‘American Idol’ Season 20 Drama Begins as Frustrated Singer Scarlet Storms Out of Duets Rehearsal

American Idol Season 20 Hollywood Week is well underway, and the contestants are feeling the pressure. Tensions are high, and everyone is sleep-deprived — that means drama is bound to happen somewhere. Fans received their first dose of that drama during the April 3 episode as singers paired off for the Duets Challenge. Sandwich artist Scarlet Ayliz and high school student Douglas Mills partnered together for “Rewrite the Stars,” but they had some trouble in rehearsal. Here’s what happened.

Douglas Mills and Scarlet Ayliz after their performance on American Idol.
Douglas Mills and Scarlet Ayliz after their performance on ‘American Idol.’ | Eric McCandless/ABC

‘American Idol’ paired Scarlet Ayliz and Douglas Mills for a duet

After making it through solo rounds last week, it came time for American Idol contestants to test their patience with each other. The judges paired Scarlet and Douglas together, and although they had little in common, Scarlet said they got along.

As fans may recall, both Scarlet and Douglas had impressive auditions. Scarlet, 18, returned to American Idol after auditioning the previous year. She sang an original song, “Bleeding,” for her second try with the judges. Luke Bryan said Scarlet had a “commercial-sounding, superstardom” voice, while Katy Perry said the teen needed to “pick songs that stir emotions.” However, Katy still agreed with Luke and Lionel Richie that Scarlet should go to Hollywood.

Meanwhile, Douglas came to the competition after receiving an audition pass in Houston. He explained that he experienced severe bullying growing up, but music has helped him find self-love. Douglas’ powerful and moving rendition of “Strange Fruit” earned a standing ovation from Katy, Luke, and Lionel in the audition room. Katy told Douglas that he “transcends time and space.”

Scarlet stormed out of rehearsal when Douglas struggled to remember ‘Rewrite the Stars’ lyrics

Scarlet and Douglas wowed the judges individually, but they struggled to recreate that magic as a pair. The two experienced tension as Douglas had trouble remembering the lyrics to “Rewrite the Stars” from The Greatest Showman. He admitted that he has a hard time memorizing lyrics under pressure. While Scarlet tried to remain calm, she said she was feeling “stressed out and overwhelmed” by the situation.

“This is just embarrassing,” she told Douglas. “There’s other people that are doing it fine. I’m embarrassed.”

After another attempt at the song, Scarlet was too frustrated and stormed out of rehearsal, saying she was “about to lose it.” Douglas had trouble finding her for a while. Eventually, she cooled down and apologized to Douglas, and continued rehearsing.

“I’m very much used to doing duets and ensembles and trios and stuff. And I had some pretty bad experiences with them, so when I get stressed … it hits like a certain little pressure point,” she explained.

Fans had mixed reactions to Scarlet’s behavior. On American Idol’s YouTube video, some said Scarlet showed maturity.

“I actually think it’s super mature of her to do what she did. She got stressed and upset with him. Removed herself from the situation without blowing up, composed herself, and went back at it,” one person wrote.

On the other hand, others said Scarlet could have had a bit more sympathy.

“Scarlet did not have to act like that. She wasn’t perfect either, and being under pressure is hard,” another user added.

The ‘American Idol’ judges sent both singers to the Showstoppers Round

When it came time for their performance, Scarlet and Douglas made it through the tune. However, the judges said they noticed some of the fumbled lyrics. Katy even called it “death by song” and said she hasn’t felt impressed with Douglas since his audition.

In the end, Lionel, Richie, and Luke decided to give Douglas and Scarlet another chance. They moved onto the Showstoppers Round, which fans will see during the Monday, April 4 episode.

American Idol airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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