American Idol underwent a major shakeup this week after contestant Wyatt Pike unexpectedly quit the competition. During Monday night’s episode, host Ryan Seacrest announced that Pike, who had just earned a spot in the season's top 16 and made it into the top 12, "had to drop out" for unspecified reasons, and while the news shocked viewers, was Pike's exit actually hinted by judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan Sunday night?
Some fans of the singing competition series reflecting on the news now seem to believe comments made by the judges following what would be Pike's final performances on the show actually indicated that they knew Pike would not be returning. During his final performance, Pike sang a cover of Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody." The performance earned him plenty of praise from the judges, with Perry telling Pike in part, "whatever happens, you're it." Bryan, meanwhile, is now raising eyebrows with his "any circumstances" remark, which in full was said, "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."
While it is unclear if the judges were aware of Pike's looming exit during his pre-taped Sunday performance — their comments solely could have been due to the show's voting system that decides which contestants move on — some fans have looked back on the comments with raised eyebrows. On Twitter, for example, one person wrote, "So that is what [Katy Perry] must have meant, when she said you would sing a song that would make us cry...you leaving [American Idol], & [Luke Bryan] comment on your future success in being able to make music your life. It's just the beautiful great beginning for you!"
Perhaps adding even more emphasis to the theory that the judges may have known Pike was set to exit the is the fact that just days before that pre-taped Sunday showing, the musician shared an update to his Instagram account revealing that he was back in his hometown of Park City, Utah. Shared to his account on Wednesday, April 7, the images, showing Utah's scenery and Pike behind the wheel, would have been snapped just after he took the Idol stage one last time. Some believe the post hinted at his Idol departure, with Pike captioning it, "Something to feel this through: home. Thankful for the rollercoaster I'm on today."
At this time, Pike has not publicly addressed his exit from the singing competition, on which he had been viewed as a frontrunner. In a statement to The Washington Post, an American Idol spokesperson said the singer's exit was due to "personal reasons," adding that "we cannot comment further." While Pike is no longer in the competition, there are still 12 hopefuls vying for the last spot on stage. New episodes of American Idol air Sundays and Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET. The episodes can also be watched for free on FuboTV or on Hulu With Live TV with a free trial.