American Idol Season 13 finalist Dexter Roberts, who placed seventh in this year’s competition, has reportedly disappeared from the summer tour. The singer was last seen participating in the July 1st performance show. That show brought Roberts’ overall total of tour appearances to just four so far.
Fans of both Roberts and the popular singing show are baffled by the Alabama native’s disappearance, as well as the lack of public statement from American Idol honchos to explain the situation. In previous years, if a contestant was unable to make part of the show or tour, an official statement was released stating the reasons surrounding the matter. For instance, 10th place finalist M.K. Nobilette was unable to perform in the season finale due to medical reasons, a statement of which was made to the public by both Nobilette and the American Idol honchos themselves.
The claim of medical distress is also reportedly being made to excuse Roberts’ absence from the tour, although many fans and tour attendees are not buying this. After nearly a week of dodging questions from concerned fans of the 23-year-old country boy, one Idol contestant decided to speak out on the matter.
Fourth place finisher Jessica Meuse responded to a tweet asking where her fellow Alabamian had been in the recent performance shows, providing a statement that Roberts was suffering an illness and could not attend. Meuse did not disclose the nature of the alleged illness, and went on to state that she did not know if or when Roberts would be returning to the summer tour.
An unnamed publicist, however, gave a confirmed statement that Roberts was not returning to the tour. The publicist said that the agreement to release Roberts from his contractual obligations surrounding the tour was a mutual one. By mutual agreement, the singer’s set list was handed over to the above-mentioned Jessica Meuse and fifth place finisher C.J. Harris, also from Alabama.
This statement led American Idol fans to be even more confused about the situation, as the reports of Roberts’ alleged illness now seemed even less likely. Adding fuel to the fire was Roberts’ confirmed appearance at the World Deer Expo from July 18-20 in Birmingham, Alabama.
There have also been sightings of the singer out and about in his hometown, posing for pictures with fans. Many believe that not only was the alleged illness a cover-up for Roberts’ cutting his ties with the American Idol tour, but a rather uncouth one at that.
Fans of Roberts have expressed their discontent at having purchased tickets and traveled great lengths in order to see him in concert, only to be disappointed and not given notice that he was no longer a part of the summer tour. Roberts gave no hints as to his whereabouts nor the future of his continuing on with the Idol tour, although it should to be taken into consideration that Roberts was never one to frequent social media sites. The last time his Twitter account was updated was in June.
There is also concern from the public surrounding the fairness of American Idol execs not replacing Roberts in the summer tour, thereby giving the contestant eliminated immediately before Dexter Roberts, 11th place finisher Ben Briley, a shot at participating and joining the tour.
Briley exited the competition just one week away from the opportunity to be included in the summer tour. Many Idol fans feel as though it would have been only reasonable to include Briley in the tour as Roberts’ replacement. Briley, who coincidentally was in Roberts’ Hollywood performance group as one of the Backstreet Cowboys, does not seem to be too disappointed he did not make the tour. He has given statements expressing his relief that he was finally able to be back at home with his wife after many months of being apart.
It is unclear whether or not Dexter Roberts’ exit from the American Idol Summer Tour will affect any future chances of getting signed by 19 Recordings or associated labels. However, the public has made it quite clear that they do not feel the situation surrounding the singer’s departure from the tour was handled in any way professionally.
By Rebecca Grace