An American Idol drag queen contestant is blaming his recent elimination from the show on America’s “openness,” rather than his own talent.
2018’s reboot of American Idol is coming closer to crowning a new winner. This past week featured the first set of contestant eliminations of the singing competition's 10 finalists. Drag contestant Ada Vox (whose real name is Adam Sanders) was among them, and he blamed it on American voters’ reluctance for drag and LGBT acceptance.
“If America is not ready to be open to this, that’s fine,” he said, “because all it shows is that we have so much more growing to do.” Once again, identity politics reared its ugly head on primetime television. What a surprise.
But Sanders, who the Huffington Post touted as the “Drag Queen ‘American Idol’ and America Need,” had quite the successful run during this season of American Idol. As a previous contestant during Idol’s twelfth season, the San-Antonio native never made it past the audition phase of the competition in 2013. This year’s show was his time to shine.
And although it was a spectacular run for Sanders, who decided this season to do every performance in drag as “Ada Vox,” his chances at American Idol victory were endangered last week. Sanders was voted out of the competition, but was given a last-chance performance to convince the judges that America’s decision was the wrong one. In the end, it was a sympathetic Katy Perry who decided to push Sanders into the next round.
However, Perry’s executive decision and Sander’s hopes for an American Idol win were short lived. Americans at home, once again, voted the drag queen out of the competition after deciding for the second time that there were others more deserving of the top spot. Regardless of any evidence, Sanders pointed the finger, and blamed the ousting on the fact that America is still not progressive enough. He stated:
Amongst people that are not biased by the whole drag thing or the gay thing, lots of people considered me as a frontrunner. The competition ended where it ended for me and I am not mad about it, if America is not ready to be open to this that’s fine, because all it shows is that we have so much more growing to do, so much more love to spread.
Though still hopeful about his future social justice crusade, Sanders added that the time on Idol provided him with the “platform that I needed to get my name off the ground so that I can start being a positive role model to people around the world.”
That’s nice and all, but it seems that America might not be preoccupied with the gender politics that Sanders is insisting on bringing to the table. Maybe it’s because this is a singing competition and not a preliminary audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race. Still, sensitive activists like Sanders and Katy Perry are often given platforms to point fingers at the rest of America.