Why This Top 12 Contestant Just Quit American Idol

If you're a fan of the long-running series American Idol, then you already know the show is currently in its 18th season. That's an impressive feat no matter what, but it's doubly impressive when you consider that somehow, Idol manages to procure and produce top talent year after year.

Of course getting on the show is a battle in itself; Good Housekeeping reports that there are a litany of rules that contestants must meet and comply with, including submitting an online audition tape before you can ever show up in person. Making it to the top 12 of a season is an incredible accomplishment, and something that many budding singers and songwriters dream about. That's what makes Season 18 contestant Wyatt Pike's sudden decision to leave the show after making it to the top 12 all the more confusing to his fans.

Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced Pike's departure abruptly during the April 11 episode. People writes that Seacrest simply noted, "Before we get to the results, I have to tell you that finalist Wyatt Pike will not be competing in the competition. He had to drop out, but we wish him the very best."

Wyatt Pike gave no sign that he'd be leaving

Wyatt Pike's departure from American Idol was a big surprise, especially since he gave no indication that he planned to leave the show. Pike has been steadily plugging his appearances on the show on his Instagram page. On April 7 (just days before Ryan Seacrest's announcement), Pike shared a photo of his home state of Utah and simply captioned it, "Something to feel this through: home. Thankful for the rollercoaster I'm on today."

A representative for American Idol was unwilling to elaborate on why Pike left so soon, telling People, "Wyatt could not continue due to personal reasons."

The singer's departure likely surprised this season's judges, too. Katy Perry had previously told Pike, "I think you do have a little bit of an angle in this competition that you're an authentic singer-songwriter." Lionel Richie share with Pike, per (via The Sun), that he believes the burgeoning singer/songwriter is "on way to something big."