Danny Noriega: “your personal life and your job are two different things”

American Idol 7 semi-finalist Danny Noriega could have been the show’s first openly gay finalist, but he was eliminated from the competition–and he doesn’t want to talk about his sexuality, nor does he want to take credit for the over-the-top videos in which he previously talked about that.

“I think your personal life and your job are two different things. I think people should respect that and know the fine line between that. Privacy is really important,” Danny told reporters Friday, according to Reality TV World.

What of the video where he raps about being gay? “That’s something that is so forever ago that I used to do. It was almost like another person ago. That was when I was younger, it was more like an acting thing. I used to do personalities… It’s more of like an acting show that I used to put on for YouTube,” he said.

He reiterates that those were an act and not representative of who he is, which just seems really sad, like he now feels obligated to not be himself in order to continue his success. “Something little like that, that was made for humor — rude humor — but can be blown up out of proportion and kind of shown as your character. That’s not the kind of person that I am. I just think it’s pretty sad that people would do that just to tear down somebody’s success. We’re all trying to be something in life right now. We don’t understand why people would try to cut us down by doing negative things like that. It’s pretty sad to me,” he said.

Meanwhile, season six contestant Sanjaya Malakar told MTV News that although he befriend Danny last year, comparisons are unfair. “It’s funny, because I was on the bus with him when we went on our little field trip, and we talked. I think we do have similarities. I just think it’s funny when people take a past contestant and compare them to someone else. I just think it’s interesting to hear someone say that anyone else is ‘the next Sanjaya,’ because I think every artist has the ability to be the next themselves.”

Artist? You’re an artist? Oh, Sanjaya: A year later, you’re still providing us with endless entertainment.

Eliminated ‘Idol’ semifinalist Danny Noriega: My personal life is private [Reality TV World]
‘American Idol’ Alum Sanjaya Malakar Reaches Out To Stevie Wonder, Calls Danny Noriega ‘Unique’ [MTV News]

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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.