Now this is a reality TV competition crossover we did not see coming! Apparently we will be seeing a former American Idol Top 16 semi-finalist competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6, premiering on Logo in February. The American Idol alum who will be strutting their stuff on the show as drag queen Adore Delano? That would be gender-bending Danny Noriega, who identified as male on American Idol season 7, but lived life basically “as a girl from 14 to 16.”

Danny Noriega - Source: Instagram

Danny Noriega – Source: Instagram

Danny Noriega told Rolling Stone he has been dabbling in drag since he was a teenager and spent several years exploring his gender identity. Although he thought about transitioning, he “had a change of heart” after going on American Idol under a male persona. “I guess after I saw myself looking butch I was like, ‘Wow, I should be buff!’ … I was just, like, ‘OK, you’re a boy now.”

Although Danny is no longer planning to transition, at least not right now, he still considers himself to be “ambiguous” and has fully embraced life as a professional drag performer. Unlike most of his peers, however, Danny prefers to actually sing live rather than lip-syncing. That might end up being an advantage for him as a competitor on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6, but he thinks his biggest advantage is being “a diverse character” and that he has “a positive attitude, and I’m not delusional.”

Danny Noriega and his alter ego Adore Delano.
(Click thumbnails to scroll through bigger pics. Source: Instagram/Twitter)

As for his experience on American Idol season 7, Danny Noriega says he found the experience less than terrific at times. “There was just certain makeup that I wanted to wear and certain songs that I wanted to sing that I wasn’t allowed to,” Danny told Rolling Stone. “I really don’t want to trash-talk the show, but I just wasn’t allowed to be as out there as I wanted to be. I was actually told to calm it down.”

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