Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

An Idol for Gays? We Envision a Queer Future for Many of This Year's American Idol Finalists. (the Music Issue)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

An Idol for Gays? We Envision a Queer Future for Many of This Year's American Idol Finalists. (the Music Issue)

Article excerpt

When fuchsia-haired Midleresque spitfire Vanessa Olivarez, 21, became the first American Idol season 2 finalist to be eliminated, gay fans the country over were overcome with both outrage ("Why is Julia DeMato still on? They booted the wrong beautician!") and remorse ("Why didn't I pick up the damn phone?). Talk about your gay shame. AI groupies Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels tried to soften the blow by having her over for dinner, but let's face it-all of the lesbian love-ins in the world won't get our Idol Most Likely to Perform in a Bathhouse back into the competition.

Still, life and American Idol must go on, and lucky for us, there are still plenty of talented future gay icons of America left--at press time, anyway.

Take Trenyce, for example. Not only does this diva-ette have the chutzpah to tackle Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing,' but she's got the pipes to pull it off. If the artist formerly known as Lashundra Cobbins (love that reinvention!) isn't remixed and raising the roof at some White Party or other by year's end, it's her own fault, because we are hooked.

We also love a man in uniform, especially if he can sing like U.S. marine Joshua Gracin. The hunkiest of the finalists by far (so what if he's married with a kid), the Oceanside, Calif., native sealed his macho appeal when, in response to judge Simon Cowell's suggestion that he lose a few pounds, he assumed the pushup position and gave us 20. Even more resonant was that "coming-out episode," in which Josh admitted to Simon and God and everybody that deep down inside he was, yep, a country singer. …

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