On Sunday night, the remaining 12 contestants each performed for a spot in the top 10 moving into next week. While multiple contestants had the judges using the word "frontrunner," one contestant, Hunter Metts, wasn't having as easy of a night.
Throughout the season thus far, Hunter has struggled with his nerves. Even though mentor Bobby Bones tried to help Hunter build his confidence during rehearsals, his little flub at the very end of his performance got the best of him.
"I know you're upset. But that happens in a live performance. They're going to tell you it's happened to them before," host Ryan Seacrest told Hunter.
Hunter was extremely upset, so judge Katy Perry immediately began to console him.
"Hunter, that was the best performance you've ever given," said Katy. "Perfection is an illusion. It's an illusion. It doesn't matter. That shows that you are human and vulnerable. And everybody relates to that. And it's amazing. It's emotion, that's what music is. It's a lot of pressure, but it's not about perfection, it's about resonating with people, and you just did."
Katy also added, "Hunter, you connected with us. You kept your eyes and heart open. You were so connected that you forgot where you were. And that is perfect."
“I don't even know what happened at the end, but listen -- I didn't care. You did no wrong. You could do no wrong in that moment,” said Luke Bryan, even stating that despite the flub, this was Hunter’s best performance to date. Lionel Richie attempted to defuse the situation by sharing his own amusing and in retrospect iconic concert horror stories about forgetting the lyrics to “Hello” or falling off the stage. But poor, self-flagellating Hunter still seemed inconsolable. “Hunter, what is going through your mind right now?” host Ryan Seacrest asked him, to which he replied with a pained expression and frog-lumped throat, “I just wish I didn't mess up.”
Sunday night's Idol was also this season's first live coast-to-coast show with real time voting and while Hunter fell in the bottom four, ultimately, he secured that final spot of the night.