American Idol

Tears for a ‘American Idol’ tryout for a school shooting survivor

(AP) SANTA FE, Texas – An emotional performance by a survivor of a Texas high school shooting on “American Idol” brought tears from the judges and criticism of the country’s approach to gun violence.

Trey Louis was a student at Santa Fe High School in May 2018 when another student shot and killed ten people at school.

Louis told the judges — Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan — after his audition, which aired on Sunday, that one of the reasons he wanted to participate in the singing competition was because of the shooting.

“I’ve lost many pals. There were eight pupils slain. Two teachers were murdered. It’s just really been negative, man. “Santa Fe has had a poor rap here since 2018,” said Louis, who was finalizing a project in an art class when the gunman opened fire in a room next door.

Perry began to cry, covering her face with her hands and bending her head. “Our country has (expletive) failed us,” she said, raising her head.

“Facts,” Louis explained.

“This is not acceptable. “Since you enjoy music, you should be singing here,” Perry suggested.

“We have suffered this for so long, too long,” Richie added, wiping away tears. That has become the norm.”

Louis informed KTRK-TV in Houston that the song he chose for his audition, “Stone” by Whiskey Myers, was in honor of one of the kids who died, Chris Stone.

The 21-year-old mattress salesman said he didn’t realize he had a flair for singing until he shared a video of himself singing at work online around a year ago. The video went viral, he added, gaining thousands of views.

“I hope you remind people that we have to change because you know what, I’m terrified too,” Perry said just before the judges unanimously voted to advance Louis to the next stage in Hollywood.

“We have to change, and I’m hoping you can just lead. “Could you please do me that favor?” Perry stated.

“For me, my school, and you,” Louis explained.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student at the time, was charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting fatalities.

Pagourtzis, aged 22, has been declared incompetent to stand trial and has been undergoing mental health care at a state facility since early December 2019. Earlier this month, a judge ruled that he be kept in the hospital for up to a year longer. Santa Fe is roughly 55 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Houston.

The Associated Press. All rights reserved. All intellectual property rights are reserved. This material may not be published, aired, written about, or disseminated in any way.