HBO’s ‘The Idol’ explores the music industry with a dark and gritty lens while trying to satirize it. It focuses on Jocelyn, an aspiring pop idol, and her complex relationship with a self-help guru and cult leader, Tedros. As the narrative progresses, viewers learn more about Jocelyn’s past, especially her friendship with Xander (Troye Sivan). The fourth episode rings some interesting developments for Xander’s character, and we are sure viewers must be curious to learn more about Xander’s sexuality and his comments about Jocelyn in ‘The Idol.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
Troye Sivan’s Xander Is Gay
Singer, songwriter, actor, and internet personality Troye Sivan plays the role of Xander in ‘The Idol.’ He is a childhood friend of the protagonist, Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp), and acts as her creative director. Initially, Xander is relegated to a background status when Tedros enters Jocelyn’s life. However, as Tedros takes more and more control of Jocelyn’s life, he examines the role of her existing inner circle, of which Xander is a part. Tedros tests Xander, and the latter impresses him with an honest opinion about the creative direction for Jocelyn’s brand image. As a result, Tedros avoids firing Xander from the creative director position. However, Tedros is displeased when he learns Xander knew about Jocelyn’s abusive mother but did nothing to stop it.
In the fourth episode, titled ‘Stars Belong to the World,’ we learn more about Xander’s past with Jocelyn. The duo worked together on the same Disney/Nickelodeon show responsible for giving Jocelyn her first break. During an awkward interaction with Tedros, Xander reveals that he is gay, something the other characters already seem aware of. Xander’s sexuality is no surprise, given Troye Sivan’s casting for the part. Sivan came out as gay when he was fifteen years old, sharing his sexuality only with his family at first. Before breaking into the music industry, Sivan also came out to the general public via a YouTube video posted in 2013. Sivan has stated that he chose to come out as gay before signing his first record deal as he did not want to live in fear.
Xander Is Hiding Secrets
The fourth episode, which brings forth the revelation of Xander being gay, also heralds bad things for the creative director. In the episode, Tedros overhears Xander singing in the shower and is thoroughly impressed with his vocal range. Tedros questions Xander why he no longer sings, and the latter reveals he had an injury that damaged his vocal cords. However, Tedros catches Xander’s bluff and confronts him in front of the rest of his cult. Xander is given electric shocks and quizzed about the reason behind quitting singing. Xander reveals that Jocelyn’s mother made him sign a contract that ensured he wouldn’t become a professional singer and be a threat to Jocelyn’s career.
While the motivation behind Xander signing the contract isn’t clear, the revelation leads to a confrontation between Xander and Jocelyn. Xander accuses Jocelyn of being even more abusive, repulsive, and manipulative than her mother. However, Jocelyn denies these allegations and asks Tedros to repeatedly taze her close friend. Eventually, Xander admits he is lying about Jocelyn to make Tedros stop. However, Xander’s words raise questions about Jocelyn’s true nature. So far, the only accounts of her mother’s abusive behavior we have heard are from Jocelyn. Moreover, Leia and Xander refuse to intervene, citing the situation’s complexity, which implies that Jocelyn is hiding something. With just one episode left, Xander could likely have foreshadowed a dark twist about Jocelyn actually being as abusive and manipulative as her mother or even more.