Josh 'JDA' Davila talks 'American Idol,' androgyny
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

Josh "JDA" Davila auditioning for American Idol. Photo from Fox

Season 12 of the Fox show American Idol began with a bang with steady judge Randy Jackson and three new additions: Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj.

For the Chicago auditions one of Windy City Gay Idol's very own contestants tried out on a whim and succeeded, making it to Hollywood. Josh Davila—also known as "JDA"—sprang up from the South Side with no professional training, and is now headed to Las Vegas as one of 40 aspiring Idols.

Before the final 40 contestants were revealed, Windy City Times talked androgyny to the "bang boy" while he was in the thick of it.

Windy City Times: Hey, Josh. First off, you auditioned for Windy City Gay Idol last year.

Josh Davila: Yes, last summer.

WCT: What venue did you win your round in?

Josh Davila: Spin Nightclub

WCT: I was in the nun's habit.

Josh Davila: Oh, that was you!

WCT: I hope I was nice to you on the judging panel.

Josh Davila: You were really cool.

WCT: How did the American Idol experience happen for you?

Josh Davila: I heard they were holding auditions at the United Center. I went and registered. Everything went well. I was able to meet Nicki, Mariah, Keith and Randy. They loved my presentation, performance, my singing and talent [and] even my look because I channel a lot of Boy George with my image. They really appreciated it and allowed me to proceed to Hollywood.

WCT: You sang Adele at your audition?

Josh Davila: That is right. I sang Adele "Rumour Has It."

WCT: Did you have a few choices to pick from?

Josh Davila: They give you a list you can choose from that is cleared. As long as it's okay with them, then you just go ahead and sing it. Luckily, "Rumour Has It" is one that I love to perform when I am singing karaoke in the city.

WCT: Nicki gave you a nickname at your audition, I noticed.

Josh Davila: She called me "bang boy" because my hair was styled forward and onto the side. I thought that was funny.

WCT: I like the nicknames she gives contestants on the show.

Josh Davila: It really shows her personality.

WCT: She grilled you about your androgynous look.

Josh Davila: She wanted to understand how to address me so she wanted to ask if she could call me a he or a she. I told her to call me a he because I am a boy. I don't have any desire of going under the knife and changing my gender, by any means. I just want to utilize this androgynous image as a tool to grab your attention before I even open my mouth to sing so when I do sing you match the image with voice and then you have a whole package.

WCT: So you identify as gay?

Josh Davila: Yes, I am a gay boy who is androgynous.

WCT: So you are in touch with your feminine side.

Josh Davila: Very much so. I work for a cosmetics line that I can't help and indulge in. There is skin care to fragrance products. It is all feminine and I come full circle with that.

WCT: So singing is a hobby and you have a day job.

Josh Davila: Yes, of course I have a day job to help me live a normal life and pay bills, but this is like a trophy that I am holding onto for a little bit.

WCT: Now that you have had some exposure, do you feel like you want to move to Hollywood?

Josh Davila: You know, I am taking everything one day at a time. I don't know what tomorrow is going to hold for me. I am open to anything. Having TV time and exposure may mean some doors will open for me but all in due time.

WCT: I heard you are a big Christina Aguilera fan.

Josh Davila: I love Christina so much! She is the reason why I even sing. When she came out with "Genie in a Bottle" she was showcased as a teenybopper, but then really proved herself as a vocalist later in her career. I wanted to mimic her so much. I wanted to be her but knew I never could. I tried so hard to sing like her that in the end I realized that I couldn't be her. I don't have her vocals but I can be me. She was my teacher and vocal instructor if you will. I learned so much from her singing.

WCT: What did you think of her new album?

Josh Davila: I loved Lotus. Anything she comes out with I love. It is who she is at the moment and she has come so far in her career and has evolved as an artist.

WCT: Would you ever audition for The Voice?

Josh Davila: I don't know. She won't be a judge on the next season. I am pretty content on what is happening right now.

WCT: You are doing very well. There are more cuts coming so this is a really current story.

Josh Davila: Yes, I can't wait for the world to see more of JDA. I really want the gays to love me. I am doing this for our community. We need more pop artists that put themselves out there like I am. We need it for this generation.

WCT: You could be a Latin gay pop artist.

Josh Davila: Yes, since I am from Monterrey, Mexico, that could happen.

WCT: Oh, that is the macho area of Mexico! You can represent it all in the competition. Looking forward to more success with American Idol and catching up with a drink at Spin.

Josh Davila: I would love that.

American Idol airs Thursdays on Fox.

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