5 Questions for American Idol’s Ada Vox

Anyone watching American Idol’s return on ABC this season is familiar with Top 10 finalists Ada Vox and Jurnee; two openly LGBTQ contestants who won over the hearts of fans across the country through their successful respective runs on the popular singing competition program.

While Ada (non-drag name, Adam Sanders) was eliminated from the Top 10 two weeks ago, unfortunately, last night Jurnee also did not make it through to the Top 5. However, as everyone knows from Idol’s history, the end is truly only the beginning.

Ada indeed made quite a splash during her Idol run, captivating America with her rousing renditions of songs that included  “Circle of Life,” “And I’m Telling You I’m Going,” “Creep,” “The Show Must Go On,” and “Feeling Good.”

GLAAD caught up with Ada to discuss her reasons for auditioning, her thoughts on being one of Idol’s first openly LGBTQ finalists, and what’s up next for her career.

(click here to read GLAAD's 5 Questions for Jurnee)

American Idol, Jurnee and Ada Vox
(Jurnee [center] and Ada [right])

Q: Why did you decide to audition for American Idol this season?

 A: I’ve auditioned for American Idol every season they’ve had for the last 8 years of my life. American Idol has been a dream of mine that I was never willing to give up on. I knew this time around that I needed to do something different. Something to push me over the edge; so, I came back as Ada thinking that this might be just what I need to put me over the edge as a contestant. Thankfully, I was granted the opportunity to take part all the way up until the live shows and it was anything and everything I could have hoped for.

Q: American Idol - in its previous incarnation - had a history of not telling LGBTQ people’s stories. What sorts of conversations did you have with the producers ahead of time about how your story would be told?

A: I think that American Idol has always been very aware of where the nation was in terms of acceptance. I feel like everything they did was for the betterment of the contestants. They knew that just a few years back, the singers wouldn’t have stood as much of a chance in the industry if they were openly LGBTQ, so in the interest of the contestants actually being able to use their platform and have solid careers, they focused on their talents. Which is NEVER a bad thing.

I’m lucky enough to have been part of a time where love and acceptance is such a major part of our world. I’ve been granted the opportunity to represent an entire community that had almost never been on such a large and widely viewed platform before. I’m honored and blessed to have been granted the opportunity to do so.

Q: What was your relationship like with Jurnee Siani, the other LGBTQ contestant in the Top 10 this season?

A: I think Jurnee ended up being my best friend in the competition. We had a great relationship in which we could openly communicate our thoughts and opinions on anything and everything. When we first met, it was almost as if we had known each other for years.

Q: Clay Aiken wrote an editorial this week saying that he believes you were kicked off this week not because you’re a drag queen, but because you weren’t the best singer in this year’s competition… what’s your reaction his comments?

A: Clay said so much more than just this. He also stated that he believes that I will have a great and very successful career. I am so appreciative of the sheer fact that he stepped out to say anything about me at all. I like to be thankful for the positivity that is stated in the article instead of focusing on what others may consider the negative side of what was said.

Adam Sanders, out of drag as Ada Vox
(Adam Sanders, out of drag, with Idina Menzel)

Q: Many of American Idol’s most famous alumni, such as Jennifer Hudson, were kicked off early, but went on to have incredible careers - what are your goals for the future?

A: My first plan is to make sure that people keep my name in their minds. I can’t let myself fade off the face of the earth!! I’m going to be really working my social media and keeping people updated on my life, putting up cover videos, and working on new music. I’m really hoping to be making some appearances in the near future to meet some of the people who have supported me before, during my Idol journey, and those who will continue to support me throughout my career.