Try, try again Emmanuel Zidor. The gay Atlanta singer and Delta Air Lines ramp worker didn't make “American Idol” when he auditioned last season. When he tried again last week? Yep, he's going to Hollywood.
Will Zidor make it as far as gay Atlanta's other “Idol,” RJ Helton? Let's hope. Helton finished in the Top 5 during the first season of “Idol” in 2002. He came out four years later.
Zidor startled the judges during his audition, which aired Jan. 16 during the San Francisco auditions. But then he won them over. The AJC's Rodney Ho detailed what happened:
The Miami native was the man who auditioned by singing as he entered the room. He then charmed the judge’s panel with his R&B voice and his personality. He sailed into Hollywood with his rendition of Beyonce’s “Beautiful Nightmare.” (She’s his favorite artist.)
“I came into that room to prove I’m not just a singer but an entertainer,” he said.
Zidor, 24, didn't come out during his auditions. But he laid down enough bread crumbs on the show and in an brief interview with Ho.
Fluttering over judge Harry Connick, Jr.:
Before coming on the show, he knew Connick Jr. best from his guest spot on “Will & Grace.” But he loved how Connick gave advice he could use for his future.
And then with his favorite “Idols.” No offense to Helton, of course.
His favorite “Idols”: Kelly Clarkson and Adam Lambert. “He brings dramatic entertainment like I want to be,” he said. “I look up to him so much being gay, just being himself. And he has an awesome voice.”
He also told the Miami Herald that he was bullied as a kid.
“I used to be insecure about my voice, I was bullied when I was younger,” says the 24-year-old contestant, whose stage name is J Zidor. “When I told Jennifer Lopez my story she had tears in her eyes, at least I think she did. It was great to be vindicated.”
But the R&B singer, who was born in Liberty City and went to Toussaint Louverture Elementary and Miami Central Senior High School, was most intimidated by J.Lo’s fellow judge, Harry Connick Jr. “He’s a classically trained pianist,” he says of the pop jazz singer who’s a newcomer to the tables at AI, whose 13th season premiered Wednesday.
Zidor, known as Jay Zidor on social media, also isn't shy in discussing his crushes on sexy male professional athletes, referring to a male friend as “she” and covering Miss Lawrence's “Closet Freak.” Or shooting two videos titled “Gay Guys Twerking.” Or making duck lips while he lays atop another guy.
He calls New York Giants wide received Victor Cruz “a hottie”–well, he is–and offers this about Atlanta Falcons jock Thomas DeCloud: “I seen him in the shower and now I'm in love … still love my Victor Cruz tho.” Shower? Lucky him.
When he “proudly” sings “Closet Freak,” Zidor's got plenty to say about Miss Lawrence, one of the gay sidekicks on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
“You so fearless. You got more guts than anybody. Keep doing your thing,” Zidor says.
He also says he hopes to one day work with Kandi Burruss, the gay-loving, Atlanta Pride-marching “RHOA” cast member who this week released a new single that Zidor should consider.
And in a video (below) posted after his “Idol” audition aired last week, Zidor talked about his nerves.
“I was so nervous to the point that I had to buy a couple of drinks to clam my nerves,” he says. “My nerves were on fire last night watching myself on TV.”
He then goes on, not delivering any spoilers about his fate during the Hollywood round of “Idol” but dishing a few details about a guy hitting him up on social media to call him “kind of thick” and then pushing to, ahem, connect.
Zidor dismissed his possible suitor.
“First of all, you are not my type. Second of all, you are not my type and third of all, I am emotionally attached to somebody else so I can't be fucking with you.”
That someone else? A guy. Look out Hollywood, J. Zidor's fierceness is on the way!