American Idol ‘Made’ Ian Bernardo Play Up His Gayness, For Which He Wants $300 Million

American Idol hopeful Ian Benardo didn’t make it past the auditions in 2006, but at May’s season finale, where he stormed the stage during Dane Cook’s live performance, he finally got a chance to be up there in the winner’s circle, flaming and all. Except Bernardo says it was all Idol producers’ idea — and now he’s suing them for exploiting his sexuality.

He wants $300 million. Ahem.

Calling it “a Kanye West moment”, Benardo began to hurl abuse at exiting American Idol judge Simon Cowell, insisting he was going to replace the music mogul on the program because, “I’m more entertaining than you.” But in new legal papers filed with the New York State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Monday, Benardo claims he was put up to the stunt by Idol executives who invited him back for this year’s final and asked him to be “outrageous” and “gay”.

The documents state that producers had previously “exploited… my sexual orientation” when he auditioned for the contest, by ordering him to “gay it up”.

Benardo insists he was given similar orders when he returned in May. He goes on to accuse Cook of threatening him after the incident, claiming Idol bosses warned him he was “not safe” and advised him to leave the Nokia Theatre immediately.

Bernado’s shining moment from the finale — where, I’m assuming, the real emotional damage was delivered — comes at the end.

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    Please Miss Thing, AI gave you about 14 minutes and 59 seconds more “fame” than you ever deserved…………..

    And I don’t think asking you to “Gay it up” is quite asking a lot of you………… :-p

  • DR

    he pulled the same nonsense on SYTYCD the season before and got the same reaction. total attention whore.

  • TommyOC

    Who’s paying your bills while you’re not working, sweetie? I could do a lot more interesting things than gaying it up for AI if I didn’t have to work for a living.

  • Cam

    So he went up, and voluntarily did what they asked him to do…and now he’s suing because they asked him to do it?

    Person A: Here is a coupon for a free coffee

    Person B: Thank you, I’m going to go get some coffee now.

    Person B 6 months later: I’m suing you because I drank coffee.

  • L.

    @Cam: B: And no-one told me there was caffeine in there.

  • Jeffree

    As a performer, you can be asked to “gay it up” or “gay it down”. Or “spice it up” or “tone it down”

    At a QueerComedy Fest I was asked to up-gay my set in terms of material. I did more stuff about the boyfriend and less about speech therapy. The set went very well.

    At another venue, I was asked to do more “family friendly” material and I was horrified & insulted until I realized it was an *”all ages” *show. So you betcha, I revived a piece on “what your stuffed animals do behind your back” and dropped the bit about “why people in fifthgrade shouldn’t smoke.”
    I got asked back — that’s a good sign.

    It’s business. To get paid, to get invited back, you have to respect reasonable requhests. I’m sure singers and dancers and actors get different kinds of requests, but it boils down to fulfilling your part in the show.

  • Gridlock

    dead yet

  • Ethan


  • Pip

    If American Idol producers actually told this kid to ‘gay it up’ and essentially perform for the show, he deserves some kind of pay check. These crappy contest shows rely on crazy behavior to get ratings.

  • arnau

    @Endless Men: the moment about the dodo bird was truly brilliant.
    and the “new jersey with celebrities” too! ^_^

  • IAmAGeniusYoureAllMorons

    This man is God.

  • nikko

    He’s disgusting and an embarrassment to gays.

  • IAmAGeniusYoureAllMorons

    Forget about Dan Choi. We need this Bernardo!

  • MarcJacobsisawhore

    Give him the money. He deserves it.

  • shlong

    These type of delusional narcissists like Ian Benardo come about because the communities that they grow up in refuse to criticize people like him because they are afraid to hurt feelings or offend someone by reality of facts.

    Someone should tell this attention whoring queen to go back to sucking old men for cash on craiglist because he has zero no skills or artistic talents to make a normal living.

  • P

    I have seen this guy out in gay bars in midtown Manhattan and I personally will testify that he was just as flamboyantly homosexual and equally annoying every time I saw him. He especially made a point to go out after SYTYCD and then REALLY tried to make the rounds after American Idol (the first time). It was so awkward, b/c at every one of the bar(s) (yes plural, I saw him over the course of several weeks) he clearly was trying to get people to notice him and fawn over him and get free drinks. He is awful and represents everything that is wrong w/not only America’s newfound obsession w/instant fame but also everything that is wrong w/gay men.

  • RealityShowsSuckWorstThanACrackHo

    While it’s true, he’s the ultimate in self-entitlement, Ian is still funnier than Dane Cook.

  • rich

    You seem VERY obsessed with Mr. Benardo…..Did he ignore you? I actually have met Ian and can tell you he doesn’t drink. So you are a total liar.

  • yeah

    He is straight acting in real life and has rich parents. Pushed the gay community back 20 years. I hope he rots in hell.

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