American Idol
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If you watched Hawaii Week, you may be wondering who dropped out of American Idol‘s Top 26 and who Paige Anne replaced on Season 21 after another contestant mysteriously left.

American Idol premiered on FOX in 2002 as a reality TV singing competition with original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and hosts Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman, who left after the first season. The show ran for 15 seasons on FOX before it was cancelled in 2016. Two years later, the show was rebooted by ABC, with Seacrest returning as the host and Katy Perry, Luke Bryant and Lionel Richie joining as judges.

Since then, American Idol has been going strong, but as viewers know, no season of Idol is complete without some drama. So who dropped out of American Idol‘s top 26 and who did Paige Anne replace? Read on for what we know about what happened on American Idol Season 21.

Who dropped out of American Idol‘s top 26? and who did Paige Anne replace on Season 21?

Paige Anne, American Idol

Who dropped out of American Idol‘s top 26 and who did Paige Anne replace on Season 21? During Season 21, Episode 12 — which was second part of the top 26’s performances at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii — host Ryan Seacrest announced that a contestant had dropped out of American Idol Season 21’s Top 26 and would be replaced by Paige Anne, another contestant who was previously eliminated at the end of Hollywood Week. “Recently one of the top 26 decided to bow out of the competition, so we turned to the judges’ first alternate and gave her the life-changing news,” Seacrest said.

In an interview with mentor Noah Cyrus, Paige explained how she came back to the competition. “Actually during the final judgement, I got eliminated. I said goodbye to Idol and everything. Then I got invited back,” she said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

So who dropped out of American Idol‘s Top 26 and who did Paige Anne replace? The contestant was Beckett Rex — a 19-year-old singer from Ojai, California, and the son of actor Malcolm McDowell — who was seemingly edited out of Season 21 after he dropped out of the Top 26, according Meaww, which reported that ABC didn’t air any footage of his performances, including his audition. Beckett, however, was seen in the back of a photo in Hawaii with judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan and other contestants, which seemed to confirm that he made it to the top 26.

American Idol Top 26, Season 21

Why did Beckett Rex leave American Idol?

Why did Beckett Rex leave American Idol Season 21? In a post on his Instagram Story after Episode 12, Beckett confirmed that he was the contestant who dropped out of American Idol Season 21, though he declined to reveal the reason for why he left the competition. “To all of you wondering, yes I was on @americanidol and I made the top 26. I’m not going to say why I didn’t decide to continue in the competition but what I will say is that it was my choice,” Beckett wrote over a photo of him holding his golden ticket to Hollywood Week. “I am forever grateful to my American idol family and I will always look back at the experience with the utmost gratitude and fondness. Please go vote for my friends now as they continue on in the competition.”

Beckett’s confirmation came after many of his followers took to his Instagram comment with questions as to why he was no longer on American Idol. “What happened. I was looking forward to hearing you in Hawaii,” Instagram user @remcafeecharbach commented on a post in April 2023. Instagram user @terearaglin also wrote, “Why did you quit.” Instagram user @colinvanblaricomnew commented, “Did you drop out of AI?”

Since leaving American Idol Season 21, Beckett has also released his own original music. He released his third single, “Wildfire,” featuring singer Pierre Bouvier in February 2023. “HELLO EVERYONE! I’m so very excited to announce I’m releasing my third single, ‘WILDFIRE’ on February 10th. @pierrebouvier and I worked incredibly hard on all of these songs and we are both insanely proud of the hard work we put in on them,” he captioned an Instagram post at the time of the single’s cover.

In the song, Beckett sings about a burning love that’s comparable to a “wildfire.” “Oh you got me going like a wildfire / I’m in the flames and I’m burning higher / I can’t explain this strange desire / It’s out of control / There’s no point trying to run away I feel the heat going down in a blaze / Good lord I hope I can take / Your wildfire,” he sings.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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