American Idol 2023: Who is the Missing Top 26 Singer? Explained! (Confirmed!) (UPDATED)

(ABC/Eric McCandless) PAIGE ANNE

Who is the missing Top 26 contestant? Beckett Rex OUT? Paige Anne IN the Top 26

It’s always something on American Idol. What would the show be without drama? The big Showstoppers twist was the judges–Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan–putting through 26 singers to the semifinals instead of 24. Fans following the spoilers knew this already. But WAIT A SECOND! American Idol only revealed 25 contestants over the course of two nights. Who is the 26th singer?

If you’re crazy like we are, y’all Zapruder-ed the big Top 26 celebration as Iam Tongi led the group in a sing-along of “Over The Rainbow.” With the help of Blake Busch, we spied red headed Beckett Rex standing mostly in the back. He is featured prominently in a still shot from the clip.

See Beckett’s Instagram page HERE. And Blake’s write-up of the singer in the season preview HERE.

Spot the red headed male underneath the right peace sign? The shot is from the celebration after judges announced the Top 26. That’s Beckett. American Idol didn’t feature him at all during the season of course, because he probably dropped out. Beckett is an 18 year old singer songwriter from Ojai, Calif. and his big claim to fame is that his father is acclaimed British actor, Malcolm McDowell. Move over Kayla Stewart! You aren’t the only Nepo baby quitter in town! Kidding. We don’t know WHY he left the competition. Maybe we’ll find out.

UPDATE: Beckett confirms he dropped out.

UPDATE: After American Idol Top 26 Part 2 aired on Monday night (April 17), Beckett confirmed on Instagram stories that he’s the missing contestant in the below photo. Paige Anne, the singer who took his place performed and explained that she got the call to return to the show after being eliminated at final judgement. Host Ryan Seacrest only said that the unnamed singer “decided to bow out.”

American Idol 2023: Top 26 Dropout Confirms Identity, Speaks Out

“To all of you wondering, yes I was on @americanidol and I made the top 26. I’m not going to say why I didn’t decide 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. Please go vote for my friends now as they continue on in the competition.”

UPDATE: Official photo

(ABC/Eric McCandless) AMERICAN IDOL TOP 26

Beckett is pictured in an official ABC press photo, way in the back on the left. His face is partially obscured.


Paige Anne, eliminated in a sing-off during the episode, is actually in the Top 26

Anyway. The spoiler lists report Paige Anne in the Top 26. And seriously, her performance of Adele’s “Go Easy On Me” in the face off with Megan Danielle was spectacular. I was so sure she was going through, I almost posted the wrong info. (Read our Recap)

We feel certain the spoilers are CORRECT. Blake confirmed Paige’s presence in Hawaii himself. Besides, she is featured in next week’s promo.

UPDATE: American Idol confirms by uploading official production stills to the Disney press site. Paige Anne is set to perform on Day 2 of the Top 26 Hawaii episodes with mentor Noah Cyrus (Monday, April 17)

(ABC/Eric McCandless) PAIGE ANNE

American Idol producers are probably saving another twist for next week. As if the rest of us weren’t going to figure it out. When Benson Boone dropped out of the Top 24 two years ago, the producers had Ryan Seacrest announce Annilee List as a Top 24 contestant in a voice over. Because the show had filmed her elimination. Having Paige participate in a dramatic sing-off with Megan Danielle made it so they could not edit her in without ditching the entire sing-off. Awkward!

Eventually, American Idol will announce that Paige actually made the Top 24 without mentioning Rex ever. But perhaps Rex will address the issue when he is able.

About mj santilli 34980 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!