Katy Perry had an emotional breakdown on “American Idol” after a school shooting survivor auditioned for the show’s 21st season. Trey Louis is a 21-year-old mattress salesman and aspiring singer from Texas who performed a rendition of Whiskey Myers’ 2016 song “Stone” for judges Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan. Louis’ performance earned a standing ovation from all three judges, but it was his story about surviving the 2018 Santa Fe school shooting that left them in tears.
“I’m from Santa Fe, Texas. In May 2018, a gunman walked into my school,” Louis said, fighting back tears. “I was in Art Room 1. He shot up Art Room 2 before he made his way to Art Room 1. I lost a lot of friends. Eight students were killed. Two teachers were killed. It’s just really been negative. Santa Fe’s had a bad rep since 2018.”
Perry almost immediately broke down into tears. She then shouted, “Our country has fucking failed us! This is not OK. You should be singing here because you love music, not because you had to go through that fucking bullshit.”
“You don’t have to lose eight friends,” Perry continued, visibly sobbing. “I hope that you remind people that we have to change. Because, you know, I’m scared, too.”
“We have tolerated this for so long… too long. It’s become the norm,” Richie added with tears in his eyes.
All three judges were unanimous in their decision to let Louis advance to the next round of “American Idol.” Earlier this month, the Galveston District Attorney’s Office announced that the student accused of the shooting is still incompetent to stand trial.
“American Idol” airs Sunday nights on ABC.