Northern Kentucky University freshman Alyssa Wray was eliminated from “American Idol” on Sunday, despite a performance that judges described as “amazing” and “elegant and elevated” in their praise.
She made it farther than most — all the way to the top 10, falling just short of the top seven.
FROM APRIL: Q&A: NKU student makes 'American Idol' final 24
If it’s any consolation, entertainment sites are already calling her exit one of the most shocking this season. In a Sunday night write-up, CinemaBlend characterized the 19-year-old as “a heavy favorite to make it all the way to the finale” before she and two other contestants were cut.
Wray started her journey to the “Idol” stage in Perryville, Kentucky, a Boyle County city with fewer than 800 residents.
Her final performance was “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” for the show’s Disney night, during which contestants perform songs owned by the Mouse. (The Mouse, in turn, owns ABC.)
Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan all praised her performance, her technique and her growth throughout the season.
“It was an amazing performance,” Richie said. “I loved it.”
“Lionel is correct,” Perry said. “The control in this performance is unlike any other performance you’ve ever given us. It was elegant and elevated. You are a permanent princess, will never turn back into a pumpkin.”
And that’s true even if Wray won’t continue on the show. Speaking to WCPO in early April, Wray said she was excited for the possibilities that “Idol” could provide even if she didn’t win.
“I have no clue what I'm going to do when I get back,” she said then. “I feel like, with COVID and this pandemic, and so many doors about to open for everyone, I think there are going to be a lot of paths I'm going to be able to choose from, and I'm just excited to see those choices.”