“View” host Barbara Walters claimed “any publicity is good publicity” to “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert this morning, but the record sales of his first album tell a different story.
While “For Your Entertainment” sold 198,000 copies and took the number three spot on the Billboard charts during its debut week, sales dropped 74 percent in its second week, causing the album to tumble to number 22 on the charts. It was the biggest drop on the Top 200 chart.
“If you're an Adam Lambert partisan, you can try to spin it all you want, but that's just bad,” reported  USA Today's Brian Mansfield on Dec. 9. He also noted that only Susan Boyle's album dropped more than Lambert, but even Boyle “still outsold Adam by a margin of more than 10-1.”
Music reports previously hypothesized that Lambert's sexually explicit performance  on the Nov. 22 American Music Awards wouldn't have a negative effect on the sales of “For Your Entertainment,” which dropped Nov. 23.
“But even with all this Adam Lambert AMA video controversy swirling about, Adam Lambert's debut album 'For Your Entertainment' is having great sales numbers,” wrote the Associated Content's Mary Zeiher on Nov. 27
”As evidenced by Miley Cyrus just a few months ago, a little controversy rarely hurts in the sales department. Adam Lambert is on track to beat retail expectations for his RCA release,” noted  the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 25.
But, the numbers show that the sales weren't that great. The 198,000 copies Lambert sold in its first week fell far short of the 225,000 copies Billboard magazine projected.
Adam still hasn't found a foothold at radio, which he'll need if he wants to have solid week-to-week sales going forward after the holiday sales season. One of the major television networks clearly has doubts about his value to them, and the other networks will find amusement in booking him so they can thumb their noses at ABC for only so long. If he doesn't deliver a hit, those big network-TV opportunities (save maybe for Fox) will start drying up soon. In other words, the days of Adam Lambert as a perceived phenom are quickly drawing to a close. He needs a hit, and he needs it quickly.
Lambert told the “View” ladies that his AMA performance “brought awareness and visibility” to him, but that it “might not have been the exact visibility [he] was looking for.”
“People have been so caught up in talking about this scandal and ABC pulling me off and this and that that they're not focusing on [the album], and that's what I'm about,” he continued.
If record sales are any indication people understand that Lambert is about shocking his audiences and provocative behavior. And they're not buying into it.