Idol Worship

Wyatt Pike Explains Abrupt Departure From 'American Idol'

Wyatt Pike 
ABC/Eric McCandless

Wyatt Pike on 'American Idol.'

"I had to leave the @AmericanIdol competition for personal reasons," he said.

Two days after shocking viewers at home by taking leave from American Idol after making it into the top 12, 20-year-old Wyatt Pike explained his actions. "I had to leave the @AmericanIdol competition for personal reasons but am so thankful I get to play music for the rest of my life," wrote Pike in an Instagram post.

"Fellow contestants - miss you all, good luck! Thank you to everyone for your support… do stick around for more musical things soon!" The post was accompanied by a smiling pic of the singer as well as a series of supportive comments from fellow top 24 contestants Alanis Sophia, Madison Watkins, Grace Kinstler, Cassandra Coleman, Chayce Beckham and Ava August.

Earlier, a source close to the show told Billboard that Pike had dropped out for "personal reasons," but so far neither the singer nor a spokesperson for Idol have shed any further light on what prompted the unprecedented decision to voluntarily exit the program on the cusp of the live rounds. In an Instagram post from last week, Pike wrote, "something to feel this through: home. Thankful for the rollercoaster I'm on today," alongside a photo of his snowy Park City, Utah home town.

Pike appeared to be having fun, and garnered high marks from the judges, while covering Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" on Sunday night's taped episode after initially wowing the panel during his audition with the original song "Best For You," which he said was about his close relationship with his sister.

“Towards my end of high school, I started struggling with some anxiety,” he said in his audition tape. “It was some stuff that my sister had dealt with in the past.” Sunday's (April 19) episode will feature America voting live for the top 9, while Monday's episode will be the first-ever "Comeback Show."

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