'American Idol' Fans Are “Done” Watching After the Show’s “Big, Big Mistake” on Sunday

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Kayla Keegan
·3 min read
'American Idol' Fans Are “Done” Watching After the Show’s “Big, Big Mistake” on Sunday
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This season of American Idol is quickly becoming the show's most controversial one yet.

This weekend, fans took to social media to lament about the comeback twist — a new rule that allowed a handful of 2020 Idol stars the opportunity to earn the final spot in the top 10. Things heated up online when host Ryan Seacrest revealed on Sunday that last year's runner-up, Arthur Gunn, would be joining this year's talent roster after America's votes had been tallied.

To be clear, a large majority of the criticism is directed at the show, not Arthur's talent (which is undeniable). Despite many fans loving Arthur's voice, the fact that the artist got second place last year and is now entering the 2021 competition has many folks scratching their heads. On Twitter, viewers have been saying that it isn't "fair" that Arthur gets to take the place of other 2021 contestants, some citing the possibility that his established "fan base" from last year gives him an advantage to win over other finalists.

The complaints really started to build up on Sunday when Arthur made it through once more to the top 7, and standout singers Alyssa Wray, Cassandra Coleman and Deshawn Goncalves all were voted off the series by the end of the evening.

"Why is Arthur Gunn even in this completion?!?!?! HE WAS RUNNER UP LAST SEASON!!! I get it he didn’t get to fully experience it all but Alyssa won’t either since she’ll never win now! So MAD," one fan tweeted. "Big big, mistake!! It’s not fair to this years contestants and it’s not fair for Arthur Gunn to have to listen to all the criticism," another said. "Shameful on American Idol for bringing back Arthur Gunn to steal a spot from the other contestants. Shame on@ABC. I’m done watching. #AmericanIdol," someone else commented.

Though some fans don't approve of this year's switch-up, producers previously explained to Billboard that they felt it was a good way to give last year's top singers a chance at the true Idol experience. As those who tuned in last season know, much of last year's show had to be filmed remotely in each singer's home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"They did so well with the remote production, with their mums and dads helping them and their brothers and sisters holding iPhones and ring lights, but they never had the proper Idol experience," showrunner Trish Kinane said. "Some people really come alive on that big stage. We thought they deserved to have that experience."

Whether the show's seemingly well-intentioned comeback twist is fair or not will likely be debated until the season finale on May 23. But regardless, the title is still up for the taking for Arthur and fellow remaining contestants Grace Kinstler, Willie Spence, Caleb Kennedy, Casey Bishop, Hunter Metts and Chayce Beckham. It all comes down to how you (yes, you!) vote, so make sure to support your favorites if you have any.

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