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MK Nobilette is somehow the first openly gay 'American Idol' contestant in season 13

by Carolyn Menyes   Feb 13, 2014 12:12 PM EST

MK Nobilette: See this guy live. (Photo : American Idol YouTube)

Somehow, it's taken 13 seasons, but American Idol finally has its first openly gay contestant. Last night, the uniquely soulful pop singer MK Nobilette made her way into the reality show's Top 30 and by doing so broke new ground for the oftentimes conservative program.

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After making her way through the group rounds with "Royals" and the final solo show with a short, deep spin on Ed Sheeran's "A Team," Nobilette (who also goes by the name EmKay Brazil) faced judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. one more time.

In a bit of drama, the judges contemplated her unique singing style and voice, all while asking whether or not she could represent Idol. "I'm very obviously gay, and there are always going to be people in American and everywhere else that are definitely going to hate," she told them during the final judgment. "But I think that in the last two years there have been a lot of things that have really changes that, and have really made it into a positive thing."

The judges agreed and sent her through.

RELATED: 'American Idol' Season 13 Recap: 5 Best Solo Turns from Top 30 Performers in Hollywood

It may be a surprise that Nobilette is Idol's first openly gay contestant, but the show (which largely caters to an older audience) has previously told its gay contestants to keep their sexuality hush-hush during their time on the show. Notably, season 1 contestant Jim Verraros was told to erase all information about being an openly gay man online before his Idol stint.

Post-Idol contestants such as Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken and Devin Valez have all come out of the closet (at least, publicly).

Though it's taken far too long, at least American Idol is inching progressively further.

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