It's not unusual for American Idol contestants to audition more than once before making it to the Top 24. In fact, there are some famous musicians who auditioned more than once only to never even make it past the producers, like Lady Antebellum frontwoman Hillary Scott. But never before in Idol history has someone auditioned as a completely different persona the second time around. Who is American Idol contestant Ada Vox, and what is the singer's history with the show?
When Ada first auditioned for American Idol in Season 12, it was as Adam Sanders, and Adam actually made it through to Hollywood. But after this initial victory, Adam was cut during the brutal Hollywood week, leaving the show with dreams cut short. Before Adam debuted as his drag-queen persona Ada on this season of American Idol, the singer revealed that after Season 12 aired, he received an influx of abuse and hatred online. “After American Idol, I started getting messages on social media every day,” Adam said before his audition as Ada. “People attacked my weight, my sexuality, telling me that I was horrible, that I sucked, that I don’t deserve to be here, that I shouldn’t be who I am. And I let it get to me in a wrong way. It killed me inside. It killed me inside almost as much as people were telling me that I should kill myself … I was contemplating lots of things that I shouldn’t have.”
But Adam was able to recover and heal, and put those hateful comments behind. And the performer that this new crop of judges saw audition wasn't Adam at all, but Ada Vox, Adam's drag queen persona. "I am so ready to show everybody, to show America, to show these judges, who I am now, and I can take anything and everything that comes my way," Adam said before appearing in front of the judges as Ada. And Ada brought the house down with an incredible rendition of "House of the Rising Sun", sailing right through to Hollywood.
Ada has continued to be a top competitor throughout Hollywood week, proving that she is going to be one to watch as more and more people get cut from the competition. She showed incredible versatility during the infamously difficult group rounds, when she beatboxed for her group's slowed-down performance of Jason Derulo's "Want To Want Me." But where she really shined, and differentiated herself from the other strong competitors, was during her incredible showcase performance of Radiohead's "Creep," which brought the audience, and the judges, to their feet.
This goose-bump inducing performance catapulted her straight into the Top 24. But even though she is definitely a stand-out competitor, Ada will be facing some stiff competition in her fellow finalists. Other early frontrunners Alyssa Raghu, Amelia Hammer Harris, Garrett Jacobs, and Ron Bultongez might give Ada a run for her money. But that's part of what makes American Idol so exciting.
Though it seems that Adam will be competing on Idol as Ada, when the time came to face the judges and hear their decision regarding the Top 24, the makeup and wig came off, and Adam appeared in front of Katy, Lionel, and Luke for the first time. “I wanted to face you all as myself,” Adam said, before finding out that Ada had made it through to the Top 24. But fans, and even Ada's fellow contestants, are already rooting hard for American Idol's first drag queen competitor to make it all the way:
Ada will still have to make it through the Top 24 round, however, and next week another ten contestants will be eliminated. Just like Heidi Klum says about fashion, on American Idol one day you're in, and the next day you're out. So fans of Ada should be sure to tune in, and voice their support loud and clear.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.