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American Idol alum Danny Noriega is set to compete in a totally different reality show arena on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The 24-year old season 7 vocalist will unveil his alter-ego, Adore Delano, when the drag queen competition returns for its sixth season in February.
“She’s very, very vulgar, crazy. She’s a party animal. She’s fun,” said Noriega in a recent interview with Yahoo News. “Just like no f—s are given, you know? Everything I can’t do as Danny, I can do as her. She’s just punk-rock. She’s a punk-rock mermaid!”
Noriega developed Delano’s personae and look-which features a fierce pink wig- after seeing his first drag shows in 2008.
“I went to see Raven [from Season 2 of Drag Race], and I was like, ‘I could try to do this.’ I entered a competition on October 3rd of 2011 and I won it, and it just took off from there,” he said.
Noriega said that he is looking forward to being able to wear makeup and do everything he was not permitted to do during his run on Idol.
“The experience was amazing and I’m forever grateful for it, but I feel like I wasn’t allowed to go as far as I wanted to. There was just certain makeup that I wanted to wear and certain songs that I wanted to sing that I wasn’t allowed to,” he said. “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.”
The California native added that the career opportunities he had hoped for after his season — where he famously sparred with then-judge Simon Cowell — just weren’t as bountiful as he had hoped.
“I was getting pulled in so many different directions — I don’t want to bad-talk anything, but a lot of us weren’t getting a lot of opportunities that we were supposed to be getting; let’s just put it that way. I was just an 18-year-old thinking he’s on top of the world,” he said. “That kind of thing, and I just kind of fell flat. I wasn’t a businessperson. I feel like this time around, given an opportunity like this, especially with something I’m so passionate about, is a blessing.”
Watch Noriega’s audition of “Proud Mary” from his season below:
And check him out as Adore Delanon covering “Dancing on my Own” by Robyn:
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