When Would Adam Lambert Come Out of the Closet (if He Happened to Be Gay)?

By Ramin Setoodeh

Let's play a game. Let's pretend that you're a 27-year-old male finalist on American Idol and that there are photos on the Internet that appear to show you tongue-wrestling with another guy. Entertainment Weekly said you "might be gay," and TV Guide said you were "openly gay," though you haven't spoken a word about your sexuality to your adoring, screeching, OMG-tween public. Then again, to be fair, you do have a man friend in the audience every week, who even smiled, waved and stuck out his tongue at you playfully when you sang "If I Can't Have You I Don't Want Nobody, Baby." And just yesterday, Perez Hilton reported that you introduced a man as your boyfriend—perhaps the same guy?—to a couple of other finalists at a dinner at Outback Steakhouse in Burbank, Calif.

OK, kids, starting placing your bets. If Adam Lambert does in fact win American Idol, as the oracle Paula Abdul predicted from the start, and if he is indeed gay, how long before he comes out of the closet? He's been shielded thus far from answering any questions about his sexuality thanks to a gag rule that prevents contestants from giving interviews while still on the show. But you know that as soon as he wins (or comes in second), quote-hungry reporters will be asking him the gay question before he can finish his victory song. Sure, he can dodge it like Clay Aiken did. But unlike Aiken, Adam seems too comfortable with who he is (or may be) to do that. So does that mean that come Thursday morning, we might finally have an openly gay American Idol?

This sort of thing has happened once before, actually. In Britain, Will Young came out shortly after winning the first season of Pop Idol in March 2002. "I feel it's time to tell my fans I'm gay," he said in an interview. "It's totally no big deal, just part of who I am. For me it's normal and nothing to be ashamed about. I'm gay and I'm comfortable with that. I don't really don't know what the fuss is about." Then he said he wanted to move on.

Here's betting that Adam makes a similar statement later this week.