American Idol‘s Most Famous Lawsuit-Filer Ian Benardo Kicked Out Federal Court

The third time, it seems, isn’t always the charm. Ian Benardo, the “Gloria”-singing, Dane Cook-interrupting (see clip above), Simon Cowell-badmouthing, So You Think You Can Dance-rejected, self-described “most hated contestant” ever to be on American Idol, has seen his thrice-lawsuit-bringing self booted out of federal court.

Benardo’s discrimination suit alleges that he was sexually harassed and called “fag” and “homo” by American Idol staffers and told to “gay it up” for camera time.

Judge Colleen McMahon, who threw out the case entirely, disagreed:

“He, like everyone else with a modicum of talent (or less) who auditions for American Idol, chose to appear on a program that was famous for its judges insulting behavior… Benardo went on air after being told what was expected of him, and he knew full well what to expect. Having volunteered to be insulted, he cannot now claim that he was sexually harassed.

“The audition show features performances of the individual contestants who win a place on Idol, and some who just miss the cut, but also a number of individuals who never had a realistic chance of being chosen—often persons with little or no talent, who are content on making fools out of themselves (or to allow others to make fools of them) in front of a national television audience. For the 2006-07 season, Benardo was apparently one of these.”

Now, it probably didn’t help his case that he’s willingly been a part of more than one reality competition program and that he actually went back for more “abuse” by participating in the Idol season finale during his audition year.

And in spite of the suit’s outcome, this isn’t over. The meat grinder of reality television demands a constant supply of fresh flesh, and guys like Benardo want their remaining 14 minutes, which means eventually he’ll return to offer himself up again someday, auditioning for whatever’s out there, just to get back on your TV. Expect it.

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  • hammer

    Ian gets a bad rep but he’s a sweet guy. When pressured by people in charge of course you are going to do what they say in the heat of the moment. There are always two sides to the story.
    keep your head up Ian! you are hilarious!

  • Steve

    He was told to gay it up?

    Not to be stereotypical, but it doesn’t get much gayer than prancing around stage with a lisp and a fur-vest-thing that not even Lady Gaga would wear.

  • RickSomers

    Ian Bernardo is an embarrassment to HUMANITY. Not just gay rights. He is at the top of the list of people who should be banished to their own island and die alone.

  • bttms

    As much as I HATE IAN BENARDO with a passion, I have to say he is entertaining. That being said, I would much rather watch THE IAN BERNARDO SHOW than the A list New York.

  • JESS K

    Let’s be honest, some people have talent, some people THINK they have talent! If one is willing to expose themselves to the likes of Simon, or better know as “Simon the Rude”, then they deserve the treatment they get. If one is NOT willing to be treated rudely, then they should not expose themselves accordingly. People with ‘real’ talent will rise to the top, like cream on milk. In any competition there will be winners, and losers. Not everyone can be #1. If someone has ‘talent’ and they are an asshole, they will not last in the entertainment industry very long before people will simply not work with them. The key to achieving success, in any field, BE NICE!

  • shi

    I think Ian is hilarious & entertaining. I wish he had his own show! I still re-watch his Idol audition!!

  • Alejandro N Chavez

    ohhhhhh godddddddddddddddd come on you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we alllllllllllll .. sorry ALL love Ian he is te kind ogf guy tv needs and we all want give him a programmmmmmmmmmmm he is here in Colombia teachin people in the streets to speak English who else could do sometg like that i bet simon does not have the guts to come to South America and say hi neither teach somg

  • martina Tibblin

    I just LOVE IAN !! He is just sooo adorable!! The world needs more IIIAAANS!! Shame on you people that talks bad about gays!!! Big kiss ti IAN from SWEDEN!!!!

  • Obvious

    Ok. Obviously Ian is a mental patient. I saw him once in Manhattan arguing with someone at a store and everyone was taking photos with there camera. Once he noticed this, he yelled at everyone to mind there fu8king business and stormed away. He needs help. The best solution is to give him his own television show and watch him implode.

  • Carrie R.

    My friend Ian is the best! He one incredible person. Always there for you when you need him.

  • Carrie R.


    I agree! He is the BEST!!

  • Jordana Presley

    You jealous queens and homophobes need to settle down.

    It’s not IAN’s fault that close-minded middle America find obeast “talent” such as Jordin Sparks or Lauren Alaina “entertaining”; like most of America, they are spandex-wearing fat SeaHags that are easily relatable. Or even more tragic; Fantasia Barrino, who used illiteracy as a TrumpCard to win AmericanIdol while she brayed onstage and jumped around like a Gorilla about to endure a multiple anal birth.

    Ian’s cathartic rendition of “Gloria” gave new life to a song that had long been forgotten; Laura Branigan should be kissing his hot gay ass, nevermind getting down on her wrinkled old knees and giving him a very personal “thank you”.

    Simon WISHES he could get down on his wrinkled knees and give Ian a very special thank-you but Ian is not into MOOBS, and personally I think THAT is where all the dissonance between the two started. I know for a fact that Ian turned down Simon’s hairy-chested advances and called Paula out on her semi-perma-K-hole.

    IAN BENARDO is an american pop-culture Icon and had die-hard fans like YULIA BENARDO who have gone so far as to liken him to Christ and henceforth make anatomically correct voodoo doll in his near-perfect image.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see him on the cover of Playgirl- that kid is hung like Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

    Hate on haters.

  • Adonis-of-Fire


    If you have so much hatred for someone you don’t know, you have serious mental problems.

  • Joe

    @Jordana Presley: That’s you Ian, isn’t it? Do you still have two therapists? Ask one about mood stabilizers and something for ADD.

  • Adam

    This guy’s abrasive, rude, and talentless in all the areas he insists make him a superstar. It’s surprising that half the comments here are in support of him. Nothing I’ve seen of him on television indicates he would ever be a “nice guy”. Either those comments are bullshit, likely the result of Bernardo himself doing his hourly scour of the internet for his own name, or the way he acts on TV is just that; an absurd act put on for attention. In either case, he should really reevaluate the way he’s portraying both himself and the gay community. The tacky furs, unattractive pout, and severely unpleasant pronunciation of almost every word really need to go.

  • Owen

    @Jordana Presley:

    Come on, Ian. We’re all pretty positive that was you posting under the name Jordana Presley.

  • Shannon1981

    If you put yourself out there, knowing what the show is, you have to be ready to be made fun of. Also, he’s been on not only Idol, but also So You Think You Can Dance, where he was also told he had no talent. The guy has made his living making a fool of himself by auditioning for various reality TV shows, on none of which he had a prayer of being anything but fodder for lulz, and he had to know this. He never had a leg to stand of. He just runs out of shows to audition for in the off season, so he sues them instead.

    He’ll never get a dime. Ever. As he should not. I am not saying Idol was right for telling him to “gay it up” or calling him a “fag” or a “homo.” Not at all. But, if he had been as offended as he claims, he wouldn’t have gone on the show.

    Give up Ian. You’ve had more than your 15. Time to move on. Oh, and get your sockpuppets out of the comments section, please. Nobody here believes you actually have fans.

  • Laguardia

    Ian is the best! He one incredible person.
    He has a great sense of humor and is a military veteran!!
    He has an amazing body too. Overall, he is very cool once you get to know him.

    If you talk trash about him it is because you don’t know him.

  • Gospel Artist

    He is a great personality if you put the controversy aside.

  • Jeffree

    @Jordana Presley: Laura Branigan, who sang the original Gloria died in 2004, so I doubt she’s aware of Ian’s attempts to sing her song.

    When you agree to do a reality show, you’re agreeing to do almost whatever they want. Ian may be a great guy, but he didn’t just wander into that show without knowing what it was like (and that seems like what the Judge said too).

  • Jordana Presley

    Oh. My. God.

    “…Jordana (Jordana), I think they got your number (Jordana)
    I think they got the alias (Jordna) that you’ve been living under (Jordana)…”

    You are all SO DENSE.
    If Ian was going to pick a “stage name” he’d surely pick something cuter like “Dick Marx”.
    I am a REAL GIRL! Even my tits are real.
    In the words of Teyana Taylor, “Google Me, Baby”.

    As for Ian…
    The guy has a huge heart; he wears fake fur!
    Now look down at your shitty leather shoes and think of all the cows that died so you could have your blt, be forced to wear spandex and a moo-moo and rock LEATHER.
    He’s also more talented than any of you will ever be…the apex of your intellect was deducing that Ian and I are the same person, which is a conclusion worthy of Corky Thatcher. Get over your jealousy issues, go on a diet, go google me, and go jerk-off (to me or Ian; the choice is yours).

  • matthew glitter

    Come on. Seriously. While everybody hates Ian Bernardo for whatever reason, we need to turn our energy into more positive things. Googling Ian Bernardo you can see he actually has a LOT of fans. Problem is…why?

  • Jeffree

    @Jordana Presley: So you’re still not taking back what you said about poor-dead-Laura Branigan?

    What a class act!


    I love me some attention whoring new york gays lol. that accent…..love it.

  • MattGMD

    Reality Show Cage Fight: Ian v. Snooki

  • prohomo

    Ian Bernardo is abominable-gay man at his worst.

  • homosapien


  • iamwang

    “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen”…..

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