American Idol just got a little whiter.
On Monday, April 23, viewers voted for six out of 10 contestants who would advance to the next stage in American Idol. Five of these six singers were white, leaving the rest, including the only two LGTBQ performers of color to contest for the sudden death spot. Voters had also infuriated the judges.
Ada Vox, a powerhouse drag performer, and the first to make the Top 14, saved herself with an ace in the hole. Singing, "And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going" from Dreamgirls, she triumphed in the arena. Judge Katy Perry, made the "executive decision" for Ada to take the six spot.
Perry also was sad to see Jurnee, a lesbian performer, was not voted in, saying, "Never have I ever seen a more qualified woman for the job and still not get the job. What’s the disconnect, America?" said Perry. Then Jurnee was saved by the judges.
Judge Lionel Richie said, "There is a time when I have never questioned my country, but America does not know what they’re doing!"
This happened as Dennis Lorenzo, a talented black singer, was not chosen.
Historically, Idol on FOX was conservative. For example, Kris Allen, who was married to his high school sweetheart, was chosen over the glam rock, makeup-wearing Adam Lambert on season 8.
Actually, for fifteen seasons on Fox, Idol has never crowned a publicly LGBTQ singer. Although with it now being on ABC, there's no reason it wouldn't carry over the original Fox base. Add to the fact ABC is a little conservative and you have a situation where right-wing bias overwhelms the show. Think about it, if the show got successful off of catering to white and straight America, isn't that where the success is going to be today?
Still, the rest of the community can get involved, and the judges seem to be fair.
In a Monday interview with The Advocate, Vox shared that he identifies as gay. However, the drag performer also said, "I'm not sure that the majority of America is ready for someone like me to be on that platform of saying that I am the next American Idol. But what I do know is that there is a big part of America that is ready to accept me into their hearts. It's the people that love what I do that are the reason that I do what I love."
Vox and Jurnee cannot both be saved each week by the judges alone.
America has spoken but the judges have spoken as well. Now we'll have to see how America votes again to get the bigger picture. And at this point, it isn't hard to imagine the contestants will be narrowed down to all white and straight. This is, of course, sad to say, but that also means if the conservative base can be outvoted then a suitable winner can be picked. Ada Vox certainly will be giving the others a run for their money.