Dexter Roberts, the seventh-place American Idol finisher, has been missing from the live tour since July 1, and according to his fellow Alabama Idols CJ Harris and Jess Meuse, the singer is fighting an unknown illness.
In an official statement, a publicist confirmed that Roberts is not returning to the tour.
“Both parties mutually agreed that he would be released from his contractual obligations to continue performing on the tour,” she said.
While this is bad news for fans of the singer hoping to hear him reprise his performance of the Georgia Satellite’s “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” or Luke Bryan’s ”Muckalee Creek Water,” his two solo turns in the set, he will be at the World Deer Expo in Birmingham, Alabama, July 18-20 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. Several Idol blogs have questioned whether the illness story is just a cover-up for a parting of the ways between Roberts and the tour.
The duet he was supposed to perform with CJ Harris on Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” is now being handled by Meuse, who saved the day by stepping in seamlessly, playing guitar alongside Harris and adding beautiful harmonies that complemented the song.
Among the songs the country crooner performed on the telecast were The Civil Wars’ “Barton Hollow,” Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way” (with Ben Briley and Casey Thrasher as The Backstreet Cowboys), Joe Nichols’ “This Ole Boy,” Chris Young’s “Aw Naw,” Montgomery Gentry’s “Lucky Man,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Little Big Town’s “Boondocks,” Lady Antebellum’s “Compass” with Harris and Meuse and his own original, “Farmer’s Grandson.”
- This article originally appeared in THR.com.