Fans Stunned as ‘American Idol’ Favorites Get Sent Home

Ryan Seacrest, Blake Proehl

Heavy/ABC Ryan Seacrest and Blake Proehl on "American Idol"

Narrowing the competition on “American Idol” is always tough, but fans were particularly devastated by some of the cuts made on April 14, 2024, as host Ryan Seacrest announced which contestants made it through to the Top 20.

Based on votes from viewers that were cast after all 24 contestants performed in Hawaii the week before, 20 singers advanced to the next round — which will air the next night, on April 15 — but four were sent home, including three contestants the judges had predicted were “top 10 material.”

Spoiler Alert: Do not read further if you do not want to know which four contestants were cut from the Top 24 on “American Idol.”

Blake Proehl Cut From ‘American Idol’ Despite Stellar Start

The elimination of Blake Proehl, a former NFL player who discovered his love of songwriting and performing while recovering from a career-ending injury, was likely the most shocking cut of the night. Proehl has been heavily featured on “Idol” since his audition, in which he performed a song he wrote while his Nana sweetly stood next to him.

Proehl’s audition on the piano inspired Katy Perry to say he’d be in the top 10 and immediately ask for his autograph.

“Just sign right here,” she said, in addition to saying he’d be in the top 10. She then quipped, “You’re not allowed to leave this show!”

Proehl sailed through the competition until his Hawaii performance with the “Idol” band, when the judges noticed a few flaws and encouraged him to keep working at his craft.

“You’re the only thing that’s standing in the way of you going to the next level, ’cause you have all the makings of it,” Perry told him after he sang, reminding him to “push yourself out of your head.”

Bryan told him, “I can tell you’re still really in the growth of what you’re becoming as an artist, but you’ve got this kind of boy-next-door-charm thing that’s going on, and when you really put the work in and put it all together, I think you may hit some magic. So keep swinging at it.”

After Proehl’s performance in Hawaii aired, Seacrest tweeted, “Vote to keep Blake Proehl’s infectious presence in #AmericanIdol.” But many fans responded to say they didn’t think the athlete-turned-singer was ready to move on to the next round.

One viewer replied, “We should be voting for their vocal capabilities, not their ‘infectious personality.’ He did not sound good in his performance.”

Another wrote, “His singing voice is weak and being outdoors exposed it. Issa no for me”

Nevertheless, the judges and fans of Proehl were stunned when Seacrest delivered the news that Proehl had not made the Top 20.

Blake Proehl Responds as Fans Express Disbelief Over His Elimination

As soon as Proehl was eliminated, his fans took to social media to complain and express their sadness.

One person tweeted, “SO DISAPPOINTED THAT @BLakeProehl didn’t make top 20. You still got my vote. The Lord has you headed in a new path and all the best!!” 

On the “American Idol” Instagram page, one upset fan wrote, “Completely and utterly DEVASTATED that Blake didn’t make it”

Another commented,” You have got to be kidding me they voted @blakeproehl off this is ridiculous they rushing the show sending 4 home my goodness im mad 😡😠”

The Top 20 episode was not a live show; it was actually taped on the afternoon of April 10, according to On Camera Audiences, which handles tickets for “American Idol.” So those who did not make it through have been waiting to spill the beans until after the April 14 airing.

While other contestants promoted the upcoming show, pretending not to know the results in advance, Proehl waited to post until a half hour before it aired — and he didn’t mention the show at all, choosing instead to share a video of him playing his latest song for a group of kids in his neighborhood.

Then, as the show started airing, he posted a photo in his Instagram Stories that K.B. Richins originally shared, with many of the Top 24 smiling with guest performer — and “Idol” alum — Lauren Spencer Smith. Above the photo, Proehl wrote, “What a group ❤️”

After the show aired, Proehl went on Instagram Live

Season 22 Top 20 Also Does Not Include Hailey Mia, KBlocks or Elleigh Francom

Another high-profile contestant eliminated from the show as Seacrest revealed the Top 20 was Hailey Mia, whom some viewers recognized early on because of her journey on “The Voice” in 2021, where she became the show’s youngest-ever finalist at just 14.

Mia landed on Ariana Grande’s team, and later was picked up by Kelly Clarkson before taking fourth place. When Mia auditioned for season 22 of “Idol,” judge Luke Bryan predicted she’d make the top 10.

After the April 14 edition of “Idol” finished, Mia posted a series of photos from the set and wrote, “the end of one journey.. but it’s just the start to another <3”

Fans also expressed anger and sadness over her elimination, with one fan saying on Instagram that she “was robbed” and another writing, “America really let the GOAT go home. Y’all should be ashamed”

Also cut from the competition were Elleigh Francom, whom Bryan also called “Top 10 material” after her audition, and KBlocks, who was becoming known for her quirky dance moves and vocal arrangements. Though KBlocks’ audition wasn’t shown on “Idol,” she blew the judges away with her high-energy performance of “Valerie” during Hollywood Week’s Showstopper round, advancing her on to Hawaii.

An hour before the show’s airtime, Francom posted a photo from the outside the “Idol” studio and wrote, “tonight is going to be crazy to say the least. My fellow contestants have been nothing short of family ❤️ love you all so much! Thank you to everyone who voted!!”

After the results were announced, KBlocks posted a video of herself singing on Instagram and wrote a heartfelt letter about her experience on the show.

“Farewell to my Idol Family ❤️❤️❤️,” she wrote. “From the depths of my heart, I love Yal with everything in me. There’s nothing or no one that could take way from the experience that was created during this journey. Your flaws are what make you beautiful”