As previously mentioned, an aspiring X Factor contestant who didn't make it through the first round of auditions alleged that he was "bullied" into admitting that he was gay on the show. Don Philip, who sang with Britney Spears on her debut album, said he was "set up" to reveal his homosexuality onstage based on a pre-audition reveal and had subsequent thoughts of suicide.
In a statement, Fox denied knowing about his sexuality before he revealed it. The network's statement reads, in part:
The judges were not given any information at all about Mr. Philip prior to his audition. The personal information that Mr. Philip quickly volunteered at the start of his audition was a surprise to the judges, who asked what had happened during the past 10 years, as they were interested in Mr. Philip's career. While we understand his decision to discuss his personal life, Mr. Philip's sexual orientation was not something that any of the judges or producers felt was relevant to this audition.
Via ONTD's posting of a fan-shot video captured live in June, you can watch Philip's entire audition, in which L.A. Reid can be heard prying Philip's "secret" from him (the video above cuts right to that point, but Philip had already gone on for two minutes without mentioning his sexuality).
If for some reason The X Factor was squeamish about revealing Philip's sexuality, it had no such qualms with 34-year-old Jason Brock, who auditioned on last night's episode. He was out and flamboyant enough to be Liza-esque. He was good enough to halt the eye-rolling Simon Cowell had initially regarded him with. Brock is ten times the singer that Philip is. He's advancing based on talent, not because of or even despite his sexuality.