Katy Perry Breaks Down Crying for ‘American Idol’ Contestant Who Survived School Shooting
During Sunday's (Feb. 26) episode of American Idol, 21-year-old mattress salesman Trey Louis brought judge Katy Perry to tears.
Louis performed a soulful rendition of "Stone" by Whiskey Myers, and when asked what brought him to American Idol, he explained that as a survivor of the Santa Fe High School shooting in 2018, he hopes to "bring some positivity" back to his hometown.
Louis explained that he was in an art room at the school on May 18, 2018, when a gunman opened fire in another art room before attacking the room Louis was in. Ten people were lost in the tragic incident, including eight students and two teachers.
At the time, the Santa Fe shooting was the deadliest in Texas history until the devastating Robb Elementary School shooting took place in Uvalde in May 2022.
After hearing Louis' story, Perry broke down, dropping her head to her hands.
"Our country has f---ing failed us!" Perry tearfully exclaimed.
"Facts," Louis agreed.
"This is not okay! You should be singing here because you love music, not because you had to go through that," she continued.
Louis added, "I agree."
"You didn't have to lose eight friends," she said. "I hope that you remind people that we have to change. Because, you know what, I'm scared too!"
"It's terrible, Katy," Louis said.
Perry's fellow judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, comforted her by rubbing her shoulders.
"We have tolerated this for so long," Richie said. "Too long. It's become a norm."
"I hope you can just lead. Will you do me that favor?" Perry asked Louis.
"For myself, for my school, for you, you got it. Yes, ma'am," he nodded.
Ultimately, Louis was given three yeses and sent onward to the Hollywood round of the competition.
Bryan even called him "perfect" and praised Louis for singing "from the heart."
Watch Trey Louis' American Idol audition, below: