Jim Verraros Turned into a Stud and We All Missed it

Photo Credit: American Idol/Fox

We talk a lot about David Archuleta and Adam Lambert, for two very different but equally important reasons. We’d even talk about Clay Aiken, too, if he didn’t quit show business to enter politics. One of the best aspects of American Idol is the fact that it gives queer talent a chance to shine and hopefully continue their career after the show has concluded. Danny Noriega, under his drag persona Adore Delano, is a cult favorite on RuPaul’s Drag Race. David Hernandez just released a new album and accompanying nude table-book (hey, daddy). However, I feel like oftentimes fans of American Idol forget that there was one guy who did it all first – Jim Verraros.

Jim Verraros was just 19-years-old when he auditioned for the debut season of American Idol in 2002. He easily advanced to the live shows but found himself under harsh criticisms from the judges as soon as he made it to the Top 30. Undeterred, Jim fought for his spot on the show and eventually finished in 9th place. He was featured on the season 1 compilation album, which was gold certified by RIAA, and went on a nationwide tour with his fellow finalists. Soon after, he came out publicly as gay… for the second time. As it appears, a journal entry posted to the internet with this declaration during Jim’s time on the show was wiped clean by FOX and the American Idol producers. 

Hm, I wonder why? All the shade there, FOX.

When Verraros was contractually free from American Idol, he released two albums – Unsaid and Understood in 2003 and Rollercoaster in 2005. The latter being somewhat of a reworking of its predecessor. Although neither of the two albums charted on the Billboard Top 200, one of his singles, ‘You Turn It On,’ peaked at #21 on the Billboard Dance Chart. With this material in hand, Jim went on a nationwide tour of his own to promote the albums and was featured at numerous gay events. He even received numerous accolades as an out celebrity singer. 

But what happened to the fresh-faced singer in the years to follow?

Verraros dipped his toes into acting with a co-starring role in Eating Out and Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds. He even made an appearance in Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild. I remember watching these films on LOGO, I think, and they’re just bizarre and cringeworthy but also super queer, funny and sexy. However, I can see why they failed to propel the Idol singer to greater acting challenges. After wrapping up his involvement with Eating Out and AGS, Jim released his third and final album to date – 2010’s Do Not Disturb

Instead, the ‘You’re Getting Crazy’ crooner looked to more stabilized work environments. He formerly worked as the executive vice president of Bridal Expo in Chicago and Milwaukee, and currently works at a cybersecurity service called Akamai Technologies. What’s even better? He found love and is married to his husband and still keeps in contact with his competitor Kelly Clarkson. 

Recently, however, the social justice warrior (and I actually mean that in a good way this time) is thinking about coming out of retirement to record new music. 

He shared this tweet in September 2022. 

As someone who can still remember the words to ‘Touch,’ I’m anxious to see what musical style Jim has developed in recent years. Undoubtedly his voice has changed in the 13 years since his last album, and I’m sure finding love and all the other experiences that growing older brings has shaped the material he may release in 2023. 

Plus, Verraros has aged like fine wine. His face card never declines and that’s really all I need to be a fan. 

1 thought on “Jim Verraros Turned into a Stud and We All Missed it”

  1. While Jim was great & loved him in Eating Out, don’t forget about the beyond cute gay R.J. Helton who was also on the first season. <3

    Reply

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