Every new season, the question seems to pop up as soon as the Top 40 are chosen. Are there any gay ;American Idol ;contestants this year? Will one of the hopefuls this time become the first ;American Idol ;gay finalist to be out and proud for all to see while the show is still airing?
So far, after twelve seasons of ;American Idol, we still haven't had a single Top 10 finalist who is openly gay, bisexual or transgendered while they are ;on ;the show. Well, Jim Verraros was technically 'out' before going on Idol, but Fox asked him to erase all gay comments from his online journal and refrain from speaking about his orientation while competing, according to an interview with The Advocate.
We have had quite a few contestants who have come out ;after ;the show is over, including two almost-winners, Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken and Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert. This, of course, has led to a lot of speculation that ;American Idol ;producers continue to put a lot of pressure on contestants to ;keep their orientation under wraps ;while they are competing.
Times may be changing at least on Fox's hit reality TV talent show. This season, we've had several openly gay ;American Idol ;contestants, including a few who almost made it all the way to the Top 10. This is actually the first year in ;Idol ;history that producers seem to have made a special point of featuring gay contestants ;— perhaps influenced by the perception that rival show ;The Voice ;is more accepting and open.
Even so, none of the openly gay-identifiying contestants this season made it to the Top 10. However, you never know what might happen after the show is over, someone might just come out when the curtains close on their Idol journey for the last time... just as Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken were before them. Flip through our gallery below to get to know some of ;Idol's previous contestants who came out!