Another shocking exit. American Idol fans discovered Beckett McDowell quit the show after making the Top 26, marking the third dropout of season 21.
The 19-year-old singer’s departure was announced by Ryan Seacrest on the Monday, April 17 episode of the ABC competition series. “Now recently, one of the top 26 decided to bow out of the competition so we turned to the judges’ first alternate and gave her the life-changing news,” the host, 48, said.
He re-introduced Paige Anne, a 16-year-old who had been eliminated. However, Seacrest did not specify which contestant dropped out of the Top 26. McDowell took to his Instagram Story to confirm the news.
“To all of you wondering, yes I was on @americanidol and I made the top 26,” the California-based musician captioned a photo of himself holding up a golden American Idol ticket. “I’m not going to say why I didn’t decide to continue in the competition but what I will say is that it was my choice. I am forever grateful to my American Idol family and I will always look back at the experience with the utmost gratitude and fondness. Please go vote for my friends now as they continue on in the competition.”
His performances were never featured in any episodes of American Idol. Meanwhile, his third single, “Wildfire,” was released in February ahead of the reality show’s season 21 premiere.
Beckett is not the first contestant — nor child of a celebrity — to quit this year. Kaya Stewart abruptly exited American Idol on April 3. The 23-year-old singer, who is the daughter of Eurythmics singer Dave Stewart, fell ill while preparing a duet with Fire Wilmore.
“I always want to give my best, and I’m not giving my best here,” the singer said. “And I don’t think it’s a fair representation of myself to do that — or for Fire either. I don’t think it’s fair on her to not give one hundred percent when she’s giving one hundred percent.”
She ultimately decided to quit rather than perform poorly. Her exit came just one night after Sara Beth Liebe quit the show. The 25-year-old, who accused judge Katy Perry of mom-shaming, revealed that she didn’t feel she could remain separated from her three children.
“I don’t think I realized quite how hard it would be to be away from my kids. They’re all still really young. I feel like I’m gonna try my best ’cause I’m here and so that’s what I should do,” Liebe told mentor Clay Aiken on the April 2 episode. “There’s a lot of guilt that comes when you leave your kids to do something completely selfish. I’m just gonna try to keep my head on straight.”
After her “Roxanne” performance, she told the judges she made up her mind. “This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually gonna be my last performance ’cause my heart’s at home,” she told the panel, which also included Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. “So I’m gonna get home to my babies. They kind of need me. So thank you.”