You might be surprised to learn that American Idol has never before featured an openly gay finalist, until now.
The competition’s most famous gay competitors, Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken, only came out after their respective seasons ended, but MK Nobilette (20) has had no qualms about being open about her sexuality from the get-go.
“I’m very obviously gay, and there are always gonna be people in America and everywhere else who will definitely hate me,” Nobilette, who is in season 13′s Top 10 ladies, was quoted as saying by Entertainment Weekly.
“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.”
American Idol has been criticised for taking so long to feature an openly gay contestant while its competitor The Voice hasn’t had any issues about doing so.
ABC News reported that judge Randy Jackson said that he’s “really proud” and “really happy” for Nobilette, adding “we should’ve come a lot further a lot faster. But it is what it is.”
On Tuesday night, in her first major performance, she received a standing ovation after she performed a moving rendition of John Legend’s All of Me.
In the audience were her two moms who were overcome with emotion as they watched their little girl sing.
The judges also approved of her performance. A teary-eyed Jennifer Lopez said she displayed “true sentiment” while Harry Connick, Jr. called her “an elegant, articulate singer” and said, “You belong here.”
Watch Nobilette perform below.