The ever-popular reality television show, American Idol, is currently in its 19th season. This season several members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as “the Mormon Church”) auditioned for the competition. Eight Latter-day Saint contestants made it to Hollywood Week, and among them was Benson Boone.
Benson Boone is an 18-year-old Tik-Tok sensation from Monroe, Washington, who currently has 1.4 million followers. He is the middle child of five and the only boy. He did not come from a musical family, nor did he realize that he can sing until he was a junior in high school and a friend asked him to play piano and sing for a “Battle of the Bands” competition. His voice surprised everyone, including himself. He attended Brigham Young University-Idaho last fall and decided to take this semester off to pursue singing.
Benson’s audition for American Idol was aired on ABC television on 14 February 2021. He won over the viewing audience and all three judges with his rendition of “Punchline” by Aidan Martin. The judges were not only impressed by his singing, but also by how humble he is. He has only been singing for a year but seriously sounds like a professional.
Judge Katy Perry remarked, “They’re gonna swoon over Benson Boone.” She even predicted that Benson could win the competition if he really wanted it. He got the golden ticket to advance to the “Hollywood” round and was so full of excitement to be voted through to the next round that he did a backflip in the audition room.
His family started a Benson Boone Scholarship Fund with the Monroe Public Schools Foundation to help other students at his high school alma mater, Monroe High School. A $15 donation to the fund gets a “#Swoonforboone” T-shirt. Sue Skillen, foundation director, said, “We’ve shipped shirts all over the United States. We are so excited for him. It is so fun to see his success. They are just an amazing family.” Benson’s mom, Kerry Boone, commented that a teacher once described him as being “his own weather system as he moves from room to room. You can feel that energy.”
When the Hollywood Week shows aired on Sunday, 21 March 2021, and Monday, 22 March 2021, Benson Boone appeared to be missing in action. According to Meaww.com, Benson voluntarily decided to leave the show and it is rumored that Anilee List has replaced him in the competition. One major reason why fans and ‘Idol’ forums think Benson left the competition is to pursue an exciting new opportunity.
Benson’s recent posts on Tik-Tok may be adding to the rumors and speculations as to why he left American Idol. He has posted several videos, leading his fans to believe that he is working on a major project with Imagine Dragons. In one video, he sits in disbelief next to Imagine Dragons’ lead singer, Dan Reynolds. In another video, Reynolds is at the piano and Benson is behind him as they perform a duet of the song, “Follow You.” Benson even teased that he and Reynolds have been “working on something really big” and they “cannot wait to share it with you.” Benson also posted a video recording an original song and asked fans what he should name it.
Popculture.com reports that some of the fans of the show have speculated that Benson quit the show, possibly because all he needed was one appearance on the show to get the notice he wanted. Nevertheless, despite thousands of inquiries on TikTok, he has not said why he left American Idol. The show’s publicist would not say either, but there is rumor that Benson will release a statement soon.