Wyatt Pike, an “American Idol” contestant who first wowed judges with an original song for his audition on the show in March, unexpectedly dropped out of the competition before the top 12 results were revealed on Monday, April 12, 2021.
At the start of the first live show of the season, host Ryan Seacrest announced that Pike would not appear on the show anymore but didn’t share further details. “Finalist Wyatt Pike will not be competing in the competition. He had to drop out,” Seacrest said, adding, “We wish him the very best.”
Pike, a 20-year-old from Park City, Utah, landed a coveted spot on Idol‘s top 16 during the April 11 episode and covered Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” Following his stage performance, judge Luke Bryan praised Pike’s musical talent, saying, “You’re gonna be able to do music for the rest of your life.”
Why Pike Dropped Out of ‘American Idol’
News of Pike’s departure left fans wondering what happened to the “American Idol” front-runner. Following Seacrest’s short announcement, The Washington Post reported that a spokesperson for the show said Wyatt dropped out of the competition “due to personal reasons” but didn’t share any further details.
Two days later, on Wednesday, April 14, Pike broke his silence on social media and personally shared with fans his reason for leaving the show, which echoed what The Post had reported. Pike shared a photo of himself smiling on Instagram and captioned it, “I had to leave the @AmericanIdol competition for personal reasons but am so thankful I get to play music for the rest of my life. Fellow contestants – miss you all, good luck! Thank you to everyone for your support… do stick around for more musical things soon!”
Fans responded with supportive words. One user wrote, “So much love for you Wyatt!!! You are going to do AMAZING things; I cannot wait to watch it all unfold for you!!”
Before Seacrest’s announcement, Pike’s most recent post on Instagram, where he has more than 70,000 followers, was an album of two photos of his snowy hometown posted on April 7 with a cryptic caption: “Something to feel this through: home. Thankful for the rollercoaster I’m on today.” The post garnered more than 2,000 comments, with one fan writing after his departure from the show, “I’m so sad you had to go you were one of my favorites.”
Pike’s ‘American Idol’ Journey
Pike discovered his passion for music in the fifth grade. Growing up in Park City, Utah, many of his gigs were at ski resorts, he told “American Idol” cameras before auditioning for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan during an episode that aired in March 2021.
The young singer, who also plays guitar, auditioned with a song he wrote titled “Best For You” inspired by his younger sister’s mental health struggles. Pike told the cameras he chose that song because he wanted to show the judges the kind of artist he is. Pike got yeses from all three judges before wowing the panel again during Hollywood Week with his rendition of “Stay” by Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko.
Later on, Pike ditched the guitar and sang a duet with Ben Rector during one of his top 24 performances and received a standing ovation from the judges. Katy Perry told the young contestant that he’s an “authentic superstar” and said he’s ready to go on tour.
Pike moved up to the top 16 and dropped out before the top 12 was revealed on Monday, April 12.
Other Surprises During Monday’s Episode
Pike dropping out of the competition wasn’t the only surprise on “American Idol” Monday. There was a new star at the judge’s table: former Idol judge Paula Abdul filled in for Luke Bryan, who announced on Twitter that he tested positive COVID-19 and would quarantine at home instead of attending the first live show of season 19.
Also during the live show, another Idol alum, Randy Jackson, made an appearance via video and reunited with fellow judge Abdul.
If you missed Monday’s show, here’s who made it through to the top 12:
- Casey Bishop
- Deshawn Goncalves
- Cassandra Coleman
- Caleb Kennedy
- Ava August
- Chayce Beckham
- Alyssa Wray
- Willie Spence
- Grace Kinstler
- Hunter Metts
- Madison Watkins
“American Idol” airs on Sundays and Mondays live coast-to-coast at 8 p.m. on ABC.