This “American Idol” Contestant Returned To Slay As A Drag Queen 5 Years After Being Rejected


Sometimes rejected American Idol contestants get a second chance.

That is a lesson Adam Sanders, who competed on Season 12 of the American Idol, learned this week when he returned to the singing competition—but this time he looked a little different.

On this season, Sanders auditioned as his drag alter ego, Ada Vox, and he wowed the judges with a powerful rendition of “House of the Rising Sun.”

In his confessional interview before his latest audition, Sanders admitted that after he was dismissed on his previous American Idol appearance—he made it to the top 50—people on social media attacked him for his weight and sexuality.

“It killed me inside,” he confessed. “It killed me almost as much as the people who were telling me that I should kill myself.”

This time when Sanders walks in the audition room as Ada Vox, judge Katy Perry is visibly stunned. Perry asks Vox about auditioning for the show before and why she thinks she didn’t make it further.

“I didn’t have my stuff together,” Vox says, motioning to her hair and makeup. “I was just a chubby little Latino boy in plaid shirts.”

Now he is a glamazon goddess who—spoiler alert—is headed to Hollywood once again.

With Hollywood Week now in full swing on American Idol, Vox competed in the group round last night. See if Vox made it through in the clip below.

This isn’t the first time there has been a drag queen connection to the popular singing competition franchise. Drag Race Season 6 squirrel friend Courtney Act competed on the first season of Australian Idol, and Danny Noriega, who later became the drag queen, Adore Delano, competed on the seventh season of American Idol back in 2008.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."