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Adam Levine Criticizes ‘American Idol’ for Hiding Contestants’ Sexuality

Adam Levine
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

The Voice‘ coach Adam Levine is proud of how his show portrayed its openly gay competitors, but he doesn’t feel the same way about ‘American Idol,’ which he feels forces gay contestants to hide their sexual orientation.

“What’s always pissed me off about ‘Idol’ is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken,” Levine told Out. “C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that ‘The Voice’ didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.”

Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert are high-profile former ‘Idol’ contestants who came out only after their run on the show had ended. During Lambert’s season, it wide widely assumed he was gay, yet the show never mentioned his sexual orientation. By contrast, four contestants on the first season of ‘The Voice’ were openly gay, and two, Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez, reached the finale.

While Levine went on to call ‘Idol’ a “cultural institution,” he continued to sign the praises of ‘The Voice’: “It’s a great show because it doesn’t alienate anybody. If you’re a talented person, and you want a career, and you’re trying to join an extremely intimidating and also completely dismantled industry — skip all that other bullsh–, and go for what can be immediately effective.”

Levine also addressed his own sexual promiscuity, his gay brother, and his feelings for ‘Voice’ champion Javier Colon in the OUT interview.

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