It was somewhere between the first few horrific audition weeks of scathing remarks from Simon and the last week when one of the American Idol directors grabbed my arm and pulled me out of a camera view of a “family shot” with the explanation, “Amy, I leave my conscience at home for this job,” that I introduced myself with my tacky quip (“I sleep with Adam Lambert’s dad” ) to the mother of contestant Megan Joy... I was standing with Adam’s dad and mom, Eber and Leila.
For weeks all of Middle America (who apparently not only believe everything Sarah Palin tells them, but also believe that reality TV is reality and not staged at all) had blogged about Eber and Leila. What a close family they seemed to be, the bloggers said, wasn’t it wonderful that they had stayed married after all these years? Even my own mother was sending me emails asking why every Wednesday night the show kept putting Eber and “and that other woman” next to each other. “That’s Adam’s mom,” I kept telling her.
But the whole thing–our entire raucous experience of American television’s circus–was about Adam, not about me. I don’t have many maternal instincts, but I do have one: the kid comes first. While bloggers and my mom continued to speculate and ask who is that other woman–the bloggers meant me, and my mom meant Leila (my mom’s level of concern much greater than any blogger) — I’ll be the first to state that this was never some big controversy. Eber and I tried our best to ignore it. Okay, he ignored it, and I cringed when I had to say, “He’s my boyfriend’s son”–like I just got a date with a rock star’s dad, like I’m a roadie, a statement way too temporary for what we all really are to one another.