“American Idol” is a crazy high-pressure competition. And in the case of one recent contestant, the pressure got to be too much.
On Sunday night, contestant Hunter Metts burst into tears after he forgot the lyrics to his chosen song. The software developer from Franklin, Tennessee had picked “Falling Slowly” from the movie “Once.” The song won an Academy Award in 2008.
After he messed up a few words toward the end of the song, Metts, 22, began to cry and shake his head. There were 12 contestants left on Sunday, but judges had previously considered Metts “top 10” material.
‘American Idol’ Audience Gives Metts Standing Ovation
Both the audience and the judges were quicker to forgive Metts than he was to forgive himself. The show’s live audience gave Metts a standing ovation. And the judges consoled Metts, reminding him that he’s only human.
Judge Katy Perry told Metts it was “the best performance [he had] ever given,” in spite of his forgetting a few words at the end of the song.
“Perfection is an illusion. It doesn’t matter,” Perry said. “That shows that you are a human and vulnerable. Everybody relates to that. It’s amazing, it’s emotion. That’s what music is.”
“It’s not about perfection,” she added. “It’s about resonating with people, and you just did… You connected with us. You kept your eyes open, your heart open, you were so connected you forgot where you were and that is perfect.”
Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie also told the contestant not to sweat it. And Richie pointed out that lots of performers forget lyrics sometimes, himself included.
Watch Metts’ performance here:
19 Seasons of the Beloved Show
“American Idol” has had fans on the edge of their seats this season with developments like Wyatt Pike dropping out and judge Luke Bryan coming down with COVID-19. Now, on Monday, producers are throwing in a comeback twist, Newsweek reports.
The Season 18 contestants had to compete remotely. On Monday, 10 of the top 20 contestants from last year will have a chance to sing in person on the “Idol” stage. And one of them will win a shot at this year’s Top 10.
“They did so well with the remote production,” “American Idol” showrunner Trish Kinane told Billboard, “with their mums and dads helping them and their brothers and sisters holding iPhones and ring lights. But they never had the proper Idol experience. Some people really come alive on that big stage. We thought they deserved to have that experience.”
The Monday show airs at 8 p.m. ET. Voting for the Season 18 contestant who should go to this year’s Top 10 will open during the show, according to Newsweek. Voting ends at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, April 26.
It’s just one more reason for “American Idol” fans to tune in to the show.