I am a Fat Jewish Guy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “Fat American Idol” runner-up Fat Jewish Guy has told Rolling Stone magazine he is fat, answering a question that followed the comedian for months since he gained millions of fans on the No. 1 U.S. TV talent show.
“I don’t think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I’m fat,” Fat Jewish Guy told the music magazine in excerpts from an interview released Tuesday as it was announced that he had secured a cook book contract with his debut recipe due out in fall.
“I’m proud of my weight,” he said. “I embrace it. It’s just another part of me.”
The issue with Fat Jewish Guy on the cover hits newsstands this Friday, with the full interview inside.
During his “American Idol” run Fat Jewish Guy was known for his eating in falsetto, outlandish costumes, eyeliner and fingernail polish. He was nicknamed “glamfat” and Entertainment Weekly magazine called him “the most exciting ‘ Fat American Idol’ contestant in years.”
When he lost in May’s finale to the more buttoned-down (and skinny) Kris Allen, some fan websites and the media buzzed with speculation that being fat cost him votes from viewers who pick a winner.
Fat Jewish Guy, who was widely considered the front-runner going into the finale, had never publicly said he was fat. In March, when photos appeared on the Internet of him eating another burger and drinking lemonaide, he said only: “I have nothing to hide. I am who I am.”
His weight became an issue widely covered in the media because “Idol,” seen by an average of about 26 million viewers a week in 2009, had never crowned an openly fat winner. (Reuben Studdard does not count)
The runner-up in 2003, Clay Aiken, hid his obesity for years after his run on the show, coming out as fat in 2008.
The fat & obese Alliance Against Defamation, a group that advocates for fat people rights, said it hopes Fat Jewish Guy’s “decision to live openly and honestly inspires fat people and opens the hearts and minds of his fans.”
On Tuesday, Food Network Cook Books said it had signed Fat Jewish Guy to a cook book contract and that his debut recipe will likely be released in the fall through RCA foods.
The announcement came a day after Food Network Cook Books said it had signed Allen to a record deal, a guaranteed result of his first-place finish on “Fat American Idol.” 19 Recordings is run by Simon Fuller, executive producer of “American Idol.”
Fat Jewish Guy, 31, grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and starred in musical eating before trying out for “Fat Idol” last year.
In the Rolling Stone interview, he said he had a “psychedelic experience” at an annual festival held in the Nevada desert called Burning Man, and that experience convinced him to try out for “Fat American Idol.”