Monday, April 06, 2009

Adam Lambert's Cat O' Nine Tails and a Continuity Error

Everyone loves a good continuity error, right?  I've found one and it gives me an excuse to post some more about Adam Lambert.

We tape at least some of Idol while we're watching so that if there's anything good we can review.  So we had taped Ring of Fire and replayed it several times between Tuesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 19 when I bought the video from iTunes.  When my editor husband K saw the iTunes version, he immediately noticed that it differed a bit in shot selection from the live show.  That got us interested:  why was it different?  We compared frame by frame and realized that they'd substituted an extreme wide rear shot for a mid-range rear shot in a one spot.  Our hypothesis was that they were obscuring a salacious hip swish. 
It's common knowledge that Idol tapes the dress rehearsal and uses that footage for the wrap-up montage at the end of the show.  In the RoF video, we noted that the midrange camera is nowhere to be seen in the extreme wide shot and it would have been visible within the wide shot had the mid-range camera been where it was during the live show.  (It was circling Adam -- a ring of fire, as it were -- through the whole song.) Therefore, the inserted wide shot was clearly from dress rehearsal.
Over the weekend, I was reading some Adam Lambert fan fiction.  I'm way behind the times so this whole genre of fan fiction was new to me.  Apparently, people take celebrities and write fiction around them.  Adam has inspired a batch of it, including one bawdy series in which he and apparently-straight, married contestant Kris Allen (his roommate at the Idol mansion, for real) revisit Kris' sexual preferences.  It's unfortunate that it's pornographic and not suitable for all readers, because the stories are pretty clever, with scenes written around things that Idol fans would recognize, like the contestants going to the mall to shop for jackets, since this has been the season of everyone-wearing-jackets-all-the-time.  And of course I hate to see homosexuality equated with promiscuity.  Anyway, at one point in the fan-fic story, the writer has Fictional Kris asking Fictional Adam what the fringy thing is that Adam is wearing, and Kris learns (as did I, then) that it's a cat o' nine tails.  (In real life, Adam wore it while performing Black & White and Ring of Fire.)
Armed with this new fact, I updated my hypothesis about the edit to the video of RoF:  it was not to obscure a hip swish, but to make it harder to see that the man is sporting an S&M toy on prime-time family TV.  (Love the man.)  So I went back to the iTunes video to watch for the cat o' nine tails.  You can see it occasionally, but views are fleeting.  You can just see something fringy from the front as his hip swishes send it out to the side, but you can't get a good enough look at it to determine what it is.  And indeed, it's impossible to tell from the extreme wide shot what it is, though the midrange shot gives you a good view, so I believe that solves the mystery of why they made the edit.
But I noticed something else in the iTunes video!  The CoNT is hanging from Adam's left rear side, from a belt loop, for all of the video EXCEPT for that inserted extreme wide shot in which it's hanging from his right rear side.  This tells us that during dress rehearsal he was wearing it on the right side, took it off between dress and live, and then put it on the wrong side for the live show.
And there you go:  a fabulous premise for another story in the fan-fic series about Fictional Adam's debauchery of Fictional Kris:  what exactly was the CoNT doing during the downtime between dress rehearsal and the live show when it wasn't attached to Adam's pants?

Update 7/29/10: I just noticed something about this post that I failed to appreciate when I wrote it. I wrote "It's unfortunate that it's pornographic and not suitable for all readers..." If you're not in my head, you'd think that I meant it was a bad thing that it was pornographic. But what I meant was "Unfortunately, because it's pornographic, I can't post a link or an excerpt of this delightful story here."

In the months after writing this post, I read a LOT of Adam fan fic. Sure, there's some bad fan fic, but for the most part I was blown away by the quality of the writing. There are some seriously talented people out there. Here's a list of "Adam Lambert Fic That Doesn't Suck" compiled by yeats at

Update 9/29/10:  For even more Adam fan fiction, see glambertfiction, also at

Update 9/30/10:  A short list of high-quality Kradam fic at Ink, a fanfic recommendation site.


Not Very Anonymous Mom said...

i think you need to answer that question with your own work of fantard fiction!

Stephanie said...

Thanks NVAMom for the encouragement. Unfortunately, I'm creatively challenged, so just can't write fiction. Makes me admire those who can.

U said...

Interesting observations. :D

Anyway, I know the person who wrote that (lovely, may I add) story and as for your complaint about homosexuality being equated with promiscuity, if you read the sequels Adam is not portrayed as promsicuous at all, it's just a facade he puts on, for his own reasons. :)

Stephanie said...

He's pretty promiscuous in the scene in the store with the store clerk. But you're right that the author puts him on the moral high ground in the first story with Kris where he refuses to help him cheat on his wife.