‘American Idol’ Contestant Announces Pregnancy After Hollywood Week

Justice Murphy, Jayna Elise Brown

Heavy/ABC Justice Murphy and Jayna Elise Brown embrace during their meeting with the judges after the season 22 Showstopper round.

Hours before being eliminated during the Showstoppers episode of “American Idol” on April 1, 2024, season 22 contestant Justice Murphy revealed on social media that her path has taken an unexpected turn, with motherhood now in her future.

Earlier in the day, the 22-year-old Arkansas native posted a video on Instagram that she had recorded on February 22, revealing that she was both scared and excited to have learned the day before that she was just over four weeks pregnant. The R&B singer later shared how relieved she was after many fans and friends celebrated her news.

Murphy captioned her vulnerable video by writing, “🐣🍼 my scorpio, only a few more weeks before i find out what you are. -MOM”

‘American Idol’ Hopeful Justice Murphy Recorded Her Video Just Before the Season 22 ‘Idol’ Premiere

Murphy is a waitress and student at Alabama State University, according to AL.com, who was encouraged by the Worship Arts Director at her Arkansas church to audition for “Idol.” In the five-week-old video she posted, she said life had been a whirlwind lately.

“Today is February 22, 2024,” she started the video. “I’m 22 years old. I premiere on ‘American Idol’ Sunday. I’ve worked with 2Chainz. I’m about to graduate college. But something snuck up on me! I am about to be a mom. I’m about to be a mother.”

“I’m afraid to be a single mother,” Murphy admitted, but added, “With the support I have, I know that my child will be supported and loved unconditionally. With everything that’s going on in my life, this has been the most exciting.”

In her Instagram Stories, Murphy also shared the emotional ups and downs she’s been through.

“This has been the most depressing months of my life,” she shared. “My first trimester was hard on mommie. I wanted to take my own life because I felt like I failed and my purpose wasn’t fulfilled so God was displeased with me. Then I remembered how much faith I had in him and it got sweeter every single day.”

Murphy received lots of congratulatory comments on Instagram, including from Top 24 contestant Kennedy Reid, who wrote, “So so so so so happy for you 💕”

Touched by the outpouring of support, Murphy wrote in the comments, “ugh I feel so loved, just sitting in my car crying lmao. I love being vulnerable with you all. It just gives you access and allows you to know it’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s actually an amazing thing. I was so afraid of what people would think of me being a single mom. My child has a dad and I will never neglect him if he decides he wants to change but I just choose me and peace always. MUAH NO BARS!😘”

Justice Murphy Impressed the Judges & Said Her Unborn Baby Gained Lots of ‘Uncles & Aunties’

Murphy earned a golden ticket to Hollywood from “Idol” judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie when she auditioned for the show in the fall of 2023. After explaining that she’s a “church girl” who sings at Sunday services every week, Murphy soulfully performed “Summertime,” the same song that Fantasia Barrino sang in her audition for the third season of “Idol,” which she won.

“I loved watching Fantasia on the show,” Murphy told About You magazine on March 29. “She is just a dream, and I look up to her because she has lost everything more than once, and she was never afraid to retell her story or start over.”

Perry gave Murphy a standing ovation for her audition and told her, “Justice, you have so much star personality, I could see it from the moment you walked in.”

After receiving three “yes” votes from the judges — although Bryan joked she earned “like 10 yeses from me” — and a golden ticket to Hollywood, Murphy headed to Santa Monica, California, in December with 142 other contestants for Hollywood Week.

When the intense performances in the new “Idol Arena” and the judges’ decisions aired on March 31, Murphy was seen making it through the biggest talent cut in the show’s history to land in the Top 56. After the episode aired, she posted a video that she’d taken of herself crying with joy behind the scenes.

But in the Showstoppers round that aired the next night, Murphy’s performance didn’t air and host Ryan Seacrest announced that she was one of multiple fan favorites who didn’t make it through to the Top 24. By the time that aired, Murphy had already known the “Idol” results for over two months and had been hiding her pregnancy news for several weeks.

Afterwards, Murphy wrote on Instagram, “well that was the end of my IDOL journey, it has been so amazing. To be in LA for my very first time doing something I love in front of so many people. thank you guys for the endless support. I’m so excited for what God has nexts for me which is being a mommie cub! I met so many amazing people my baby has new uncles and Aunties.”

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