Can you imagine being given the opportunity to have your big defining moment onstage in front of the world — and then using it to instead have someone else’s defining moment? It seems apparent that Adam, at the AMA, was blatantly and specifically imitating some of Bowie’s most notorious onstage moments, the most obvious one being, of course, the moment made infamous by the widely distributed shot of Bowie going down on Ronson’s guitar. The other was when Adam was leading boys around on a long leash, which is exactly what Bowie did while strolling high atop his massive catwalk set on the 1974 Diamond Dog tour while singing “Candidate.” Exactly.
I’ll be kind and assume that the kiss was Adam paying homage to the Madonna. What does that leave that was Adam himself? What did he give of himself? Nothing. Adam’s version looked contrived and forced and awkward, as indeed it was. Why has this caused such confusion in the press and with fans? Because it wasn’t genuine. He’s not Bowie and he’ll never be Bowie, and it’s not 1974 so the gestures don’t have the same power. He couldn’t pull it off. He doesn’t have the mesmerizing hypnotic hoodoo that Bowie embodied that enabled him to be light years ahead of the times and not only survive but influence a generation or two towards self-actualization.
As Bowie sang in “Candidate,” “When it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad, I go to pieces.” It was really bad, Adam. Go live on a mountain with monks and find your identity before you squander any more precious opportunities.