Entertainment

Here’s How Upset Some ‘American Idol’ Fans Are That A Drag Queen Made The Top Ten

“I think we do know talent when we see it.”

American Idol contestant Ada Vox had the audience chanting her name over the roof top after slaying her performance of Jennifer Holliday’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” The loud applauses and the judge’s standing ovation left Vox emotionally overwhelmed. Although Vox wasn’t one of the top contestants to be chosen through America’s votes, the judges overruled the voting outcome to put Vox in the top ten.

Katy Perry took off her earrings and said, “I think we do know talent when we see it.”

It was then the judges collectively made the executive decision to send Vox to the top ten, making her the first ever drag queen to make it to “American Idol’s” top ten. In response, several “American Idol” fans had mixed emotions about this decision.

Some were particularly bothered about Vox’s stage identity as a drag queen.

However, those types of hateful comments were shut down quickly.


Yes, yes, and yes. ? There’s no one version or definition of who an American idol is or should be.

Also brought to the top ten by the judges was contestant Michelle Sussett.


Rather than performing a cover of a song, Sussett performed an original song of hers called “I’m a Dreamer.” In both Spanish and English, Sussett sang her heart out, delivering lyrics that resonated very much with DREAMers across America. One of these impactful lyrics being, “I’m just like you, I just want something better. It doesn’t matter where you come from.”

Similar to Vox’s case, it wasn’t America’s votes that took Sussett to the top ten, rather the judge’s collective decision. This makes Sussett the first ever Venezuelan to make it to “American Idol’s” top ten.

Some “American Idol” fans disagreed with the judge’s decision.


Others, on the other hand, recognized Sussett’s hard work.


Stay tuned for the next episode of “American Idol” on Sunday, April 29th to follow Vox and Sussett’s journey and make sure to vote for your favorite contestants here.


WATCH: San Antonio Drag Queen Ada Vox Belts Out ‘Creep’ By Radiohead And Makes It To The Top 24

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Some Mexicans Are Freaking Out Over This Drag Queen Who Dressed Up As La Virgencita To Make A Political Statement

Things That Matter

Some Mexicans Are Freaking Out Over This Drag Queen Who Dressed Up As La Virgencita To Make A Political Statement

Margaretyya / Instagram

La Virgen de Guadalupe is perhaps the most venerated figure in Mexico. Regardless of religious beliefs, la Guadalupana has become a cultural and national symbol, as it contrasts with the predominantly white images of saints and other religious figures (although if we talk about historical accuracy, chances are that Jesus and his disciples looked mostly Brown, as Middle-Eastern folk).

La Guadalupana is Brown-skinned and symbolizes the mixed-nature of Mexican mestizo culture. On one hand, the Guadalupana is derived from Catholicism, on the other it also echoes Aztec deities such as the goddess Tonantzin Coatlicue, which anthropologists believe the culture around La Virgen de Guadalupe echoes.

Truth is that Mexico is a country that venerates the Virgen de Guadalupe perhaps above all things, in particular each December 12, when millions of worshipers travel from all around the country to venerate her at the Basilica of Guadalupe, the place where Juan Diego, an indigenous man, claims to have encountered her. 

So it came as a shock to some that a drag queen from Mexico City dressed up as La Virgen de Guadalupe.

Credit: margaretyya/ Instagram

Her stage name is Margaret y Ya and she has caused controversy with this very artistic picture that reminds us of the work of Italian photographer Mario Testino. In the image, we can see Margaret y Ya posing with shopping bags.

In the photo shared on her Instagram, she writes an ironic caption: “Bendita seas Santa Virgencita Claus 🙏🏼✨ que nos llegaste a evangelizar con consumismo y materialismo estas épocas. 🎄❄️ 📸” This roughly translates as: “Bless you Santa Virgencita Claus, you that brought consumerism and materialism to this time of the year”.

This is more a political and social commentary rather than a religious one, as December 12 has become the kick off of the end of year holidays and its many weeks of frantic shopping. The photo was taken by Mario Aragon and the composition highlights irony. Margaret y Ya told El Universal that her idea was to critique the ways in which religion often becomes a commodity. This is perhaps a slightly blunt way of doing it given Mexico’s sociocultural context, but hey, sometimes the only way of getting people’s attention is being over the top and fabulous. 

And as can be expected, some conservative minds (and many abuelitas, we are sure) pusieron el grito en el cielo, while others just chilled.

We mean, this photograph was meme-ready even from its inception, wasn’t it? So it came as no surprise that some in Twitter used it to expand on the “I’m gonna tell my kids this is…” meme universe!

But it is also clear that Margaret y ya had a very clear audience in mind.

Yes, she wanted to make men and boomers angry, which is exactly what she did! And isn’t art supposed to be provocative in order to make us think, really think about preconceived notions we might need to reconsider?

The question is tough but philosophically interesting: how much of religion is associated with buying and selling stuff? The image was part of Margaret y Ya’s 2018 calendar, but as it resurfaced it got more attention than ever before. 

And some dudes got really angry…

Credit: Valladolid Yucatan Pueblo Magico / Facebook

These two dudes are basically saying that no one messes with La Virgencita and that a sacred symbol should not be tainted. Man, take a chill pill. Comments on the original story at El Universal reveal a deep contrast between those users who yell blasphemy at the first chance, and those who can find a bit of nuance in artistic expression. 

But when it comes to Catholic countries such as Mexico, mixing popular culture and religion with art is prone to cause a lot of controversy. Madonna was almost banned from the country for the “Like a Prayer” video.

A Christ-like figure who was black! That was considered blasphemy at the time, as was the fact that Madonna looked at him lovingly. Seriously, this was a BFD a few decades ago, and for years las buenas costumbres in Mexico dictated that the singer was a persona non grata.

Other works of art, such as Martin Scorsese’s monumental film “The Last Temptation of Christ”, have also been banned and considered blasphemy, as they are interpretations of texts that are considered dogma (infallible truths), and as interpretations they might differ from what the Church says.

This is something similar to the mild scandal involving Margaret y Ya, as she took a longstanding symbol and used it to critique a capitalist way of living that perhaps takes those religiously inclined away from their faith. Although we suspect that in this case some old fashioned homophobia also came into the equation.

Former “American Idol” Contestant Blames the Reality Show For Her Problem with Drugs and the Law

Entertainment

Former “American Idol” Contestant Blames the Reality Show For Her Problem with Drugs and the Law

Fox

There’s no doubt that “American Idol” is a cultural phenomenon. During its 17 season run, the talent competition has brought us some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industry. Not only did it reinvigorate Paula Abdul’s career, it also brought JLo back to our TV screens. That’s just the judges; the reality competition also began major careers. Without “Idol” we may not have ever heard of Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood or Jennifer Hudson. While these former “Idol” alums wouldn’t trade the TV show experience for the world, not all of the former contestants have warm feelings about their time on the reality series.

Recently, former “American Idol” contestant Antonella Barba had a major run in with the law and is now her time on the show is being blamed for her illegal actions.

Twitter / @USATODAY

Back in 2007, Barba appeared on the reality television competition. The aspiring singer made it all the way to the Top 16 before she was sent home, however; the Latina did kick up some controversy during her time on “Idol.” For instance, the aspiring singer was photographed posing in a wet t-shirt at the fountain of a World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. This and other racy photographs of her that were leaked online around the time she was on “Idol.”

Though she tried to stay in the entertainment industry after “Idol,” the aspiring singer never made it big. The American public didn’t hear from Barba again until she appeared in the 2012 season of Fear Factor. Her problems with the law started soon after. In 2011, Barda was first arrested for shop-lifting in New York City and sentenced to do community service. In August of last year, the Latina was arrested on major drug charges. She has since pleaded guilty on possession and distribution of fentanyl a highly addictive opioid that is deadly if abused as a recreational drug.

Court documents released ahead of her sentencing (scheduled for tomorrow) reveal that her time on the show is being b lamed for the downward spiral Barda’s life has since taken.

 Twitter / @mjsbigblog

Shared by celebrity gossip site, The Blast, the documents explain that the former singer sees herself as a “resilient, deeply religious, selfless and driven person…someone who could rightfully be called a perfectionist.” However, Barba’s mother saw that being on the television show only brought “a detrimental change” to her daughter’s life.

The documents go on to suggest that, before “American Idol,” Barda’s dream was to be an architect. According to her mother, this dream was disrupted thanks to appearing on the reality show. The former singer suddenly dropped everything in order to move to Hollywood to pursue her new dream of stardom. However, according the the documents, it “was a recipe for disaster.” The papers go on to explain that losing the competition was a huge setback for Barda. As the court documents suggest, when the former star was unable to “achieve the results she wanted, it was devastating to her.”

The court documents being released now come after her most recent legal issue.

Twitter / @HeavySan

This most recent arrest comes from 2018 when she was found with a package of pills in her car. That arrest led to bigger trouble when she was accused by prosecutors of being a courier for a drug ring. According to the charges, Barda was one of eight members of the illegal operation that was operated out of Virginia during late 2017 and early 2018.

Barba was able to reach a plea deal for lesser time following this arrest but her attorney is now asking for an even more reduced sentence.

Twitter / @_ShattaBandle

The plea deal she got would still see Barba sentenced to 10 years in jail for her crimes. However, her lawyer is now arguing that the former singer was kept in the dark about the crime ring as a minor player. Besides being unaware that she was working with a drug ring, the former “American Idol” contest’s lawyer argues that she didn’t even know what was in the package she was carrying.

“The extent of Ms. Barba’s involvement in this case is limited to delivering one shipment of drugs and that single instance forms the sum total of her relevant conduct,” the newly released court documents argue. “Ms. Barba also did not participate in any of the planning or organization nor did she exercise any decision making authority. Ms. Barba was told where to go, when to go, and what to do when she got there.”

The court documents go on to explain that the Latina did not profit knowingly from any drugs.

“She did not break down the contents of the package into smaller amounts for resale and she did not collect any proceeds. She had no pecuniary interest in the package and did not stand to benefit in any way by the sale of the narcotics. Ms. Barba was paid only to deliver the package.”