This year has been full of surprises for American Idol viewers. In March, Lionel Richie revealed that he had been exposed to COVID-19 and was forced to fulfill his judging duties from home. Weeks later, Luke Bryan revealed that he had also been exposed and tested positive for COVID-19, causing him to take a brief leave of absence from the competition.
On April 12, fans were surprised to learn that Paula Abdul would be filling in for Luke while he’s in quarantine, but that wasn’t the only bomb Ryan Seacrest dropped. The American Idol host also revealed that competition frontrunner Wyatt Pike will no longer appear on American Idol, and fans want to know why. So, why did Wyatt Pike drop out of American Idol?
Why did Wyatt drop out of ‘American Idol’?
While Ryan Seacrest did not reveal the real reason why Wyatt Pike dropped out of the competition, he did wish the entertainer all the best. The host shared before revealing the Top 12, “Before we get to the results, I have to tell you that finalist Wyatt Pike will not be competing in the competition. He had to drop out, but we wish him the very best."
At first glance, Wyatt’s social media gives no explanation as to why he left the show, but his Instagram does suggest that he had returned to his hometown of Park City, Utah in a cryptic post that was captioned, "Something to feel this through: home. Thankful for the rollercoaster I’m on today."
Viewers on social media were confused by Wyatt’s decision to leave the competition, noting that he had appeared and performed on the show the night before. One user wrote, “There’s a lot to process here; Luke out with COVID, a Paula Abdul return, and Wyatt Pike dropping out of the competition all within the first like three minutes of the show?!”
Another user suggested that he was forced to leave the show because he broke quarantine rules. The user tweeted, “It’s being reported he went back home for a visit and it wasn’t authorized — he is supposed to be in quarantine. So, that might have done it for him.”
However, according to The Sun, Wyatt didn't break any COVID-19 protocols. One insider told the outlet, "Wyatt took COVID very seriously even before the show. He knew the rules, he didn’t fly home. He wouldn’t have even had time with [Idol’s] schedule even if he wanted to, but he’s definitely been in LA this whole time.”
Another source simply said that he left due to "personal reasons" but could not divulge more.
Eventually, Wyatt made a post on social media clarifying things a bit. "I had to leave the American Idol competition for personal reasons but am so thankful I get to play music for the rest of my life," he wrote in an Instagram caption. "Fellow contestants — miss you all, good luck! Thank you to everyone for your support… do stick around for more musical things soon!"
Before Wyatt’s sudden departure, the singer received rave reviews from all three American Idol judges. Luke Bryan said, “I remember one of the coolest things that ever happened to me is the day I realized that I get to do music forever, under any circumstance. And I’m telling you, Wyatt, you’re going to be able to do music for the rest of your life.”
Lionel told Wyatt, “You have a style. 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.”
Katy shared, “I really believe in you. I think whatever happens — you’re it.”
It looks like Wyatt took some time away from social media following his departure from the show, but eventually came back and is still posting videos of himself playing music. We're happy to see him — and hear him! — still doing what he loves.
Wyatt Pike isn’t the only American Idol dropout that has fans devastated. Recently, 18-year-old contestant Benson Boone also suddenly left the show without explanation.
You can catch new episodes of American Idol on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.