American Idol” fans got a shock Monday night when host Ryan Seacrest announced that Paige Anne, who judges had eliminated during the previous round, was back in the competition.

Seacrest said someone had dropped out, but didn’t name the contestant. And while Anne’s performance of “Wrecking Ball” Monday night made the judges realize she still belonged in the competition, fans couldn’t help but wonder about the identity of the mystery contestant who dropped out.

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Who dropped out of ‘American Idol’ 2023?

According to E! Online, the contestant was 19-year-old singer Beckett Rex.

“To all of you wondering, yes I was on @americanidol and I made the top 26,” said Rex, who is the son of actor Malcom McDowell, in an Instagram story, per E! Online. “I’m not going to say why I didn’t decided to continue in the competition but what I will say is that it was my choice. I am forever grateful to my ‘American Idol’ family, and I will always look back at the experience with the utmost gratitude and fondness.”

Beckett Rex is seen standing in the back of this group photo of “American Idol” contestants.
Beckett Rex is seen standing in the back of this group photo of “American Idol” contestants. | ABC

None of Rex’s performances were featured on “American Idol,” per Entertainment Tonight. This could indicate that Rex made the decision to drop out of the competition before the season started airing, allowing producers to edit out his performances, according to the entertainment site Just Jared. Rex can be seen, however, in a group photo taken right after the show announced the top 26 contestants, according to Just Jared.

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Rex recently released his third single, “Wildfire,” per Entertainment Weekly.

Rex isn’t the first contestant to drop out this season. Sara Beth Liebe, whose audition generated a lot of attention, dropped out to return home to her three children, the Deseret News reported.

“This opportunity is really rad, but this is actually gonna be my last performance,” Liebe told the show’s judges during Hollywood week, per Entertainment Weekly. “My heart’s at home, so I’m gonna get home to my babies. They kinda need me.”

Contestant Kaya Stewart — the daughter of the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart — also dropped out this season, when she fell sick during Hollywood week, Entertainment Weekly reported.


Who else has dropped out of ‘American Idol’?

A contestant dropping out of “American Idol” happens fairly regularly.

Last year, Kenedi Anderson — who was considered a frontrunner in the competition — unexpectedly left the show.

“We were heartbroken,” “Idol” judge Lionel Richie told USA Today at the time, adding that Anderson’s potential “was unbelievable.”

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Anderson didn’t specify a reason for leaving “American Idol,” but said it was “necessary” and also one of the hardest decisions she’s ever made, the Deseret News reported.

The year before, Utah singer-songwriter Wyatt Pike — who made it to the show’s top 12 — left the competition.

“At the end of the day, competitive music on reality TV, I discovered, is not my thing,” Pike told the Park Record last year. “As many great things I learned and gained from it, all kinds of stress and the nine yards associated with that just became too much.”