American Idol is just weeks into the competition, and has already seen its second resignation of the season. The Monday (April 3) episode of the show took a sudden turn when Kaya Stewart, daughter of Eurythmics‘ Dave Stewart, quit the competition during Hollywood Week after struggling with feeling sick.
Originally set to perform Adam Lambert’s “Whataya Want From Me” in a duet alongside fellow hopeful Fire, Kaya revealed that she was not feeling her best. “It’s duet day right now. I’m really sick, so it was a long night,” she told the camera crew.
In an aside, Fire added, “Everything was originally amazing when Kaya and I were rehearsing this morning and going through things and figuring out our plan, then throughout the day she started getting sicker and sicker and started getting a fever and she couldn’t remember the words. It was less and less progress. We were going in the opposite direction.”
Unsure of how to proceed, Kaya explained that she didn’t want to jeopardize Fire’s chances — as well as her own — with a less than stellar performance. “I always want to give my best, and I’m not giving my best here,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a fair representation of myself to do that or for Fire either. I don’t think it’s fair on her for me to not give 100 percent when she was giving 100 percent.”
Once it was time to perform in front of the judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, Kaya announced her decision. “I got sick at the beginning of Hollywood Week and I have been trying to push myself and keep going and during this performance. I got to work with Fire and it was such a great experience,” she said. “She’s so talented and so incredible and we bonded so much, but I realized I wasn’t able to give 100 percent, so I have decided to not perform, but Fire is going to perform and I’m really grateful that I got to be here.”
Perry asked for further clarification about what her lack of duet means for her status on the show. “Me not performing means I’m not longer going to be in the competition,” Kaya stated before tearfully running off stage.
Kaya is the second contestant on this season of Idol so far to quit. Her resignation comes after the exit of Sara Beth Liebe, who left the show to return home to her three kids; Liebe’s decision came after Perry’s “mom shaming” joke.
Fire also got emotional over Kaya’s exit, remarking that it had been a “stressful” series of events leading up to their performance. The singer, however, got a second chance when fellow contestant Jayna Elise offered to perform the song with her. Following a tearful finish and a standing ovation, Perry offered Fire a few words of encouragement.
“I’m proud of you. You’re growing, little by little. You can’t control a lot, but you can control yourself and you can control your future,” Perry told the contestant. “Thank you for standing up here and continuing to try. Thank you for swinging. Thank you for not forfeiting. Thank you for fighting. And in this moment, we get to control a little bit of your future. You’re going forward, Fire.”
Watch Kaya’s resignation and Fire’s performance of “Whataya Want From Me” in the video above.