On its thirteenth season, “American Idol” featured the show’s first openly gay contestant on Wednesday, February 13. Singing Ed Sheeran’s “The A-Team,” MK Nobilette became the first openly gay woman to make her way to the Top 30.
Although “American Idol” certainly has had gay contestants in the past—aspiring politician Clay Aiken and glam “Glee” co-star Adam Lambert among them—they haven’t had any contestant openly discuss their sexual orientation on-air during the competition.
“You’re not the typical American idol,” judge Jennifer Lopez commented, before announcing Nobilette’s pass to the Top 15 girls. In response to a comment made by the contestant, she added later, “The world is changing, I think.”
During the previous episode—after being asked whether she could be the next American idol—Nobilette answered confidently: “I’m very obviously gay, and there are always going to be people in America and everywhere else 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, and have made it a positive thing.”
“Thank goodness,” replied judge Harry Connick Jr., before the announcement of the young singer’s pass to the next level.
“She’s like a quiet storm,” Lopez was filmed saying during the 20-year-old’s performance, which she later added gave her “goose bumps” due to Nobilette’s “interesting [and]serious” delivery.
The decision to pass Nobilette to the next round was made during a two-hour special broadcast, in which the top 30 contestants of season 13 were announced.