On Sunday’s episode, judges Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan listened to Trey Louis, a 21-year-old mattress salesman and aspiring singer from Texas, sing a rendition of Whiskey Myers’ 2016 song “Stone.”
But it was his backstory that was truly noteworthy.
Back in May 2018, Louis survived a school shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 dead and 13 wounded. He relayed the experience to the “Idol” judges.
“I’m from Santa Fe, Texas. In May 2018, a gunman walked into my school,” Louis said. “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.”
All three judges were choked up, but Perry was really affected and broke down in tears.
“Our country has f**king failed us! This is not OK,” Perry said. “You should be singing here because you love music, not because you had to go through that f**king bulls**t. You don’t have to lose eight friends. I hope that you remind people that we have to change. Because I’m scared, too.”
Richie was also visibly affected, telling Louis, “We have tolerated this for so long. Too long. It’s become a norm.”
Perry then continued, “We’ve got to change. And I hope you can just lead,” before all three judges sent Louis off to Hollywood for the next round.
You can see the segment below.