There was a time when Adam Lambert's eyeliner would have made him an unlikely "American Idol" favorite, said Sheila Marikar in And those “Web photos of him making out with guys” might have ruined his chances completely. But “in an age when Americans are embracing the gay community more than ever before,” the timing might be right for Lambert to wear the Idol crown. (watch Adam Lambert on American Idol)

But a “cultural chasm” still divides America and “Idol Nation,” said Richard Rushfield in the Los Angeles Times, with Lambert representing “the left side of the culture wars,” and his mainstream-friendly Idol opponent Danny Gokey, the right. We can’t help but wonder how much the cultural “storms raging across our nation will blow across this election and influence its outcome.”

It’s disappointing that we’re even having this discussion, said James Montgomery in “Because Lambert's sexual orientation—which, for the record, he has never commented on, because, really, why should he?—has nothing to do with his talent, and the last time I checked, it was his talent that has made him the odds-on favorite to win this season of American Idol.”