“People aren’t gonna like us for that one and I’m not sure I like us for that one,” declared “American Idol’s” Luke Bryan after he and fellow judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry made the difficult decision to eliminate Shayy during Sunday’s Top 40 showcase episode. Shayy’s original audition of Andra Day‘s “Rise Up” made Lionel weep buckets, but her final performance of Adele‘s “All I Ask” at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii failed to impress the judges. Watch Shayy’s final performance above.
Lionel had the difficult task of giving Shayy the bad news in the bloated three-hour results show. “We’re ‘American Idol.’ This is a singing competition and we have to judge you on that,” he told the 18-year-old high school student from Midlothian, VA. Shayy recently lost her vision due to a brain tumor, which the doctors were only partially able to remove.
“We love you and I’m sure America has fallen in love with you,” Lionel continued before breaking the news. “The potential of where you can go with this is endless. The timing may be wrong. You’re not gonna make the Top 20, but we love you and thank you for what you’ve given us.” Shayy was all smiles as she thanked the judges for the opportunity.
Before Shayy walked away from the competition, Katy praised the high school student for her “strength” and her “bravery.” Shayy then hugged her fellow competitors and proclaimed, “I’m upset. It hurts to say goodbye to everyone and everything. I’m sad to say bye to everybody. But I came here to do what I had to do, and I did it.”
Do YOU think the “American Idol” Season 17 judges made the wrong decision in sending home Shayy just before the Top 20? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts down in the comments section.