The results are in and America voted to give Arthur Gunn a second chance to perform on season 19 of “American Idol.” Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced Gunn as the “Comeback” winner at the start of the live show, which aired on May 2.
But not everyone was thrilled.
Gunn, 23, isn’t new to the Idol stage. He was the runner-up to Just Sam (Samantha Diaz) during season 18 of “American Idol” and is the winner of the “Comeback” competition. During the May 2 live show, Gunn was voted into the top seven, which was announced at the end of the episode.
On April 19th, Gunn, along with nine other contestants from season 18, performed on “American Idol” for a chance to earn the final spot in this season’s top 10. America voted and Gunn was named the winner of the second chance during the May 2 episode filmed in Orlando’s Walt Disney World.
Gunn was brought back to the Idol stage thanks to the second chance twist, which was designed to give 10 contestants from the top 20 of season 18 a chance to get on the “American Idol” stage and perform with a full band, an opportunity they didn’t get due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was really shocked to hear the news,” Gunn told Billboard about his second chance win. “I’m so excited. It’s a very good feeling to be back.”
So what did fans have to say about Gunn’s win?
Fans React to Arthur Gunn’s Win
Gunn is back on ABC’s “American Idol” and is officially in the top seven but not every viewer is a fan.
Following the results on May 2, which revealed the top seven contestants, including Gunn, viewers sounded off, one calling Gunn’s presence on “American Idol” “unfair.”
One fan wrote on Twitter: “@AmericanIdol this comeback is still super s***ty and unfair to this year’s group of kids. He’s had a full year of gaining fans on them. He’s gonna win the whole thing.”
Another user tweeted: “If Arthur manages to win this season, it’s completely unfair. Runner-ups have an unfair advantage -especially in this age of social media.”
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) May 3, 2021
Why is Gunn Back on ‘American Idol’?
According to “American Idol” executive producer Trish Kinane, last year’s top contestants didn’t get the full “Idol” experience because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She told Billboard that contestants had to perform from their homes, and without a full band.
“They did so well with the remote production, with their mums and dads helping them and their brothers and sisters holding iPhones and ring lights, but they never had the proper Idol experience,” she said, adding, “We thought they deserved to have that experience.”
The second-chance twist wasn’t popular with every fan. Following the surprise announcement, some “American Idol” fans spoke out on social media, calling the surprise twist “unfair” to this season’s contestants. Some even said that the twist was created to bring Gunn back to the TV singing competition so that he could win the top prize this time around.