San Antonio’s Dawson Wayne eliminated from ‘American Idol’ as fans choose Top 20

Dawson Rice, aka Dawson Wayne, said he is ‘at peace’

San Antonio's Dawson Wayne goes before the American Idol judges to learn whether he was chosen to be in the Top 24. (ABC/Eric McCandless, © 2022 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. )

SAN ANTONIO – The ”American Idol” journey is over for San Antonio’s Dawson Wayne.

He was eliminated Sunday night as fans’ votes determined the Top 20.

“I wanted to say thank you to everyone who was being supportive and positive and happy,” Wayne said in an Instagram post. “And thank you to everyone else as well.”

Wayne said that he was happy and content with his experience of being on “American Idol” and said he’s at peace and thankful that he got to live out the dream.

Wayne said that as he walked onto the stage for the taping of Sunday night’s show, he got “an overwhelming feeling of peace that said ‘you’re going to be leaving and it’s going to be okay,’” he said.

Wayne said he feels like the door was closed by God, and he’s okay with it. Though he did have one regret.

“I am sad that I didn’t get to say goodbye to the judges, whom I loved. And all my friends on the show, which wrecked me,” Wayne said.

A comment on the post from the official “American Idol” account said:

“Thank you @itsdawsonwayne for sharing your talent with us!”

Dawson Wayne’s American Idol journey

Dawson Wayne received a golden ticket to Hollywood after auditioning for American Idol judges in Nashville for season 21. (American Idol)

Wayne auditioned in Nashville, where he received a golden ticket. His audition wasn’t one of the ones shown on the show.

In Hollywood, Wayne performed an original song titled, “Sour Skies” and advanced to the duet round.

His duet of the Bruno Mars hit, “Talking to the Moon” with Sarah Mac wasn’t aired on the show either, but both singers advanced to the showstoppers round.

Wayne performed “Flying” by Cody Fry.

“This is kind of going to be a story about my faith, and I just want everyone here to know you are so loved,” Wayne said as he took the stage.

Before he even started singing, Perry said, “I’m really into this guy.”

As he sang, Richie said, “I love him.”

“That sounded like a pro,” Bryan said as the judges gave Wayne a standing ovation.

San Antonio's Dawson Wayne performs his "Showstopper" on American Idol. (© 2022 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. )

As the judges delivered the news that Wayne would be advancing to the Top 26, Perry told him, “This is your mission now. Forever.”

Watch: San Antonio’s Dawson Wayne talks about his experience on ‘American Idol’ so far

In Hawaii, Wayne was mentored by Noah Cyrus.

He performed Billie Eilish’s “Copycat” on the Aulani resort stage — a song he chose for the “attitude.”

“It’s just going to be kind of fun and alter-ego-y and sassy,” Wayne said about it.

Judges said it was a risk and a departure from what they were used to hearing from him but Luke Bryan told him it was a solid performance and Lionel Richie called it a risk but said it was “brilliant.”

Katy Perry said the performance freaked her out but that she loved it.

In an interview on “American Idol,” Wayne said he aims to be a storyteller with his music.

“I don’t pretend I’m the biggest voice, but I feel like I can really put in emotion and really just try to connect with people,” he said. “I want to be someone who is putting a positive message out.”

Wayne has released two singles, “So Sweet” and “More Me, Lonely” which are available to stream and download on Amazon and Apple.

You can follow Dawson Wayne on Instagram and Tiktok.

About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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