Trey Louis’s performance will go down as one of the most emotional and important American Idol auditions. The 21-year-old mattress salesman revealed to the judges during the February 26 episode that he is a Sante Fe High School shooting survivor. When asked why he wanted to do the show, Trey said he wanted to “bring some positivity” back to his hometown.
Katy Perry started to cry upon hearing Trey’s devastating story and performance of “Stone” by Whiskey Myers. She put her head in her hands and yelled, “Our country has f—ing failed us!” Trey responded, “Facts.” The “Firework” singer continued, “This is not okay. You should be singing here because you love music.”
Trey said he “lost a lot of friends” in the school shooting that took place on May 18, 2018. The singer was in the second art room when the gunman first opened fire. The gunman eventually shot up his art room. Ten people lost their lives that day, including 8 students.
“I hope that you remind people that we have to change. Because you know what, I’m scared, too,” Katy said as she cried. Lionel Richie wiped away a tear. Luke Bryan put his hand on Katy’s shoulder to comfort her.
Lionel decided to put Trey’s performance to a vote. Lionel gave Trey his first “yes” and said he “can’t wait to see” him in Hollywood. Luke got choked up before telling Trey, “You’re perfect.” Katy thanked Trey and gave him his third and final “yes.”
All the judges hugged Trey after this emotional moment. After they told Trey that he was going to Hollywood, the judges took a moment to decompress. Luke hugged both Katy and Lionel.
At the time, the 2018 Sante Fe High School shooting was the deadliest school shooting in Texas. Unfortunately, in May 2022, the devastating Robb Elementary School shooting that took place in Uvalde surpassed Sante Fe with 22 deaths. In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, President Biden signed a bipartisan gun safety bill into law. The bill became one of the most significant pieces of gun safety legislation in decades.