Tabloid says Taylor Hicks feared “queer smear” during American Idol 5 finale

The National Enquirer is reporting this week that American Idol 5 “winner Taylor Hicks is caught up in a raging gay sex scandal!” That sounds crazy juicy, but of course, it’s nothing of the sort, because writing leads and headlines at the Enquirer involves making shit up that doesn’t have anything to do with the actual contents of the story.

Instead, the tabloid quotes a nameless “insider” who says that during the finale,

“Taylor was freaking out that a ‘queer smear’ would rob him of victory. First, he blamed a fruity purple velvet jacket he wore. And he was told there were rumors about his sexuality all over the place.”

The paper claims that “the malicious gossip nearly kept Taylor from beating Katharine McPhee,” which, considering he won by a comfortable margin and that his victory was easily predictable, is pretty far from the truth. Never mind that Googling “Taylor Hicks gay” results in few hits on the first few pages except for stories that reference the Enquirer story.

And while we’re talking about this, haven’t we evolved past the point where having a gay pop star would be surprising or that big of a deal? And does calling someone gay really constitute “malicious” “nasty homosexual lies”? Like, who really thinks that pandering to people’s fear-driven hatred of other people actually works?

Idol Winner’s Gay Shocker: Taylor Hicks Denies Rumors From Internet [National Enquirer]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.