Katy Perry Cries During School Shooting Victim's "American Idol" Audition: Watch

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Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - February 16, 2023
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: Katy Perry is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on February 16, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
"Our country has f*cking failed us," she weeped.

Last week commenced the 21st season of American Idol, and Sunday (February 26th) harbored an emotional start to the series. While going through auditions in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Nashville, the show's judges found themselves with an especially heartbreaking performance. Trey Louis, a mattress salesman from Santa Fe, Texas, created a heavy interpretation of Whiskey Myer's "Stone," and opened his heart further to share a traumatic experience with the judging panel.

In 2018, the 21-year-old was a victim of the shooting at Sante Fe High School and barely had escaped the massacre. As a result of this tragic event, eight students and two teachers lost their lives, including those who were close to Louis. "A gunman walked into my school," he revealed to the judges. "I was in art room one, and he shot up art room two before he made his way to art room one. Lost a lot of friends."

Katy Perry Weeps That America Has Failed Citizens

Louis's soulful and rugged cover of "Stone" earned him a standing ovation from Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. But the applause quickly turned to tears after hearing about his experience in the shooting. When Louis revealed how his hometown has been looked down upon since the incident, Perry couldn't hold in her emotions. “Our country has (expletive) failed us," Perry reacted. "This is not OK! You should be singing here because you love music! Not because you had to go through that (expletive). You didn’t have to lose... friends. I hope that you remind people that we have to change, because, you know what? I’m scared too." 

The "Swish Swish" singer's outburst even brought tears to Richie's eyes. He added, "we have tolerated this for so long, too long. It's become a norm." The three judges unanimously voted for Louis to go through to Hollywood. But before the decision was revealed, Perry had one final comment for the survivor. "We've got to change," she told him, calling for Louis to "lead." "For myself, for my school, and for you, you got it," he responded. For the latest news on hip-hop, pop culture, and entertainment, be sure to check out HNHH.

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