It’s been a big season for queer contestants on American Idol — Katy Perry’s impact? Last week, a gay pastor’s son shared an original song about reckoning with being a gay Christian called “Almost Heaven.” This week on Idol, another queer contestant also shared an original song with nearly the same name.
23-year-old Israeli-born Jorgie made quite an entrance in army fatigues topped with a pink fur coat, accompanied by his very own band (called Jorgie and the Jorgies) and it was obvious the judges were ready to tie him off based on the ensemble alone. But then Jorgie shared his story, explaining to the judges that he’d just recently come out, thanks in part to Perry.
“You were actually one of my inspirations growing up. Listening to ‘I Kissed A Girl’ and knowing that it could be mainstream — that helped me so much,” the contestant said.
Jorge also revealed that he’s not out to his father — yet. “He doesn’t know anything about me,” he said. “He’s gonna see me and he’s gonna find out about everything.”
The hopeful future Idol contestant then launched into his original song, which he said was written about a boy he liked. “He didn’t know because I wasn’t out,” Jorge revealed, adding that he called the song “Heaven” because “my life would be heaven if you knew that I liked you.”
“Does he know now,” Perry asked.
“Maybe he’ll see American Idol and he’ll know,” Jorgio answered, before starting the song.
The judges were clearly impressed by his voice, thought they counseled him to change his band name. “You’re real! You’ve got a real emotional voice,” Perry said. “You have a real chance of being your dream.” Jorgie received a unanimous vote from all three judges and walked away with a golden ticket to Hollywood and a parting message from Perry: “We love you just the way you are.”