“Before we get to the results, I have to tell you that finalist Wyatt Pike will not be competing in the competition,” the host, 46, began on the Monday, April 12, episode. “He had to drop out, but we wish him the very best.”
As fans took to social media to speculate about the 20-year-old contestant’s exit, a rep for the series told The Washington Post: “Wyatt could not continue due to personal reasons.”
Pike, for his part, has yet to publicly comment but hinted that he was happy to be back in Pack City, Utah, earlier this month.
“Something to feel this through: home,” he wrote on Wednesday, April 7, via Instagram. “Thankful for the rollercoaster I’m on today. 💙”
He made his final appearance in the pre-taped Sunday, April 12, episode, receiving rave reviews from the judges after performing Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”
“I think you do have a little bit of an angle in this competition that you’re an authentic singer-songwriter,” Katy Perry said. “I think whatever happens, you’re it.”
Lionel Richie added, “You have a style on stage that we like to watch. And to watch you take that song and make it your song, you’re on your way to something big, my friend.”
Luke Bryan told Pike that he was confident he had a career in the business.
“I remember one of the coolest things ever happened to me is the day I realized that I get to do music forever, under any circumstance. I’m telling you, Wyatt, you are going to be able to do music for the rest of your life,” the 44-year-old country crooner said.
Pike wasn’t the only one missing from Monday’s episode, which marked the first live show of the season. Bryan was absent because he tested positive for COVID-19 and OG Idol judge Paula Abdul stepped in. During the episode, the 58-year-old choreographer FaceTimed fellow original judge Randy Jackson with Seacrest.
“It feels like old times, doesn’t it?” Jackson, 64, said.
Abdul then seemingly dissed Simon Cowell: “Yes it does. We’re just missing the STD!” She subsequently clarified to a shocked Seacrest, “Super talented, debonair!”
American Idol airs on ABC Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.