NBC's singing competition already ahead of rival American Idol when it comes to openly gay contestants
It wasn't until after his runner-up finish on American Idol in 2009 that Adam Lambert officially came out to the world on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Neither Lambert or any other contestant on the show had been openly gay during the show which just launched its 12th season this week.
But NBC's The Voice had four openly gay contestants during its first season and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award on Thursday (19 January) for outstanding reality show.
'From the beginning of my career I've done that and I don't know why other shows haven't done it,' The Voice's Executive Producer Mark Burnett tells Gay Star News. 'It just seems crazy not to.'
The GLAAD awards recognize outstanding images of the LGBT community in news coverage and entertainment media.
'I got my first GLAAD Award for putting Richard Hatch, an openly gay man on Survivor and showing an openly gay man in his good and bad parts,' Burnett says. 'It's not stereotyping, it's just people, right? Whether you're black, white, gay, straight.'
Singer Adam Levine, one of the four celebrity judges on The Voice, has spoken out against Idol's history of having the sexuality of gay or lesbian contestants go unspoken.
'I think there's absolutely no reason why you should be judged for your sexuality,' Levine tells GSN. 'It's your choice to be vocal about it, to be quiet about it. Sexuality is a very personal thing. If you want it to be public knowledge, put it out there or you can keep it wrapped up.'
Last year on The Voice, contestant Michael Robinson came out on national television. Although he was out to his mother and she accepted him, he told the audience that 'My father does not know that I’m gay. I guess he knows now!'
Besides Robinson, season one contestant Vicci Martinez, Nakia and Beverly McClellan were also open about their sexuality.
'I think we always supported and nurtured all the amazingly talented people who have been in the show regardless of what they do in their private time,' Levine says.
The Voice returns for its second season on Feb. 5 right after the Super Bowl.