Idol Reject Told To ‘Gay It Up,’ Sues Show For Exploitation


American Idol reject and certified diva Ian Bernardo is now claiming that AI producers told him to turn up the fabulousness during the finale as well as his 2006 audition, only to dump on him after his performance bombed. You might remember Bernardo from the AI finale this past May, when he interrupted comedian Dane Cook on stage, proclaiming, “Nobody cares! It’s all about Ian Benardo!” making us drop to our knees and pray for him to get a spin-off reality show.

Unfortunately, after his performance Bernardo claimed to have been threatened by Cook and abandoned by the producers, and has filed a claim with the New York State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in an effort to prove it. In his allegations, Bernado claims that AI “exploited … my sexual orientation” by telling him to “gay it up” for the cameras. Now, despite the fact that Bernardo makes Clay Aiken look like Jason Statham, we have the sneaking suspicion that Bernardo was asked back not because of perceived sexual orientation, but because his try-out consisted of a bizarre spoken word rendition of “Gloria,” delivered while wearing a t-shirt with his name on it and draped in layers of fur. If that’s what gay people are like, we need to get out of our parent’s basement more. But as Coco Chanel said, before you leave the house, take one fur coat off. And before the producers at AI ask you to act like a mincing gay stereotype on TV, remember that contestants who don’t make it through try-outs are usually portrayed by AI a parade of oblivious freaks, hamming it up for the audience’s amusement.

Maybe one day someone who is as over-the-top and fabulous as Bernardo pretended to be (and who can actually, you know, sing well) will be allowed to sashay his way across the stage and into our collective hearts – besides our beloved Glambert. Until then Ryan Seacrest can only hold his breath and dream.

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