"But I think that in the last two years there have been a lot of things that have really changed that, and have really made it a positive thing," said "American Idol" contestant MK Nobilette, as she awaited the judge's announcement whether she'd made it on to the next round as one of the final 30.
The first judge to speak was Harry Connick Jr., who said "Thank goodness" — meaning thank goodness a lot of things have really changed in the last 2 years.
The next judge to speak was Jennifer Lopez. She began with "This is a tough day," which was the kind of stalling they were using repeatedly when they were ultimately saying yes. (That's how they try to wring emotion out of contestants and audience members who haven't yet caught on that this is the tell that the news is good.) Lopez proceeds through the narrative arc, as if she were making the "tough" decision on the spot: "The world is changing, I think." And then: "We think that you could be an American Idol."
"Thank you guys so much," said MK, crying, and as she's walking out of the room, we see the third judge, Keith Urban, quietly, emotionally, pronounce the ultimate judgment: "The world is changing."
And so "American Idol," the long-time, middle American family show — a show which has had beloved gay contestants before, but never one who was openly gay — has gone all in for gay acceptance. The 3 judges — each in succession — carefully, gently, sweetly, informed America that the world has changed (or is changing). This is where we all are now (or where the arc of history is bending).
Come on. Group hug, America.