On the Friday edition of her afternoon talk show (Dec 3) Kelly Clarkson introduced 19 year old Benson Boone as amassing more than 1.8 million followers on Tik Tok. “You need to know about him, if you don’t already,” Kelly gushed, “with his soulful lyrics and powerful sound.”
While introducing him, Kelly confirmed something fans have been wondering about. Kelly revealed, “Last season on American Idol he ended up in the Top 24 contestants. But withdrew to carve out his own musical path,” She continued, “Last month he landed his first record deal.”
There it is. The first public acknowledgement that Benson made the American Idol 2021 Top 24. Remember, that Benson disappeared from the show shortly after his audition aired. Reliable spoilers reported that Benson made it as far as the Top 24, but quit for personal reasons.
During the televised Top 24 reveal, Benson wasn’t shown at all. Tellingly, there was no judges reveal for Anilee List, the contestant who was rumored to have taken Benson’s place at the last minute. Host Ryan Seacrest announced her inclusion via voice over.
Finally, when Benson dropped his first single, “Ghost Town,” on Warner Bros Records, he explained why he quit American Idol. although he never mentioned getting as far as the Top 24 on the show.
“Social media is the biggest opportunity to get people to know you personally. Hopefully, they will not only like my music, but they’ll understand and like me as a person, so I’m more than just a song to them.” That desire to connect with fans authentically is why he quit American Idol, the official press release stated. “It was a very hard choice,” Benson admitted. “I didn’t really know who I wanted to be as an artist yet, and I didn’t want to show the world someone I’m not.”
Watch Benson Boone sing “Ghost Town” on The Kelly Clarkson Show