'American Idol' features first openly gay contestant

Though American Idol is currently airing it's 13th season, this is the first time an openly gay contestant, named Emkay Nobilette, has made it into the top 30.

Wednesday's airing of American Idol showed a new kind of contestant for the long-running Fox show. As Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and jazz singer Harry Connick Jr. hand-selected the top 30 contestants, they sat down with singer Emkay Nobilette (sometimes referred to as "M.K"), age 20. People Magazine reports that during her time with the judges she spoke openly about her sexuality, saying, "I'm very obviously gay, and there are always gonna be people in America … who will definitely hate me, but I think that in the last two years there have been a lot of things that have really changed that." Indeed, the past few years has seen much attention being placed on gay rights, especially on the rights for gay Americans to wed from state to state. Jennifer Lopez responded to the hopeful star by first saying "You're not the typical American Idol" but then coming back to say "The world is changing, and we think you could be an American Idol."
American Idol season two runner up Clay Aiken came out to People Magazine in 2008 after becoming a father. Perhaps Emkay Nobilette will be the first openly gay American Idol winner!

Emkay sang her version of Bon Iver's "The A-Team" in a "quiet storm" of a performance for her final judgement.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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