It's hard to believe that in its 13 seasons on the air that American Idol hasn't had an openly gay contestant in the top 30 before now. But it hasn't. So this go-around is breaking new ground for the singing competition. Twenty-year-old M.K. Nobilette is the first. Though in this day and age, no one should blink an eye at the fact that she is gay. But in the world of AI, that could mean a tough road for the aspiring star.
It's not as though there hasn't been a gay American Idol finalist before. I am sure oodles of people suspected Clay Aiken was long before he actually came out (which was years after the competition ended, I might add). But I wonder if the fact that he didn't actually admit it kept him in the competition longer. It's sad to say, but there are still a lot of close-minded people out there.
Of course the judges don't care whom the singer prefers to date. But what about the rest of America? While (hopefully) most of the viewers won't be influenced by the contestant's sexuality, what about those that are? Will that affect the votes he or she receives? The voting public has a lot of power on this particular show.
Don't think it matters? This fear is a very legitimate thing among actors and singers. There are so many suspected closeted stars. Even as someone becomes a member of the A-list, they can still be reluctant to come out. The reason? They fear it can affect how the industry sees them. Can you be seen as a romantic lead if the world knows you wouldn't ever really be attracted to that person you are making out with on screen? And if you sing romantic ballads, will people like or relate to them as much knowing that you are singing to the person of the same sex? It's not fair. It's just reality.
I hope this doesn't affect Nobilette. Her talent is remarkable. And I love and respect the fact that she is brave enough to show the world who she really is.
Do you think being openly gay will affect Nobilette's success in the competition?