Credit: Kevin Winter/AMA2009/Getty Images

American Idol alums are split when it comes to Adam Lambert's racy performance at the American Music Awards on Sunday.

"I honestly had no problem with Adam's AMA performance," season 5 contestant Kevin Covais tells "After watching him take risks on Idol, it was about what I expected. Despite being a bit risque, I don't feel like it pushed the envelope that much further from what we normally see these days, especially on primetime television. I see no reason why he should be punished by ABC."

As a gay man, season 1's Jim Verraros tells Us the performance meant a lot to him.

"We need this, and we need him," Verraros tells Us. "We need to have him out there - he's a gay pop singer from America. But I am torn -- I just don't know if I would have done that kind of performance for my first nationally televised show. I think had he done it at a more intimate club environment, it would have gone over a lot better."


But season 3's Diana DeGarmo says Lambert shouldn't be shocked at the harsh reaction. (About 1,500 people called in complaints; ABC's Good Morning America also canceled Lambert's Nov. 25 appearance because of his "controversial American Music Awards performance.")

Says DeGarmo, "When you take a big risk like that, you can't be surprised when there are repercussions for your actions." If anything, it should help out his career. "Plus, with all of the buzz around the performance, his sales shouldn't suffer whatsoever," she tells Us.

Covais agrees.

"I think the performance does more to help his cause than hurt it," he tells Us. "He definitely has everyone's attention."

But season 3's Jon Peter Lewis says Lambert shouldn't be calling his performance art. "All this nonsense about Adam Lambert's whole project being art is bogus," he told Us. "That idea is absurd. It's like calling Thomas Kinkade art. What a sham."