Benson Boone finally speaks! But he doesn’t say much. After his American Idol 2021 audition aired, and the judges advanced him to Hollywood, the singer was barely seen on the show again. Benson kept quiet initially, but the Tik Tok star finally addressed his disappearance in an Instagram message on Monday (April 12):
Hey guys, I know many of you have been asking where I went on American Idol. It was a really hard decision for me to make, but I decided to step down from the competition. I am so grateful to have been part of the show, everyone was amazing and it was an INCREDIBLE experience! Shout out to the remaining contestants, you guys are amazing!! Best of luck to you all :)
He confirms that he dropped out, but doesn’t explain why. According to a reliable source, Benson had made it to the Top 24, and then dropped out. Anilee List reportedly took his place. In her Top 24 reveal, Idol never shows Anilee sitting down with the judges receiving the good news. Ryan announces it in voice over. It’s further proof that Anilee was likely a last minute addition.
Why did Boone drop out? Some folks are assuming he got a record deal. But it’s also important to consider that at every step of the way, the restrictions on contestants become more onerous. Benson and his lawyer may have taken a look at the Top 24 contract and thought “Hm…thanks but no thanks!” This, of course, is speculation.
At the time of his audition, Benson had 1.3 million followers on Tik Tok. Atlantic records signed American Idol alum JAX just on the strength of her TikTok following. It’s likely American Idol recruited Benson, but he probably didn’t need the exposure in the first place. But it doesn’t hurt. I mean right now, Benson’s follower count is up to 1.5 million.