Judge’s Favorite ‘Idol’ Contestant Says He’s Considering Leaving the Music Biz

American Idol

ABC/Eric McCandless The 'American Idol' stage.

Days after “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan named him as the most talented musician he’s ever seen perform on the show, Alejandro Aranda — known to many fans as scarypoolparty — revealed he’s considering quitting the music industry. Here’s the lastest…

Luke Bryan Named Alejandro Aranda His Favorite Contestant

Alejandro Aranda

GettyAlejandro Aranda, known to fans as scarypoolparty

Reality TV competition judges usually tiptoe around requests to name their favorite contestants, much like parents refuse to name their favorite child. But country star Luke Bryan, who will soon return for his sixth year at the “American Idol” judge’s table, recently divulged the contestant who stands out most in his mind as the most talented he’s seen.

On September 3, 2022, Bryan sat down for an hour-long interview in Las Vegas on the Full Send podcast, hosted by the group of popular YouTubers known as NELK. When co-host Kyle Forgeard asked him to name the “biggest talent” of the last five seasons, Bryan replied honestly.

“You know, I would say…the person that really sits with me the most as far as talent was Alejandro Aranda,” he said. “I don’t know if y’all watched it, but he’s the guy who really plays guitar. He plays guitar and piano as good as anybody in the world. And he does it in, like, a style that — he’s almost created his own genre. It’s like, savant stuff.”

Aranda was the runner-up in season 17, finishing behind winner Laine Hardy, and stunned the judges and viewers with his unique skills, including his rapid-fire guitar picking. Aranda’s first studio album, “Exit Form,” was released in November 2019, following his “American Idol” run. The album peaked at number 6 on the U.S. charts.

He has released several other albums since, including the 21-track “The Act of Forgiveness” in August 2021. When he performed one of its tracks, The Darkness, on “American Idol” in April, the album shot to Number 2 on the iTunes Alternative Music chart.

But multiple factors — including Aranda’s undefinable artistry and struggles with anxiety — have made it difficult to achieve mainstream success in the music industry, leading the 28-year-old Californian to recently consider quitting altogether.

Fans Beg Arnada on Social Media Not To Quit

In a now-deleted, middle-of-the-night tweet on September 15, which he also shared on his Instagram Stories, Aranda wrote, “Sometimes I feel like my opportunity to be a full time musician/artist is fading. maybe it’s time to rethink the music career. Might go to culinary school Or try to open up a coffee shop! Who knows!! Legit just having late night thoughts.”

Before it was deleted, fans flooded the tweet with support, begging Aranda not to give up. The gifted musician has nearly a million followers across social media, where he frequently shares excerpts of songs he’s working on as well as funny off-the-cuff tunes, like a recent ode to McDonald’s on TikTok.

Aranda has also been very forthcoming with his fans about his challenges with depression and anxiety, which have caused him to cancel some concert dates. In April 2022, in a since-deleted Instagram post, he wrote, “Been super stressed out lately And my anxiety has been really taking control of my mental health. But trying hard to keep it together And keeping a healthy outlook on everything. Sending only positive vibes.”

Days after that post, he went on to play at the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta, Ga. and thanked fans for showing him love when he expressed how low he’d been feeling. The the gifted artist candidly wrote, “I lost feeling In my legs. Had about 7 panic attacks. Cried a lot…But I got on the plane And I made it to Atlanta. Feeling grateful for all the homies who sent such kind messages and love.”

In July, fans were thrilled to see him overcome his fear of flying to do a European concert tour, which he wound up loving. After playing a show in London on July 11, Aranda posted a series of Instagram photos and wrote, “London…Wow waited 3 years for this moment. And it was absolutely AMAZING. Thank you to everyone that came out. I felt such at home. Thank you thank you thank you”

Aranda isn’t likely to quit the business anytime soon, given that he has quite a few tour dates scheduled across the U.S. this fall. On September 14, he also asked fans via Twitter to help him build buzz for a new song called “Pieces.”

In January, Rolling Stone Magazine featured Aranda for his musical innovation.

“Every so often an artist comes along who emerges into the mainstream seemingly fully formed, with a style that is at once relatable, but also entirely unique,” the magazine said. “Alejandro Aranda, who records under the name Scarypoolparty, is one such artist.”

“If I had to describe my sound, it’s almost like being in a state of peace, but also with a noticeable anxiety creeping up,” he told the magazine. “Like a beach on a cloudy day – maybe the sun will come out, and maybe it won’t.”

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Giovanna Santori
Giovanna Santori
1 year ago

Liv, ever thought about stating the fact that SPP is label-free now? This would have been much more relevant with the main subject of your paper, than making a purely subjective link with mental health issues. I think you can do better.