After so much buzz and excitement surrounding her early on in the competition, M.K. Nobilette ended up in 10th place. The first openly gay singer in the history of American Idol talked with reporters, including BuddyTV, about revealing that she’s gay on TV, being able to go on the summer tour, what she learned about herself during this whole process and what she envisions her first album sounding like. Also, is it really true that M.K. has never actually watched American Idol? Read on to find out.
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Coming Out on TV
As mentioned, M.K. Nobilette became the first openly gay singer on American Idol. She “definitely was a little taken aback at first” when she was getting more attention for her sexual orientation than her talent. “I know they’re completely different: I’m a singer and I’m also gay, but I feel like it’s important to address that. I’m very proud of that and I’m open about it, so I think it was fine for me.”
When you look back over the years on Idol, the Southern vote has been very strong, and it’s helped singers from that area to make it far in the competition and even win. Being gay could end up being a turn-off to those voters. “I think [my sexual orientation] did affect some of my votes from the audience,” she said. “But I think it would have affected my votes from the audience if I didn’t say it as well, so I think it was good and bad.”
M.K. did get the chance to talk with Adam Lambert during Randy Jackson’s workshop, and the season 8 runner-up told her he was proud of her for coming out on the show. But she acknowledged that their approaches were different. “Adam didn’t talk about his sexuality when he was on the show because he felt like it didn’t matter, but for me, I feel the opposite. I feel like it is a part of me and I feel like that matters. And if I wanted America to get to know me and know who I am, then they should know my sexuality.”
But when she revealed to the judges that she’s gay, she didn’t do it to purposely set out on any sort of an agenda or to open a dialogue, but she hopes that happens as a result, though. “I am hopeful that I will be a good role model for other queer people who are afraid to come out or afraid to think that they can’t do something as big as American Idol, so I really hope that that does influence a lot of people.”
Being an Idol Newbie and Going on Tour
M.K. may have made history, but interestingly enough, she didn’t regularly watch the show before becoming a contestant herself. “I maybe watched it once or twice I think when Bo Bice was on it, so I haven’t seen it in a while. But it was a completely new experience for me.”
So how did she end up auditioning anyway? “I didn’t even know that the auditions were happening,” she admitted. “And my aunt called me and told me just to try out and she said, why not? She’s a big fan of the show, so I tried out and it was sort of like however far I make it, I’m going to be proud of myself for even doing it in the first place. The fact that I made it to the summer tour, which was my goal other than winning, of course is amazing.”
While winning is always the ultimate goal, M.K. took a realistic approach to the competition. “I like to think of it and look at it in small increments, take it in small increments because I feel like to achieve a bigger goal, you need to have smaller prizes.” That’s a great way of looking at things.
One of those goals she reached is being able to join the Idol Tour this summer. “I think everyone is just really excited,” M.K. went on to say. “I think it’s going to be a really good experience for all of us and I think it’s a lot of pressure.” She also believes that Caleb will be the person on the tour who will keep things fun and goofy, which makes sense considering he’s already that guy on Idol.
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A Lack of Rehearsal Time and Performances That Could Have Been
Many fans have noticed that there have been a lot of performances this year that probably could have used more rehearsals, and also working with the band more. But according to M.K., the contestants aren’t given a whole lot of time anyway. “We actually in the long run don’t get that much rehearsal time and I think that’s why I fumbled [during my Top 10 performance]. I don’t think it was the band for me specifically. I think I came in at the wrong time and I think that more rehearsal would have definitely fixed that problem.”
There are always going to be the what-ifs: if she had stayed in the competition, how much longer would she have lasted? What songs would she have performed? It’s hard to answer the first question, but we can definitely answer the latter one. She already had her song picked out for the Top 9, and it was “Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders.
And not only that, but there’s one song in particular that she would have loved to perform on the show: Jeremy Passion’s “Lemonade.” About the choice, she said, “I think I couldn’t do it due to clearing issues. It’s also [that] he’s a small-time artist and I don’t think many people would have known about him.”
Pulling Pranks on Each Other
But it’s not all serious all the time. The contestants themselves enjoy hanging out with other and joking around. “We’re constantly jamming, we’re constantly laughing with each other,” M.K. said. “I think when you watch on television, you don’t expect the contestants to be so close and so much of a family. And then behind the scenes on Idol, we’re constantly together, constantly just loving each other and hugging each other … and we all love each other so much.”
They also pull pranks on each other. “Me and Dexter have our little pranks, so I think we’re all just so close … It’s constantly a good time with them.” To use one example, she did say that Dexter “always comes up and tickles me or something. And he has this thing where I say, ‘Oh, Dexter,’ and it cracks him up.”
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What Has M.K. Learned About Herself?
Her journey on Idol may have come to an end, but M.K. says she has learned a lot while on this journey. First, she never imagined that having a career as a singer was a realistic goal before. But now, she’s “realized that that’s the only thing I want to do and I’m definitely going to make that happen.”
Also, something she’s acknowledging is needing to improve her stage presence, which is something that the judges have mentioned on the show. “I hope that I’ll get better,” she said. “Actually, I know that I’ll get better through [the] tour and then after I hope it’ll even get better and better. I wish it had gotten better during the show and I think it did, but I started from very little confidence and now I have confidence to at least be on the stage and sing the songs well — and I think that’s a start.”
What Will M.K.’s First Album Sound Like?
Now that she’s making improvements and learning more about herself as a performer, M.K. is looking ahead to recording albums and starting her career. As for a genre, she’s a fan of folk rock. “I think that would be a good genre for me for my first album. Also, I love strings and I love horns, so something funky.”
To close out the interview, the 10th place finisher thanked her supporters (“Nobles,” as she calls them). “It was an amazing experience to have and I hope you guys stick with me. I’ll have so much more music coming for you guys in the future.”
American Idol airs Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)