‘American Idol’ Hopeful Alyssa Raghu Let Go from Show After Getting Second Chance

After getting another chance on American Idol, it’s officially the end of the road for Alyssa Raghu.

On Monday night’s episode of American Idol, Raghu — who appeared on the show for a third time this season, after previously making the top 8 in 2019 and top 24 in 2018 — was sent home.

The singer, 22, nearly made it into the top 24 contestants of season 22, but as the judges were split on whether they should give the final spot to her or fellow hopeful Kaibrienne “KB” Richins, the two competed in a sing-off — and Richins ultimately won.

Alyssa Raghu on the April 1, 2024 episode of ‘American Idol’.

Disney/Eric McCandless

While standing before the judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, the two aspiring artists were told they needed to execute a sing-off to determine who would make it into the Top 24. They were given the choice of two songs — Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from A Star Is Born or “Fingers Crossed” by Lauren Spencer-Smith — and had to decide on the same song with an hour to prepare.

Perry, 39, explained, “The reason it’s a sing-off is because we argued over you. So you have to be the tie-breaker.”

The vocalists agreed on “Shallow,” and while footage of the two rehearsing played, Raghu admitted, “I do have to be selfish in this moment. If one of us goes through, I want it to be me.” 

While Raghu gave a dynamic performance, Richins, 20, offered her own soulful twist on the song. She even brought her competition to tears, as Raghu seemed to realize in that moment that she wouldn’t make it to the next round.

Kaibrienne and Alyssa Raghu on the April 1, 2024 episode of ‘American Idol’.

Disney/Eric McCandless

As Bryan, 47, revealed the judges’ decision, he said, “Raghu, we’ve seen you grow and grow exponentially from the first time we’ve seen you. We think you have been an amazing part of Idol, and we think you’re going to be able to go spread your wings without Idol. This is the end of the road for you, Raghu.” 

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Still, the Orlando-based artist maintained a good spirit.

“It was a fair game, and they thought she had a lot of potential for this, and I totally agree. I think she totally deserves that,” Raghu said, while Richins embraced her family and informed them she was moving through to the competition’s next stage.

“This American Idol journey was a wonderful, wonderful road,” Raghu later added, tearing up. “For sure, a difficult decision for me to come to terms with, but, you know what, I totally had the time of my life. This was wonderful for me.”

After the episode aired, Raghu took to Instagram to share that she still sees the experience in a positive light and is looking forward to what’s next.

Along with a photo of herself smiling and posing backstage of the reality show, she wrote, “What a wild ride!”

“As an alumni with a plot twist, it’s been an incredible journey,” the musician shared. “Fame can be so personal and it was very eye opening as an artist to experience this!”

Raghu went on to thank her supporters and American Idol itself “for having me and showing my progression as an artist.”

She also gave individual shout-outs to the judging panel. “Huge shoutout to Luke Bryan for giving me advice on songwriting during my elimination,” she wrote. “I appreciate Lionel so much for being so inspiring to me throughout this process. Katy has ALWAYS understood what I go through as a woman and I thank her for that.”

The singer-songwriter continued, “I’m always admiring the real talent others have, ESPECIALLY the ones I met on this show, they have such wonderful hearts.”

Raghu’s note concluded by teasing what’s to come. “I have so many projects to finally share and some special surprises coming up. Love you guys, until next time ! 😉,” she said.

The Idol alum surprised viewers when she returned to the ABC series in the audition process. During her best friend and roommate Julia Davo’s audition in Los Angeles, Raghu stepped out to show her support, and then ended up singing before the panel.

Although she claimed to have just wanted to show Bryan, Perry and Richie, 74, how her voice had progressed over the years, she turned it into an audition after her performance by saying, “I’ve never competed on the show as an adult, so I don’t know if that’s out of the question.”

“I think this is a really weird plot twist,” Perry responded. “I think you could go in. Do I think you could win it? No, personally.”

Because of that, the pop star ended up giving her a ‘no,’ but Bryan and Richie pushed her through.

American Idol returned for its 22nd season on Feb. 18. Hollywood Week kicked off on Sunday, resulting in the biggest cuts this season thus far, lowering the number of competitors to 56. That was then drastically cut down on Monday’s episode, as the top 24 was solidified.

American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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