“Disney Night” on American Idol did not prove to be a magical event for contestant Ada Vox, the drag persona of Adam Sanders, who has been wowing the judges all the way into the talent competition’s Top 10.
Although her rendition of “Circle of Life” from the hit animated musical The Lion King was one of the best performances of the night, she couldn’t garner enough support from the voting public to move on to the top seven.
“How special it is to have you on this show,” said judge Lionel Richie. “You are a movement unto yourself.”
Vox was the first drag queen to ever get this far in the competition.
“Although America might not be ready for people like those of us who are a little bit different,” Vox told HuffPost in advance of Sunday’s show, “I think it’s very important that our talents be recognized.”
In the previous round, Vox was one of the judges’ “saves” from being eliminated. But in Sunday night’s show, the viewers were in charge of the competition and the San Antonio-native apparently didn’t inspire enough votes to advance to the next round.
I’m not an expert on drag but I do think I know talent, which Vox has served up in large portions.
I’m hoping this journey on AI helps propel the queen to a fabulous next chapter.
Disappointed but not shocked that Ada Vox was eliminated from Idol. If we weren’t ready for a woman president, there was absolutely no way we were getting a drag queen Idol.
This is pure talent. @AdaVox was voted off American Idol because we’re living in a Trump society. If she was a little, white, blonde girl, America would love her. Someone give Ada Vox a record deal already!! She’ll sell out arenas!! pic.twitter.com/ZgTn5Xjy4u
American Idol contestant Ada Vox heads to the Top 10
There was quite the dramatic moment last night on American Idol as Ada Vox, the drag persona of Adam Sanders, found herself without enough viewer votes to be automatically advanced to the Top 10.
So, the San Antonio native had to sing for her life. The judges were given the power to “save” four contestants from elimination and head into the top 10.
Choosing the apropos “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls, Ada wowed the judges yet again.
As an emotional Vox waited to learn her fate, Katy Perry quieted the crowd and said:
“I don’t know everything. I’ve got a lot to learn. But I have worked my butt off for over 10 years in the spotlight and these gentlemen on my side (pointing to Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan) – all of us collectively together – how many years would that be, maybe 60? Collectively? I think we do know talent when we see it. I would say that we would like to make an executive decision right now that Ada – you get that seat, baby.”
And with that Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan joined Perry in pointing to the area where the Top 10 contestants were sitting.
Later, Vox commented on the video page below expressing her thanks:
Hey, y’all!!! Firsrly, I wanted to start by saying that I love you all!!!
Secondly, I wanted to make note that I am aware of my much less than perfect vocal. Haha not only did my emotions run wild on me, but before the show, I had an allergic reaction to our lunch which made my tongue and throat swell up almost immediately. So that was fun… Lol. Thank you to everyone who did vote!!! If you want to see me continue on, make sure to vote next week! I promise it will be so much better!
America, we have our first American Idol drag contestant – Ms. Ada Vox.
While there was a huge amount of attention being paid to former FBI Director James Comey’s interview on ABC last night, it should not be ignored that also on ABC, American Idol contestant Ada Vox delivered a scorching rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”
Ada Vox is the drag incarnation of Adam Sanders, who had previously auditioned for the reality talent show but been cut in early rounds.
Praising Ada’s performance last night, judge Katy Perry declared, “You’ve heard of the expression ‘wig snatched’? Wig flew!”
Lionel Richie agreed with Perry tweeting later, “You are on another level!”
Folks, come to grips with the reality that a drag queen just might win American Idol — or at least wind up in the Top 2.
When Adam Sanders was 19-years-old he made the Top 50 of American Idol in Season 12.
Clearly, Top 50 means he was cut and had to head home.
But Sanders admits he “wasn’t ready.”
“After American Idol I started getting messages on social media every day, people attacked my weight, my sexuality…telling me that I was horrible, that I sucked, that I didn’t deserve to be here, that I shouldn’t be who I am. And I let it get to me in the wrong way. It killed me inside, almost as much as people telling me I should have killed myself.”
“I just kind of disappeared from the world for a while, and in doing that I kind of hurt myself even more. That’s really when I was at my worst, thinking maybe I shouldn’t be here. Maybe I’m not worth the fixing, maybe I’m not worth another try. But through all of the negativity I have managed to build myself up as a new person, as a stronger person. I have recreated myself in ways I could not have imagined.”
Sanders is a bit older and wiser now, and back for a second go-round on American Idol. And this time, he’s Ada Vox – ready to show the world who he is.
There’s a lot of story-telling in the clip below (because that’s what American Idol does…) but get to the where Vox wows the judges with a bit of “House of the Rising Sun.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race might not be the only place a queen can make a name for herself on TV, ok…?