Rising star. Wyatt Pike unexpectedly exited season 19 of American Idol this week, right after earning a spot in the top 12.
Host Ryan Seacrest announced the news during the Monday, April 12, episode of the show — the first live episode of the season. “Before we get to the results, I have to tell you that finalist Wyatt Pike will not be competing in the competition,” said the Live With Kelly and Ryan cohost, 46. “He had to drop out, but we wish him the very best.”
A representative for the ABC series told Us Weekly, “Wyatt could not continue due to personal reasons,” but no further information was given about why the singer, 20, left the show. He shared an Instagram post geotagged in Park City on April 7, leading to speculation that he returned home as early as last week, but in several replies to comments on the post he indicated that he was still in Los Angeles. “Something to feel this through: home,” he captioned the photo. “Thankful for the rollercoaster I’m on today.”
Prior to his untimely exit, the “Diana” singer was a favorite among the judges. Lionel Richie had called him the “Park City James Taylor” and a “fabulous storyteller,” and during the pre-taped episode that aired on Sunday, his performance of “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon led Katy Perry to say, “I think whatever happens, you’re it.”
Luke Bryan, who had to miss Monday’s live show because of a positive COVID-19 test, had also declared himself a fan of Pike. “I remember one of the coolest things ever happened to me is the day I realized that I get to do music forever, under any circumstance,” said the country singer, 44. “I’m telling you, Wyatt, you are going to be able to do music for the rest of your life.”
The young singer auditioned for the show with a song titled “Best for You,” which he wrote about his sister. “Toward my end of high school I started struggling with some anxiety,” he said in a March episode of the show. “It was some stuff that my sister had dealt with in the past.”
His parents added that the song brought the siblings “closer together” when he wrote it. “It’s a story of mine and something that I feel and I wanna make them feel it,” Pike continued. “It’s a big moment. I’m really excited.”
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