American Idol’s long history has been filled with surprises since the series began. But the mysterious absence of Season 18 contestant Arthur Gunn from the recent Season 19 finale served as one of the biggest ones of the past year. Weeks after his already surprising elimination, Gunn's unexplained absence left viewers and judges puzzled, considering the fan-favorite musician had been heavily promoted for the finale. The day after the big episode, the two-time American Idol hopeful finally revealed why he skipped out on performing alongside Sheryl Crow.
With any high-profile event or show, behind-the-scenes issues can sometimes spoil a great moment, and Gunn's absence from the American Idol finale was possibly a symptom of the Season 19 drama. Sometimes, things just don’t work out as intended, as evidenced by former contestant Graham DeFranco serving as Gunn's replacement on stage for the finale. After keeping mum for a while, Gunn said this about missing his performance with Sheryl Crow in an Instagram post:
Well, let’s just say I missed my opportunity to sing with legendary Sheryl Crow. What happened is not much to discuss at this point. 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. 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 American Idol to blame, they were there long before nor anyone related to show.
It was nice of Arthur Gunn to apologize to Sheryl Crow right away while personally reaching out to his fans. But even though Gunn gave some insight into the situation, he kept his reasons for not participating in the finale very vague. That said, he did shift the blame away from American Idol, though that kind of amplifies the vagueness of his statement. Fortunately, his absence didn't take away from the Season 19 winner Chayce Beckham's moment. So, now the real question would be who or what lead to his decision if the ABC competition series wasn’t involved, but it's one that may never be explained in full.
Later, the former American Idol contestant revealed his true feelings about not taking the finale stage, and Arthur Gunn gave fans a bit of behind-the-scenes insight that seems to indicate confrontations with others played into his absence. Gunn said about moving on from the singing competition:
Sometimes things happens and it happens for a reason I guess. I feel upset about it as much as all you might have, and I’m sorry if I did let down anyone but I felt like all these confrontations didn’t need to happen at the show, so I just had to move on from there, sometimes all we can do is move on!!!
Given his lengthy statement, Arthur Gunn seemed to feel uncomfortable with the circumstances surrounding his duet with Sheryl Crow. But given the vagueness of his words, viewers may never know what happened or who antagonized him. Check out Gunn’s full Instagram statement below:
Whatever actually happened, Arthur Gunn's statement allowed a brief peek into the ills that musicians on all levels can fact in the entertainment industry. At least Gunn was able to walk away with no ill-will toward American Idol itself. Hopefully, one day, Arthur Gunn will be able to speak freely about what he went through. In the meantime, stay up-to-date with everything hitting the 2021 Summer TV schedule while waiting for the next Idol season to arrive.