Just Sam is the first LGBTQ+ winner of ‘American Idol’, proving the website wrong who said there would never be a queer winner
‘American Idol’ has found itself a special kind of winner this season. Just Sam, the newly-crowned winner of the show, is the first LGBTQ+ winner in all of the show’s duration. She also happens to be the first woman of colour in 7 years to win the contest.
- How American Idol’s gay contestants revealed their identities once they were out of the show
- Just Sam as the first openly queer winner
A few years ago, an article on the website “Rolling Stones” had claimed, “Gay, lesbian and transgender performers have won Grammys, Oscars and topped the charts, but they will never win ‘American Idol’”.
Well, Just Sam has just proved this wrong.
The appeal of ‘American Idol’ lies not only in watching the best kind of singing talent in the US perform and hone their craft but also in watching some of the worst kinds of talent falter and fall. The show almost prides itself on its meanness. But, as the article said, “there was always a special sort of meanness reserved for auditioners that fell into the queer end of the spectrum.”
‘American Idol’s’ gay contestants
‘American Idol’s’ gay contestants – and there have been a few – have never once referred to their private lives or said that they were gay out aloud. At least, until they were a part of the show.
Jim Verraros was the show’s first openly gay finalist, but he was not allowed to discuss this aspect of his life while he was still on the show. Once he was out, he came out publicly as openly gay, citing that “Idol had thought his sexual orientation would give an unfair advantage”.
‘American Idol’ almost came close to a queer winner in Adam Lambert.
Lambert was not closeted, nor was he especially secretive about his private life. But he still never came out as gay in the public forum while he was part of the show.
Just Sam as the first openly queer winner
This has of course changed with Just Sam. In an interview with the “New York Post”, Sam is quoted saying, “I am a child of God, so that’s always gonna be first. That’s actually the only label that I ever want to have. But I like what I like, and that’s just that, you know? And it’s not men. Like, at all.”
In Just Sam’s Instagram account, the bio reads “CHILD OF GOD FIRST.” This is then followed by a rainbow emoji, which is the LGBTQ+ community’s symbol. The singer has also posted about Pride Month.
Perhaps it could be about the openness of ‘American Idol’ or a reflection of changing times, but Just Sam’s emerging a winner in the contest has disproved theories about LGBTQ+ contestants.
What do you think of Just Sam’s win? Do let us know in the comments below! Just Sam performs “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Link here.