American Idol Contestant Comes Out During Audition and Nobody Notices? WTF?
“Did he just?”
“Did I just hear that right?”
“And now he’s singing ‘Same Love?’”
“He’s gotta be, right?”
That was my reaction hearing Keith London sing Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy” which is a song abut a girl trying to understand what goes through her boyfriend/significant other’s mind and why he acts the way he does (at least that’s my understanding from searching the Googles). And if a guy is singing it that way, that means he’s either a) too lazy to change the lyrics; or b) singing as a gay man, NBD.
If you weren’t looking for the moment – or were eight beers deep and didn’t stop to really think about it – you missed it. Yahoo!’s American Idol blogger Lyndsey Parker did not. She was the first to write about it (http://yhoo.it/1fJEwj0) , confirming her thoughts with this tweet from London.
Wait, did I just basically come out on National TV? Oh well cats out of the bag! I truly can say I sang from my heart!
— Keith London (@KeithLondon_) February 6, 2014
It was a cool moment, but Idol is going to have to do some serious backtracking and apologizing because the judges looked totally ignorant. Harry Connick Jr.’s smug “That don’t impress me” comment to J-Lo is appalling after the fact. In the discussion between Jenny from the Block and Connick, they never stopped to think, “Um, this dude might be gay?” Urban was just jamming to the song, because that’s what Urban does. Boom. Music.
London definitely doesn’t look the part of the stereotypical gay singer. He’s from Hazelton, which from my experience living near there, is all about football, church and hunting. In that order. There was nothing that was screaming gay and if most of America missed it watching it at home, I guess the judges get a pass for it too, right?
But here’s the thing. They asked why he did it. He explained: “I had a really good reason for singing that song,” said London, who looked equal parts heartbroken and annoyed they didn’t understand the message. “I think it’s like a general message for everyone not to judge anybody else because nobody knows where we started from.”
Once he said that, it was pretty obvious. But when you’re hammered watching Idol, everything is. Duh.
Connick asked for a few bars of something else and this is where London shined.
“I’m gonna do ‘Same Love’” he said. It was impossible to tell if the eye roll was on purpose or not, but it was. London won’t say it, but it was. You’d be pissed to if you basically just came out on American Fucking Idol and no one noticed. The fact the judges didn’t pick up on this when he picked Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ groundbreaking gay marriage anthem is even more surprising, especially when opened with the lyrics “I can/t change/even if I tried/even if I wanted to.”
Glad to see he got through. Loved the attitude he showed considering how frustrating that moment must have been (Would have been hilarious if he just said “Hey. Assholes. I’m gay. That’s why I didn’t change the lyrics,” then dropped the mic like Chris Rock and walked off stage) and being able to compose himself and execute another song.
This moment was about more than competition and it was really cool, even if everyone missed it the first time around.