Katy Perry Gets Emotional at School Shooting Survivor

'Our country has f---ing failed us,' she tells man auditioning for 'Idol'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2023 12:30 AM CST

The audition by a survivor of the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting left American Idol judge Katy Perry in tears on Sunday night's episode. After singing "Stone" by Whiskey Myers, Trey Louis, 21, told the judges about his experience on the horrific day: "I was in Art Room 1 and he shot up Art Room 2 before he made his way to Art Room 1. Lost a lot of friends. Eight students were killed. Two teachers were killed, and it's really been negative, man." Louis, who received a standing ovation after his performance, said living through that was what drove him to try for a chance on the reality competition.

As fellow judge Luke Bryan complimented his voice, comparing it to Chris Stapleton, Perry put her head in her hands and started crying, then lifted her head to shout, "Our country has f---ing failed us," BuzzFeed News and USA Today report. "This is not OK," Perry continued, as she explained that Louis should have been able to travel to the audition simply because he loves music, and not because of what he lived through. "You didn't have to lose eight friends. I hope that you remind people that we have to change, because, you know what? I'm scared, too." Fellow judge Lionel Richie agreed: "We have tolerated this for so long," he said. "Too long. It's become a norm." All three voted Louis through to the Hollywood round. (More Katy Perry stories.)

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