Talent Recap

Adam Lambert Didn’t Expect to Succeed on ‘Idol’ As Others Got ‘Rejected Over’ Sexuality

Adam LambertPhoto by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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Nearly 12 years after Adam Lambert made a name for himself on Season 8 of American Idol, he is reflecting back on the unexpected journey. Lambert recently said he never thought he would be accepted or go as far as he did competing on the show as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Now, he is one of the top rock artists in the world.

Adam Lambert Thought He Would Not Make it Far on ‘American Idol’ for Being LGBTQ+

American Idol viewers had suspicions about Lambert’s sexuality all throughout the competition. Lambert was named the runner-up of the season behind Kris Allen. He has spoken during several interviews about how he never hid his sexuality on the show. Lambert has been out and proud as a gay man since he was 18 years old. It was never a topic that was discussed any further when he was on the show but more so a topic that generated a lot of buzz online.

“When I first auditioned I was like, ‘No way, this won’t work’ cause I had seen people who were obviously queer on the show before, and it seemed to be something they were rejected over,” he said in a recent interview with OK! Magazine.

Lambert did not hold anything back while competing on American Idol. He wore what he wanted whether eyeliner, jewelry, or his iconic hairstyle. Lambert wanted to embrace the once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it felt like some were waiting for him to confirm he was a member of the LGBTQ+ community on the show.

“I said, ‘Why not? I’ll just try it,’ and every time I stayed in [the competition], I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is actually happening.’ Then, I realized this is my shot,” he said. “I might as well go for it, I might as well have fun with it, and so I took it as far as I possibly could.”

The Feel Something Foundation Fights for Equality

In 2019, Lambert launched the Feel Something Foundation. This organization is a non-profit that supports LGBTQ+ human rights. He teamed up with Pride Live’s Stonewall Day this year and served as the curator for their annual concert event held June 6 to continue to fight for equality for all. He was joined by a number of LGBTQ+ artists including Billy Porter, Boy George, and Demi Lovato who offered their support via video.

“I started in the business 10 years ago, it was a different landscape, there were not a lot of queer people in mainstream music on major labels, it was sort of a niche thing,” he said. “Now, that environment has changed so much, you see queer artists are a viable, commercial product [so to speak] for a record label.”

Did Season 18’s Winner Hide Her LGBTQ+ Identity on the Show?


During Season 18 of American Idol, fans wondered how much the landscape has really changed. Winner Just Sam did not disclose her LGBTQ+ identity on the show. It raised questions about whether or not the show was trying to hide her sexuality. Many wondered if it was just not something she wanted to talk about.

After winning American Idol, Sam has been pretty open about belonging to the LGBTQ community in social media posts. In a recent interview, she said she does think an openly LGBTQ+ person can win the show since it is a talent competition and not about who you love. She’s also currently in a relationship with another musician who she says is “incredibly talented.” Sam said she thought that if producers tried to weave anything else about her life into her storyline, it wouldn’t have worked.

“I am a child of God first,” she said. “My grandmother, my family they are tied for first with God. American Idol understood that about me. I am family-oriented, I sing on trains, I was going to church every single day. I found something to do with my church every day. Because they understood that about me, that was the story they were trying to portray.”

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