Just under a week ago vocalist Michelle Chamuel took second place on NBC’s The Voice. While Chamuel’s Coach Usher spoke often about her being different and showing her “true colors,” the subject of Chamuel’s sexuality was never mentioned. Now Chamuel is speaking up about not addressing her 'sexuality' and some of the flack she got for it in an interview with AfterEllen.
Chamuel, who addressed her sexuality in an interview with AE in 2010, told the site that during The Voice’s run she was criticized for “being in the closet.” She recently explained her response to those kinds of accusations to AE.
“It's like "I'm not in the closet, dude…” Chamuel said. “I understand how when you have a platform, for anything, it's a chance to make a statement. But the statement and reason I was on was for music and having people accept me for who I am. And my music, for me, is the way to make the biggest change. I did what was most natural and comfortable for me rather then what felt uncomfortable because it was a certain kind of platform.”
During the show’s blind auditions Chamuel turned three chairs with her searing rendition of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl,” and went on –under Usher’s mentorship—to reinvent modern classics like Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass” and “Just Give Me a Reason,” Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” and Annie Lennox’s “Why.” Usher made good use of promoting Michelle’s signature look, including her thick-framed glasses, with a Twitter hashtag #FourEyesOnthePrize, and he became fond of placing her in front of a mirror to let her colors shine through.
In her post The Voice interview Chamuel told AE that she was not trying to hide any part of herself on the show.
“…I really wanted to be clear that I'm not trying to hide anything because I was afraid how I would perform on the show or how it would affect votes or anything. It was never a concern of mine,” Chamuel said. I just want to make sure that when I have eyes on me, I'm represented the way I want to be represented, whether it's an outfit or how I feel like talking about sexuality or how I feel talking about politics or whatever. It's very specific because you only have one chance and the first thing out of your mouth is taken very seriously.