Monday night's all-new episode of American Idol left fans shocked when it was announced contestant Wyatt Pike had mysteriously dropped out of the singing competition. Pike had been a leading contestant on the series and a fan favorite, with his sudden absence raising a number of questions and sparking plenty of discussions online. Now the reason for his exit from the series has been revealed.
According to an American Idol spokesperson, the Park City, Utah native "could not continue due to personal reasons." That spokesperson told the Washington Post following the episodes that "we cannot comment further." At this time, the exact reasoning for Pike's exit remains unclear, and the promising Idol hopeful has not yet addressed his departure publicly. Pike's departure from the series was announced by host Ryan Seacrest during Monday night's episode, who said at the top of the show, "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."
The announcement came just a day after Pike wowed the judge's in Sunday's pre-taped episode, during which he sang Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody." Following his performance, judge Katy Perry told him, "I think you do have a little bit of an angle in this competition that you're an authentic singer-songwriter. I think, whatever happens, you're it." Luke Bryan, who was also absent from Monday's show, told Pike, "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." Fellow judge Lionel Richie also sang praise for the musician, who he said has "a style on stage that we like to watch" and added, "you're on your way to something big, my friend."
Since Seacrest confirmed his exit, Pike's social media accounts have been silent, though his last Instagram post came just days before Sunday's pre-taped episode when he shared a gallery of images from Utah, writing, "Something to feel this through home. Thankful for the rollercoaster I'm on today." Idol is currently filming live shows in Los Angeles, and several fans have suggested that due to COVID-19 protocols, his trip home may have violated those protocols and thus forced him to drop out, though this speculation has not been confirmed and Pike has not clarified why he returned home in the first place.