Singer Katy Perry broke down on the set of “American Idol” Sunday after an emotional audition by a mass shooting survivor.
What started as a normal audition for 21-year-old Trey Louis took an emotional turn when he wowed the judges with his cover of the 2016 song “Stone” by Whiskey Myers.
Following a standing ovation from all three judges, Louis — who works as a mattress salesperson — revealed that he was a survivor of a 2018 mass shooting at Santa Fe High School in which a gunman allegedly killed eight students and two teachers.
“[I] lost a lot of friends,” said the stoic singer, who said the gunman opened fire in the classroom next to his before coming into his art class. “It’s just really been negative, and Santa Fe’s had a bad rap since 2018.”
All three judges appeared affected by his statement, and while Luke Byran praised Louis’ vocals and big heart, Perry, 38, fell forward onto the table.
“Our country has f–king failed us!” shouted the crying “Teenage Dream” singer, prompting a carefully composed Louis to acknowledge the statement — simply saying, “Facts” — to which Perry responded, “This is not OK.”
“You should be singing here because you love music, not because you had to go through that f–king bulls–t,” Perry said through tears. “You don’t have to lose eight friends. I hope that you remind people that we have to change. ’Cuz, you know, I’m scared, too.”
Her co-judges Bryan and Lionel Richie, who were also choked up, attempted to console Perry with outstretched arms.
“It’s terrible, Katy. Horrible,” Louis responded to Perry.
“We have tolerated this for so long, too long. It’s become the norm,” said a teary Richie.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 92 mass shootings in 2023 alone.
Last week, the accused Santa Fe gunman, 22-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was again ruled incompetent to stand trial ahead of the five-year anniversary of the May 18, 2018, incident.
After his performance, “Idol” wannabe Louis was given a unanimous “yes” to move to the next round after all three judges gave the rising star a hug.
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