of some poor boy who was taunted and tormented and called "gay," NOT because he yet had any carnal inclinations at all, but simply because he was different. Adam's is the most relevant message we could hope for, because he refuses to let anyone be reduced to labels and be filed coldly in some moralistic category.
And he may just be the most effective messenger we could want, a goth boy of the demi-monde who is perfectly comfortable with Middle America (read: American Idol); but one who respects that audience enough to offer them "something maybe they didn't know they wanted." Creativity is his message, more than cultural disruption. He isn’t Marilyn Manson – he wants not to bludgeon his audience, but to woo them.

But none of that fully explains why he's on my blog.
It’s true that audacious creativity and originality and self-awareness like Adam's does alone merit spiritual reflection. The creative process is a deeply spiritual process, even in those who would never call it that. So I'm not presuming anything about Adam's beliefs.
I do think he’s an old soul. Yet, prudently he has no pretensions to Deep Thoughts or Political Statements (in public), he says he just wants to sing, and be judged on his art. Of course he’s more sophisticated than that, and he knows full well that asking to be judged for his art alone IS his political statement.


Countless commentators wanted the Idol competition to be about more than just singing. With Danny Gokey rounding out the Top Three, many wanted to make it a tally of endorsements for, oh, shall we call it “lifestyles?” You know, Danny (and likewise Kris, the dark horse bringing up the rear), the card-carrying Christian versus Adam the flamboyant one who hasn’t said he’s gay.
Let us pause to decode that snapshot of American pop culture. In social shorthand, those characterizations imply juxtapositions, i.e. a Christian can’t be flamboyant, and the one who “looks gay” can’t (or wouldn’t) be Christian; or, the one is restrained, temperate, and “good,” the other is … not. (Alternatively, the one is open, creative, and "good" -- while the other is not!)
Whatever. Moving on now, to real three-dimensional people, and the reason Adam Lambert and Kris Allen are important to our spiritual health.

Now, it is American Idol after all, folks: it is a popularity contest. And in the end, maybe the guyliner was a little more than America could stomach in its new American idol. But the punchline in this story is that it wasn’t squeaky-clean Danny whose votes ousted Adam. The showdown finale was between Kris and Adam – tagged respectively, Christian and flamboyant, yes, but demolishing the rules of American hit television by refusing to stay in their boxes.

I know next to nothing about Kris Allen’s non-musical life, except that he’s married, he calls himself Christian and he’s done missionary work across the world. I heard about the exchanges among the other contestants that made reference to what is supposedly “godly” and right in relationships, but Kris’s name wasn’t part of that. I don’t know what kind of Christianity he practises, or how he envisions his God. I do know this: he declares himself Christian to the television audience – i.e. to the world; and he freely, publicly, verbally, and especially non-verbally, loves Adam Lambert like a brother.

The blogosphere of Idol fans --"prolific" hardly suffices -- have dedicated millions of keystrokes to the warm relationship between Adam and Kris.
I needn't reiterate what everyone from Rickey.org to the New York Times and Ryan Seacrest have had to say about the contrasts between the two men. There’s the obvious: LA glamboy, Arkansas country boy; but also their personalities could not be more distinct. Kris was self-effacing even in his moment of triumph, while Adam was eating the Idol soundstage for lunch with Feelin' Good and Whole Lotta Love. Meanwhile they were assigned as roommates in the mansion midway through the season, and they obviously clicked.
They’ve both spoken freely about becoming friends, and joked publicly about their differences. Online fans have dubbed their relationship a "bromance," which is charming and maybe not inaccurate; nonetheless it is flip and much shallower than the bond that is apparent between them.
In an interview the day after the finale, Adam departed from the usual breezy soundbytes required of him to emphasize what he felt was most important about the competition -- that the friendship and respect between himself and Kris might be an example for others in transcending difference, for the reward of becoming enriched by it. Both of them become animated when they talk about how much their new friendship has meant to them. Still, their words never exceed generalities.


But pictures do.


One blogger dedicated a whole .jpg- and .gif-stuffed page to the story of the “bromance,” which brings together all the images (collated from a hundred other sources online) that speak more eloquently than any interview. Kris really isn’t much of a talker anyway, and Adam is nothing if not deliberate and professional in his public comments. But body language is like soul-talk, direct and poetic. Certainly between Adam and Kris, it has been.

Watching them together, both before and after the results, we saw no wariness or distance between them (compared with, say, Danny’s cold, take-no-prisoners duet with Kris). And heck, didja see those hugs?? Sure, there’s a lot of hugging on Idol, and I take most of it as genuine: the 5 months of competition are grueling, especially for the finalists, and I’m sure many of them feel a bit like comrades-in-arms. Certainly Kris and Adam must have felt like that.

But their physical way with each other is more than social or circumstantial.


And let me make this abundantly, loudly, perfectly clear: I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT ROMANTIC ATTRACTION. Kris obviously loves his adoring wife, and Adam is quite capable of feeling platonic love for other men, hey, just like regular folks. So let my words not be misconstrued in any way, shape or form. End of Disclaimer.


A brilliant (and hilariously insane) male blogger from the equally brilliant website Television Without Pity summed up the sub-cultural tremors we are feeling this way: And if that's the choice that America's handing us -- the choice between these two men who are soft, but manage to be anything but weak, and are the only two out of the whole Top Twelve you could say that about -- that's the best news I've heard in a long, long time.



Say amen, brother. It’s joyously evident that Kris has no qualms whatsoever about his trust in Adam, or about the message he’s sending to viewers. When they hugged, they hugged for real – there was none of the typical back-slapping not-too-close! hugs between men in public. To pick just one, there’s a telling moment in front of the press corps immediately after Kris’ win. Adam is patiently doing his post-episode 10-minute Q&A beside the Fox logo, when Kris comes around the corner into camera range and nearly tackles Adam with a broadside bear-hug. It’s spontaneous, genuine, and affectionate, for the world to see.


They’ve had each other’s backs. They’ve learned from each other, and they’ve advocated for each other. With and for each other they are respectful and generous. Open. Trusting. And loving.
Adam Lambert could not be happier for his friend, Kris Allen, American Idol 2009. And Kris Allen admires and celebrates the extraordinary gifts of his larger-than-life friend, Adam Lambert.


Kris Allen is my kind of Christian.


73 comments:

  1. Very eloquently put. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. These two young men are inspirations to us all that you can find love and friendship in the mostly unlikely of situations, as long as you keep an open mind.

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  2. Bless you, my friend (and I don't mean that in a strict religious sense). I'm an Adam Lambert fan who adores Kris Allen (and appreciates the bond between the two). It’s a hopeful sign – wouldn’t you say? I think so. I would call myself spiritual - but not attracted to any kind of group worship. Music touches my soul; bringing me closer to god - but again not in any liturgical way. I guess I'd say I adore the spirit that attaches itself to artistic expression. Adam is right. Artists do exist on a different plane. I've never had a more transcendent moment than once when I was on stage. I will say it’s nice to read some thoughts that mirror mine own. Well done, my dear. Bravo!

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  3. That was a beautiful essay, thank you.

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  4. I am genuinely touched and in awe by how well you managed to explore the relationship between these two fantastic men.

    Your article is sophisticated and I hope many others will be touched by what you're trying to express.

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  5. Wonderful thoughts and observations, and well done. I'm all aboard in your thinking. I do have to add that there is also a Kradam board that does take their relationship and expounds upon it further (either highly romantic, sexually explicit or both) in fictional pieces for 18 and over. But none of it comes off as crass, but rather more poignant.

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  6. Thank you for wording this so well! Little did American Idol producers know that this season was about acceptance and diversity.

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  7. I loves the way you wrote about Adam, about Kris, about both of them ^^

    *bookmark to read it again some other time*

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  8. Mine too. Kris is what most Chritians should be. He doesn't say he is Christian, he doesn't act like he is a Christian, he just IS one. And really, in a world where most of my fellow professed "Chritians" embarrass me, Kris is a breath of fresh air. The world would e a better place if more people were like Kris, living their religion instead of preaching it.

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  9. Beautifully written. I do hope that their relationship is a template for understanding and inclusiveness for us all.

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  10. A wonderful story. And with all of the judgement, criticism and underlying hate that people can spew out there, this almost seems heaven sent, doesn't it? God definitely brought these two men together for more than just a singing contest. I truly believe this!

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  11. I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you :)

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  12. WOW! What a beautiful and insightful article. The world would indeed be a better place if people looked beyond differences to embrace and support each other as friends like Kris and Adam have done. I love and admire them both.

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  13. Fantastic article ... You articulated much of what i've been saying ... Not so much the "christian" aspect but the HUMAN aspect. These guys are showing everyone something about connection (not to mention talent) that is a message we all need.

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  14. I couldn't have said it better! Beautifully written...

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  15. This is a wonderful article.I often thought watching them what a great example they were sending to the youth of the world. They may not have intended it, but they did.

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  16. This was absolutely gorgeous. I am a former Christian, now agnostic, partly because of the hypocrisy I would see from people in the church. Kris is my kind of Christian as well; he's the kind that led me to church to begin with: my friends who accepted my questions and oddities and who really showed what it should mean to be Christian in a world that is so diverse. Kris and Adam's friendship certainly reestablishes my faith, if not in God, certainly in humanity. I have bookmarked this article so I can read it whenever people get me down.

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  17. Beautifully thought out. As a long time American Idol fan, I was into this season first and foremost for the music and didn't pay very close attention to the background noise. Adam grabbed my musical soul and would not let go :-) Then the show was over and the spotlight shone on their relationship and it has been a wonderful sight to see. I agree completely with your analysis and I truly hope that more people pick up the message the two of them send.

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  18. Great article! Very touching with a positive message.

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  19. brilliant observations. Very well written. Best article/blog I have read about the two of them. I just love the two of them together and they are an inspiration to all of us! Thank you so much for seeing through all the BS and getting to the real story.

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  20. wow....thanks for this wonderful article. it was given a link @ the adamofficial.com site. you wrote a beautiful article, and i could not agree more.

    i was at the taping of the today show on 5/27, where adam and kris sang (many times, extra, for practice). and i saw, o.k., not from the very front, but, it was so very clear from their body language that they were sharing this together, laughing and telling each other private inside jokes, and grooving on the other's singing.

    this is an amazingly inspiring friendship. i am not a christian, but i see where you are in writing this. and thank you. we need more references to their friendship, because it's REAL, not SCRIPTED. it did come out of a reality show, but the wonderful part is that it is REAL.

    they really love each other, and are really happy for each other. now if the haters and the anti-gay forces and the my religion only forces could just really look closely at this deep friendship between two guys who are so very different.....

    kris says alot of the people he knows will not even give adam a chance, that he loves and adores adam, and did not want his religion to influence any votes.

    i am a super adam fan, but i respect and like kris for being the authentic person that he is, and i love him for standing up for adam. adam does not really need anyone to stand up for him, but having kris as a friend will no doubt enrich both of their lives. their parents are friends, too.

    thanks again for the wonderful article...i hope more people get to read it, not just adam fans.

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  21. Thanks for your thoughtful post. You described their friendship perfectly--"spontaneous, genuine and affectionate for the world to see." These remarkable young men showed us what's possible and I love them for it.

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  22. That was truly beautiful post to read, thank you for interpreting in words what we fans have seen and felt in our hearts. Just to add a little more information to your essay, I watched a video of Adam at the Young Hollywood awards and he actually said when questioned about faith that he is not really religious, but he is spiritual. I think that really shows in his personality. Adam and Kris are both setting fine examples of one of Jesus' true teachings, that of loving and respecting others whatever their differences may be. And in the spiritual sense, true love :)

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  23. Maye the guyliner was too much for America, or maybe more people liked Kris' style of music more than they liked Adam's. I doubt most of the people who voted cared about Adam's sexual orientation.

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  24. This is a great, great post! So articulate and beautifully written. It sums up how many of us have viewed Adam & Kris. I too have a son who is very artistic and has always been viewed as "different". I so wish that someone like Adam had been around during his formative years as a role model. Thanks for your thoughts and maybe more people will pause before they decide to judge someone. I, a grandmother of 3, fell in love with Adam the first time he performed. I hope he has a long and stellar career!

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  25. I am blubbering like a baby reading your blog about Adam and Kris. Why? Because at 54 years old, after living most of those years as a homophobic religious fanatic, I am a changed woman partly because of Adam Lambert and Kris Allen. For the last couple of years I have been deeply struggling with what the truth is about God and gays and love and Jesus, and then Adam Lambert strode onto the AI stage and broke through to my heart. Down came the last vestiges of homophobia I carried and up came a pure love for this sweet fiery loveable person I saw before me. I no longer cared who he fancies or has sex with and realized how irrelevant all of that is and how relevant this individual is as a human being. As the finale approached I began to see the love and deep friendship and RESPECT that had grown between Adam and Kris and was so filled with pride at being able to see it for the beautiful thing it is, rather than cluck my tongue at it in my former Gokey/Sarver style.

    What happened on the AI stage and behind the scenes this season is no small thing. It changed me. I feel as if I have been freed from a prison.

    Thank you Adam Lambert and Kris Allen for showing the world what love really is.



    KatieJ

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  26. Thanks for putting into words (so eloquently) everything I have been feeling.I am a huge Adam fan-the possibilities for him are endless. I only hope the world is as good and kind to him in the future, as Kris and Adam have been to each other.

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  27. I'm kind of at a loss for words after reading this. Who are you? This is extraordinary and profoundly inspiring on so many levels. Someone sent me your link and I admit to initially being a bit apprehensive. But Wow...I just sent it to someone else. Is there any way to email you?

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  28. I really enjoyed your blog and have shared it with many people who are very touched by it. It is interesting to add that Adam is Jewish as well- there can be lots of acceptance of him on many levels.

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  29. Beautifully written piece. The relationship between Kris and Adam is so special. You can tell they really admire and respect each other. Everyone keeps talking about what Adam could do for the gay rights movement, but really I think Kris and his acceptance could do even more. Kris can fit in with the right wing crowd, they can see him as one of their own and him saying showing that a straight guy can hug a gay man and show public affection for him without any apologizes is an amazing statement. Kris supports Adam in his quiet, confident, understated way and that is what makes Kris such an awesome person.

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  30. Sometimes you just touch a nerve. -- Well, let's give full credit to Adam and Kris for that. But it heartens me to find so many sincere and inspired responses here. And Katie, you are a brave and blessed soul who is prepared (or unprepared, but willing!) to be changed by love and to proclaim it. I always say after delivering a sermon, if only one person responds as you have (and others, more privately?) I don't care if no one else understood what I meant.
    The glory is not mine.
    Blessings,
    truecoloursfly

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  31. As the author of the "bromance guide" with the gifs and jpgs you reference in this blog post, I just wanted to say that this was a really lovely and eloquent summation of what exactly I love so much about their friendship. I feel like people could learn a lot from both of these guys. Thank you for writing this!

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  32. OMG, tcf, now I really AM reduced to a total puddle of tears after reading your commment.

    KatieJ

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  33. I truly loved the essay you wrote. It is lovely to see such a great friendship between two such outwardly different men, although both have said that they found many things in common with each other. Kris and Adam just took the time to look beyond the surface and really get to know each other. What I have found truly remarkable is that both young men are so comfortable with being so openly physically affectionate with each other. It is an example of how men should be able to act with each other and it shows how secure they are with themselves and what strong men they are.

    I really wanted Adam to win the competition, but cannot be sad that Kris won. He does what he knows is right without caring what others think. He is a wonderful young man who sets an ecample for the rest of us without saying a word.

    Adam has also shown himself to be an extraordinary young man. From all I have seen on American idol and his interviews and appearances he is patient, kind and warm.

    It is fortunate for all that two such lovely souls were able to find each other and forge such a wonderful friendship. They serve as an example to us all.

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  34. Thank you so much for this. Your piece helps to clarify thoughts that many of us have had. You are speaking for many, I assure you.

    Perhaps this year's "American Idol" is not a person, but rather what Kris and Adam have given us to witness and be a part of. They are the winners, but we can share in their experience if we allow ourselves to open our hearts and minds and put aside judgment in favor of acceptance.

    I hope you will send your piece of writing to Kris and Adam.

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  35. Dear TCF, and dear KateJ!

    Wow. Thank you thank you for your experiences of Adam and Kris. I love this internetted world! Such a privilege to witness the emotional flow of other people's lives. Katie I am blown away by your story! think one of the most beautiful moments that I have had the prvilege to witness has been when a new realisation has dawned on someone and their heart has opened. (Sometimes its my own heart I'm talking about). Its glorious..tears fall and walls come down.

    TCF love your take on this. I love the love I see between Adam and Kris. Its palpable in the video clips and photos. Kris is a goergous soul and Adam embodies some deep and glorious oldness - its in his eyes. Wow we are all in for treat!

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  36. This is the best article I have seen on these two wonderful guys. Thank you for your profound thoughts and your ability to see this unique cultural phenomenon and write about it in a manner that does not sensationalize. It is my hope that this article will find it's way into the mainstream media...

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  37. Thank you for the article that also reflects what I have been witnessing. I enjoy reading it immensely. You wrote their relationship down so eloquently. Note that I said relationship because I believe what they have is beyond a mere friendship minus the sexual aspect of it of course. It is inspiring, is very symbolic, and I believe is the true message that came out from this year Idol. I truly believe people who work around them including the judges and the other contestants are well aware on how close they are in person. What we have seen might just be the ice tip of it.

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  38. thank you so much for this post. i believe it articulates what a large sector of the american idol viewing audience has witnessed this past season. it has been brought up in interviews with both kris and adam that this season became almost more about social issues than singing, and in a way it was. and i could not be happier that the two of them were left standing at the end to deal with those issues. i remember in the larry king interview with the top 10 ryan seacrest posed the question as to what the theme of the season was. and almost without hesitation kris answered that despite their differences they were all so close, and that they should be an example. i almost felt like i was grasping at straws, looking too deep into what i wanted that to mean. but you laid out everything i saw with the two of them and their great friendship. which should be an example for our society in these times. thanks again!!

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  39. I guess it's Christians like Danny Gokey who give the others a bad name. I was raised in Sunday school and I am a Christian. But I have never in my entire life understood the need to be overly preach-y and to condemn other people for being different. I love Adam Lambert and his music. And I've been a huge Kris Allen fan, right from the get go. Kris just exudes an aura of being the classiest man there is. And he truly is a class act. I appreciate the friendship they've built and it's just beautiful to witness.

    I think what Kris has shown to us is that basic tolerance is not enough. Acceptance is what we really need in this world. Truly loving our neighbors as they are, for what they are and all that they will be.

    Thank you for your article. It was insightful and very moving. :)

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  40. What an incredibly awesome piece! Thank you. Like many, I happened upon Adam singing one week and was drawn in. I hadn't watched the show in years, but it suddenly became a near obsession to watch it every week. My husband was on a reality show a few years ago, so I was peripherally involved. From my experience, reality shows do NOT typically thrive on people getting along. Audiences usually are drawn in by conflict and drama. What amazed me more than this deep and special friendship is that the world actually cared about it. We wanted them to love each other. I've never seen an audience so vested in the big "win" - a flamboyant and genuine example of real love and respect.

    In many interviews, Adam has referenced two other "themes", if you will, not mentioned in your article - looking forward/anticipating what is next and not having regrets. I am a big fan of reflection. This essay is an absolute indulgence - mulling over what we've just witnessed, imagining how it could apply to our lives as Christians, agnostics, whatever, and then processing the lessons. But the next step is what is most important...what are we going to do with those lessons in our lives? How are we going to be better, more honest and genuine, more open and loving?

    My mentor and dear friend died last fall and I've been in a bit of a rut. But then, this music and dynamic presence that drew me in one night lit a spark in me. This spring that spark grew into a fire. My life changed in the most crazy ways. Choices that were always there that scared me and were left to the realm of daydreams suddenly became my reality. I started taking chances. I started trusting that others might cheer me on (and they did) but also became brave enough to keep movin' on even if (and a few times when) they didn't.

    We have seen love in the most awesome of ways. I am so appreciative of this friendship and beautiful example for what could be. And I'm so excited about tomorrow.

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  41. I am truly astounded at this beautiful article you have written. You have said what so many of us feel and have tried to say but couldn't find the correct words.

    I absolutely love and adore Adam. I like Kris. However, I have to admit that the more I saw Adam and Kris together the more respect I developed for Kris. He has proven himself not only to be a talented singer but to be a true friend. As you have stated they seem more like brothers with each other.

    If only the rest of main stream America and the rest of the world would accept people that are different, regardless of what that difference is.

    I was so thrilled seeing Adam have a real friend on the show with him. The finale couldn't have been between two classier gentlemen.

    Both are totaly different, yet the same. It's all about the music! If not about the music, how about the person inside. Nothing else should matter.

    Adam and Kris are both Class Acts, though my heart belongs to Adam.

    Thank you again for a beautiful article about Our Adam and Kris and the beautiful friendship they have developed.

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  42. Thank you for your eloquent prose. I experience Adam as a force of nature. The relationship between Kris and Adam is transformational and will help heal and open the hearts of many. Katie, I am deeply moved by your willingness to be transformed.

    I will share this piece with others as I continue to explain why I feel this AI year is so significant. Thank you with all of my heart. Kathy

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  43. Exactly my sentiment, but said much more elloquently than I could. Thank you!

    I was devastaded when Admd did not win, because I felt I was defeated twice in 6 months, after the passing of Prop 8 in California.

    But seeing and hearing Adam and Kris after the ending reminded me that initially I liked Kris a alot, too. I just became so emotionally invested in Adam and had to give him the victory, I did not have room for Kris any more.

    Seeing their friendship healed my wounds, and I cannot be happier that the Kris and Adam are the pair of the American Idols of 2009. And Kris deserves more credit for being supportive of Adam. Adam could be a Saint and he alone still cannot convince the world to to see the light. Somebody like Kris, that many see as one of them, has to come along and show them his way. He is also a true gentleman, and I love him, too.

    And for that, I -finally- see a silver lining of Kris being the winner: his words and support have more credibility than him being the runner up.

    I waw hoping Adam's victory ushes in a new era of acceptance to this world, but now think that it was not meant to be. We could not force it. But these two together may be able to bring in some change. I am really happy.

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  44. I just had to stop and say thank you; thank you for writing such a wonderful blog. You summed up every thought in my head and wrote it down in the most eloquent fashion.
    Their relationship is a thing of utter beauty, and I hope people learn from their example.

    Thank you again, I will most definitely be linking this article in my next journal entry :)

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  45. Wow that was very well-written.
    I noticed that there was something very special (and possibly subversive, now that I think about it) about Kris and Adam's friendship.
    I have supported Adam from the very beginning before I knew anything about him from outside the show. I was going the way Kris was, being open-minded and supportive of Adam, but someone told me that I shouldn't because I'm a Christian and quoted Romans 1:26 onwards to me.
    I wonder if there are Christians who are unhappy with Kris for supporting Adam to the extent that he has and i wonder if he has experienced any backlash yet...

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  46. Your words are so well stated. I also didn't watch the show until I keep hearing about Adam performances from my brother. When I started viewing the show, I was moved by the casual friendship between Kris and Adam. It seems so loving and encouraging. You rarely get a glimpse of that sort of relationship between two men on American TV. Kris and Adam are great examples for America. Even with all the media efforts, they refuse to be boxed into some category, white southern “conservative” male vs. white west coast liberal male. They defined who they were by their quiet actions. Kris and Adam give me hope that we are making great strides toward more tolerance and an appreciation on all our differences.

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  47. Like so many others, I have been profoundly affected by all that has emerged from this season of American Idol. That sounds pretty silly (profound hardly equates with a talent show!), but it's the truth. I'm embracingthis fairly privately, keeping my true feelings from those closest to me, since they don't always understand my intensity about such things. Music has always been such a vital part of my life, and I tend to take my music heroes very seriously, but after Jeff Buckley died, I went into a bit of a music funk for quite a while. Part of me seemed gone for a while there.

    Because of Adam Lambert my love of music has been renewed, and that alone is reason for me to celebrate, but that's not all this "adventure" has given me. I've found a "music hero" who seems, uncannily, to possess every positive trait you'd want to find in an individual. I'm now a "member" of a Social Network fan group page, where I can express my appreciation for this wonderful talent without feeling "too intense" (because ALL the members there are!). I comment on blogs on the many subjects that have spawned from AI and Adam - something I've rarely done before. I've been heartened (being one who has always advocated tolerance and inclusion) to see that most of Adam's fans don't CARE if he's gay, and that some who used to care don't now, thanks to the unique appeal he has to so many (and thanks to Kris's "love" for him and their friendship). I've bonded with an old friend who is only sporadically in touch, because of our shared appreciation of Adam. Through my internet research, I've found like-minded, articulate fans, such as music critic, Ann Powers, who I hadn't known of before, and whose articles I now follow. And now I've found YOUR blog - another "gift" I've been given along the way. I love the way you write, and what you have to say, and -although -like Adam- I am spiritual, rather than religious, I embrace your gentle, non-preachy sensibility. (Oh, and I, too, have written about Adam's being an "old soul.") I guess I could encapsulate this by saying that I've found a community in which to express myself and feel comfortable doing so. And all this because of a silly reality show!
    .
    The friendship between "competitors" Kris and Adam has reminded me that gentility and generosity are not as lost as they sometimes seem to be in this hardened, cynical world. I've sent that precious video of Kriss' "hug attack" to several friends, because it is such a refreshingly genuine show of affection. (It gives me a good, "pay-it-forward" feeling to share that.) I sometimes think of Adam as an "angel" who has imbued so many with hope (for the "different") and joy (for his music) and inspiration (because, for all who dream "big," he IS that). And Kris, with his "quieter" talent, courage (to openly befriend someone his fans might not approve of), humility and kindness, is every bit an angel, too.

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  48. So articulate, wise, compassionate and well-said! Evidently, you've been able to put into words what a lot of us have been feeling for quite a while now. I'm a no-holds-barred Adam fanatic, but, because of the obviously very genuine bond of friendship that he and Kris have formed, I have even more respect for both of these remarkably talented men.

    I think the most important thing that Adam reminds us of is this: That we should each do our utmost to actualize that beauty and brillance that each of us has "lurking" inside. And both he and Kris remind us to never lose site of our humanity and caring nature along the way.

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  49. Wow, need I say more? Everyone else has expressed my exact feelings on the subject and on your beautiful writing! Thanks for such a fantastic read, very inspiring!

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  50. Adam Lambert is able to be who he is without causing those who might think his orientation is just a "lifestyle choice" to dislike him. He represents the type of person that we should all be: comfortable with who we are, confident enough about our abilities to take all the risks it takes to succeed yet genuinely humble enough to accept the many compliments he got from the judges without being cocky about it. Should he have won? Sure, he should have, but in the end, we will know him years after Kris' star has burned out. Finally, AI managed to pick so many good singers that it was really a competition right down to the wire. Watch the show next year, and hope they can do even better than they did this year, though that will be tough.

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  51. This was such a wonderful read! I am from Conway and from Kris's church. We are understandably proud of him and we are also not surprised by how he lives his faith - quietly but deeply. That is what results from your faith being cellular - it is not an act to be paraded but it just comes from within your innermost self.
    If I had not been voting like a fiend for Kris (all legally, of course) I would have supported Adam because I loved not only his music but his sweet and polite nature. I think it was more than chance that had the two eventual finalists become roommates. The friendship that is so obviously mutual is a true blessing.
    My love and prayers for both of these young men in their journey ahead.

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  52. The essay was beautiful. I am now a fan of yours as well as being a fan of Adam and Kris.

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  53. "Preach the gospel always. If necessary, use words." - St. Francis of Asisi

    I am not a Christian, myself, but I can say that Kris Allen is also my sort of Christian. My household was caught up in watching these two young men (not usually reality TV folks), and seeing them both reach the final ring was, at least for me, the real victory.

    Watching their rendition of "We are the Champions" gives me goosebumps - in the truth of it, in the power and symbolism of that particular song chosen for that particular place, and in their clear affection for each other.

    I will be linking you from my blog.

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  54. Goodness, what a great blog post. I have read over a hundred articles posted about Adam/AI and from my point of view it is abundantly clear that few journalists hired for entertainment reporting have any wordsmithing ability. My respect goes to Ann Powers, Michael Slezak, and YOU. Thank you for such a wonderful read AND to some of the very articulate comment contributors.

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  55. Dear readers: You’re welcome!!
    There’s an aura of “peace, love and understanding” around Kris and Adam, and all I had to do was hang out and chat about it with the Universe awhile… and here you all are!

    Forgive me please for not responding individually above. I’m still learning to navigate Blogger’s tools. I hope this note will suffice.
    Fatladysings.us, thank you!
    Mollywobbles867, a “former Christian” who responds to someone like Kris is, I think, responding to the light within…

    Sharyncompton, I’ve added a contact to my profile.

    Talipuu and Dw3t_Hthr, thanks for linking me. And for quoting St Francis!
    Emy, “possibly subversive” – say amen, somebody.
    Leeskerette – in many ways, the internet community allows us to feel more like ourselves than we ever could before, simply by feeling heard.
    Meri, What a delight to hear from you, from Arkansas! Thank you for sharing a little slice of Kris’ life and faith community.

    Tom M & Debbie, I am honoured. Michael Slezak has the best job in the world (you guys MUST check out his “Idolatry” videos on the Entertainment Weekly site, EW.com.), Ann Powers’ writing is subtle and concise … thank you for your kind words!

    I’ll be back for my usual weekend post. Namaste.

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  56. PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS TO *BOTH* ADAM AND KRIS!!! What you've written is beautiful and will touch both of their hearts!
    Here's the address for both of them:
    Adam Lambert (or) Kris Allen
    c/o 19 Entertainment
    8560 West Sunset Blvd.
    9th Floor
    West Hollywood, CA 90069

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  57. you are a great writer...your article was indeed superb.

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  58. Hello, I haven't read any of the comments, but just finished reading your blog. This is so beautiful it made me cry. You certainly have a way with words- I was impressed the whole way through with how you know how to bring MY thoughts and feelings to life in a way I never could. I agree completely with everything you said, and I was wishing through the whole thing that there was a way to get the whole world to read this. Also, I was so drawn in, I didn't want it to end! Seriously.
    I love Adam so much, and I love Kris more and more every time I see him with Adam and see the way these 2 genuinely love and care about each other. The contrasts between them make their relationship so interesting. I love their open affection and acceptance of each other. Kris is an example of a true Christian to ME.
    It hurts me to no end to see "Christians" judging others and making derogatory comments about someone with such a beautiful soul as Adam.
    Thank you for your beautiful words. I hope you can find a way to publish this so more people can see it.
    Mary (sunnysophie on the AI boards)

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  59. WOW we need articulate words like this to inspire us every day!! thank you! I, too, never watched Idol until this year, precisely because my daughter said, "You gotta see and hear this guy, Adam!" And I was hooked, even voted for the first time! But what is most important is EXACTLY what you have so eloquently described, friendship, understanding, enjoyment and respect for the talent and creativity. Hip hip horrah for Adam & Kris, examples for us all!!!!!!

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  60. Namaste? My dear old friend - can it you? I know it's been ages but......no one else I've blogged with has ever used that signature - and the writing style's so very much the same. If not - then it's a pleasure to find a kindred spirit with whom to share my view on our world. Whatever (and whomever) - happy thoughts and heartfelt prayers, my dear. You are a light unto the world.

    TFLS
    (The Fat Lady Sings)

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  61. This was beautifully written. I've had trouble expressing why I was glad that it was Kris and Adam rather than Gokey and Adam as the final 2. This is kinda what I wanted to say. Their friendship was a beautiful example of acceptance. and a Gokey/Adam finalle would have just been too antagonistic. (nevermind that I find Gokey to be a smug bastard) I'm not religious myself, but I hope that more Christians follow the example of Kris (and you, apparently) rather than some of the more prominent examples the public is presented with on a daily basis.

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  62. Thank you sooo much for this article,you found the right words for everything I felt for and between Adam and Kriss.
    If the world would be able to learn just a little bit from these two extraordinary and very young men it will become a better place!!!
    Wonderful!!I m so touched,I m in tears..

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  63. "Von Herzen - moge es wieder - zu Herzen gehen". Beethoven wrote this at the head of his "Missa Solemnis". Translated, it means "From the heart - to the heart," and is said about the direct communication and gift of emotion from artist/ composer to listener.

    I hope you'll allow a small tangent of sorts (or if not, at least ignore...). But I want to say something about Adam that does not have to do with Kris, and I want to say it to empathic ears:

    A fellow enthusiast/ friend called me while the AI contest was still in progress. "You must hear this selection from 'Brigadoon'", she said. So, from her computer, through her cell phone to my cell phone 1600 miles away to my heart came Adam's voice. Though the sound quality couldn't have been great, a golden wave of total peace and happiness ran through my heart - a momentary experience, and very unusual.

    Though I've had many peak experiences in life, in art, in appreciating nature, this was something more rare, or at least more unique. It was a glimpse of paradise (and hey, it many be the only one I'll get!)

    In my opinion, he has a kind of trancendent beauty anyway but, he must also be a very special messenger of something from the Universal Heart (to coin a term).

    Otherwise, I've got to say again (I was on here blathering a bit previously) what extraordinary writing this is and what wonderful thought went into what you've set down for us to share. Kris and Adam are lovely men, and their friendship appears to be exemplary. But in the end, I think the spirit behind this blog must - naturally - belong more to yourself than to them.

    Thanks for being here!

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  64. Valerie,
    Your experience with Adam's Brigadoon is a reminder of how fine his gift is. When my friend brought it up on my computer one evening, I sat there with my mouth hanging open -- he hadn't yet unleashed Whole Lotta Love on us, but nevertheless I was not prepared for the sweetness and respect in his voice. Not to mention the brogue! I made a CD of the AI recordings (plus Pop Goes the Camera and I Just Love You) but I could not include Brigadoon on it because the tone and mood of it is so startlingly different... He will have a stellar career, I think, as a rock star and entertainer, but I'm glad we all know how skilled and refined his artistry is. It's great to hear so many others responding so deeply to a musical experience.

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  65. Thank you for this amazing insight into what went on this year. I continue to watch the Queen finale, a big grin on my face appears every time when Kris and Adam shake hands and hug as they sing.

    The description of Kris tackling Adam at the press event can be seen in this picture:
    http://www.mr-l.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/kris-allen-adam-01-2009-05-22.jpg

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  66. What a beautiful post, truecoloursfly! How very well-thought-out and well-written. This should be a magazine article so more people could read it. I am a huge Adam fan, and an increasingly Kris fan.

    I have to ask - how did you make a CD of the AI recordings and others? I've been wanting to do that, but haven't had time to figure it out yet. Please, do tell! (pleading on my knees) Thank you in advance! I don't use an iPod, but like to listen to CDs in the car.

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  67. KumulusKld:
    thank you. You may not have an iPod, but I know you have a computer... I downloaded the music from iTunes. Put a blank CD in your CD burner. Click "Burn CD." Done. Seriously.
    Best thing to happen to music since amplification. Enjoy!

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  68. tcf-just found your article-loved it! 52yo straight-laced christian who instantly bonded to Adam and have had to justify my 'gone gaga' to everyone I know because no one in my life circle could accept him. I too have felt 'different' from everyone I know and its not a gay-straight thing. I have always felt 'not of this world-time-body' and sometimes cross paths with people totally out of my circle who I feel instantly like I've known them before. Once saw some writing about this being because we've been here before and some are more sensitive to remember those we knew before. Is that what this expression "old soul" is about-relating to a soul that is in touch with knowledge-experience from a 'before'?
    sorry to have drifted off topic-but I felt touched here like I had pass the path of friends again

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  69. Wonderful blog. You captured the true essence of their friendship. I truly hope others learn from this. They are both wonderful young men.

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