“American Idol” season 10 contestant Jacob Lusk has moved on from his time on the competition show and is now the lead singer of the band Gabriels. The star is now opening up about how he was treated behind the scenes on “American Idol.”
Lusk was a competitor on season 10 of the show in 2011, ultimately making it almost to the finale and coming in fifth place.
Gabriels is a band that mixes secular gospel sounds and pop sounds, according to NME. The outlet also reports that Elton John has complimented the band’s 2020 single, calling it “one of the most seminal records I’ve heard in the last 10 years.”
Lusk Says ‘American Idol’ Featured ‘Gay-Bashing’
In an interview with BBC, Lusk opened up about his time on “American Idol.”
“It was a lot of manipulation,” he said about the show. “There was a lot of, like, gay-bashing that happened behind the scenes. Oh, it was treacherous.”
He said that he wasn’t sure “who I was” during the show, which he thinks made it harder for producers to portray him in any one light.
“I wasn’t gay enough, I wasn’t straight enough, I wasn’t man enough, I wasn’t black enough,” he told the outlet. “For some people, that was confusing.”
The singer also shared that after his elimination, he could not go back and watch videos.
“Like, I literally thought I couldn’t sing,” he said. “It was harrowing.”
Former ‘American Idol’ Finalist Sanjaya Previously Slammed the Show
Sanjaya, who was on season 6 of “American Idol,” says he always felt like the butt of the joke when he was on the show, he revealed in an interview with Insider.
The singer revealed that he was asked to come back to the show for season 20 in 2022, but he wanted to set some ground rules before flying out for the show.
“I’m totally down,” Sanjaya says he told the “American Idol” producers when they called to see if he would come back. “I just want to say one thing: Every time I’ve ever gone on to ‘American Idol,’ I’ve been the butt of the joke. If I do come back, it would be really great if I was able to present myself as an artist, not as a reality-television joke.”
He said that they later called him to tell him his flight out would be “too expensive” for the show.
Sanjaya told Insider, “I guess boundaries are expensive.”
The singer also said in the interview that he felt that the producers were only going for specific edits and said he believed everything was “contrived” and “calculated.”
According to Insider, Sanjaya was featured on the “Vote for the Worst” website, which Howard Stern asked his listeners to vote on. It was, according to Insider, meant to “ruin the show.”
According to his Wikipedia page, the singer is “commonly parodied” in popular culture.
The disappointment doesn’t stop there. Season 13 winner Caleb Johnson spoke with Insider about his time on “American Idol” and why he was actually “really bummed” that he won his season.
The debut single was written by Justin Hawkins and it is titled “As Long as You Love Me.”
“I knew that, by de facto, if you won you had to sing the song, and the song was just utter crap,” Johnson told the outlet. “Like it was just the worst song ever.”