Arthur Gunn Posts Cryptic Message About Missing ‘American Idol’ Finale

Arthur Gunn on American Idol Season 19
ABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol contestant Arthur Gunn has opened up about why he missed this past Sunday’s finale, citing “unpleasant environmental experiences.”

Both the viewers and the judges were surprised during Sunday’s finale when Gunn failed to show for his scheduled duet with Sheryl Crow. The Top 7 finalist was set to perform two songs with the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter but was instead replaced last minute by former contestant Graham DeFranco, who was in the audience to cheer on the season’s eventual winner Chayce Beckham.

'American Idol' Drama as Arthur Gunn Misses Finale and Duet with Sheryl CrowSee Also

'American Idol' Drama as Arthur Gunn Misses Finale and Duet with Sheryl Crow

Top 7 finalist was replaced at last minute by ex-contestant Graham DeFranco.

In a post-show Q&A, Lionel Richie stated that the judges themselves didn’t “even know what happened,” however, Gunn has now shed some light on his sudden disappearance. Posting on Instagram, the singer wrote, “It was last minute decision but I couldn’t help but say no cause of some personal morals and values due to unpleasant environmental experiences.”


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He continued: “It’s not necessary to state it, it is what it is, so I felt like I had to move on. It’s not the show @americanidol to blame, they were there long before nor anyone related to show. I’m grateful for @americanidol for have given me this platform and helped me to reach out to you all. Sometimes things happens and it happens for a reason I guess.”

Gunn also attempted to extend an olive branch to Crow, inviting her to come and “perform a couple of songs” at his July 30 gig in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. Crow has yet to respond.

“It’s not the first time we’ve had to operate on the fly,” Idol judge Luke Bryan said during Sunday’s post-show press conference. “[Graham DeFranco] was there to support Chayce, so we’re pulling him out of the crowd and we’re like, ‘Get up and sing with Sheryl Crow’ and he was like, ‘Hell yeah.'”

Gunn’s involvement in Season 19 had been controversial from the start, as he had won a comeback twist that was met with criticism from fans. The Season 18 runner-up returned on the May 2 broadcast to join the Top 10 before advancing to the Top 7 ahead of Deshawn Goncalves, Alyssa Ray, and Cassandra Coleman.