If Adam Lambert wins "American Idol" this week, as expected, where will he be in several years? Touring America's backwaters in old stage musicals like Taylor Hicks — or else not doing much at all like Ruben Studdard? Or will Adam Lambert be seen collecting major awards at podiums like past champs Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson?
If Kris Allen wins "American Idol," I can see parallels to top Grammy grabbers like Rob Thomas and John Mayer, as I reported earlier. But there's a problem trying to peg Adam Lambert. When was the last time we had his equivalent sweep the Grammys? The last guy who wore as much eyeliner as Lambert and won the Grammy for best record of the year was Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams," 2006), who's a lot more macho than Lambert. That quality sometimes is key to success in the music biz since CD sales are largely driven by love-struck gals.
But there are exceptions among past top Grammy champs. George Michael won album of the year for "Faith" in 1989. Michael Jackson won best album ("Triller") and record ("Beat It") in 1984. Both stars are a bit more androgynous. Do you think those are apt parallels? Or is success limited nowadays to the swaggering likes of Chris Martin and Coldplay ("Clocks," best record of 2004) and Bono and U2 (best album winners for "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" in 2006 and "The Joshua Tree" in 1988, best record champs for "Walk On" in 2002 and "Beautiful Day" in 2001)?
If you haven't yet voted in our poll — (Who'll win the most showbiz awards, Kris Allen or Adam Lambert?) — pipe in here.
Photos: Fox TV, Epic Records