American Idol Season 19 has had its controversies, though nothing quite on the level as the latest one making headlines. Cecil Ray Baker, who caught the judges' attention in the early rounds of the season with his country singing and stories about wanting a better life for his daughter, has been arrested and could be charged with a felony.
According to an affidavit, Cecil Ray showed up at the house of his ex, Mariah Lopez, and demanded to see the daughter "he believes is his." TMZ reported that when Lopez wouldn't let the American Idol contestant in, he busted in through a locked backdoor, pushed her to the floor, and struck her with the heel of his palm before he left.
The story was corroborated by Lopez's sister, and Cecil Ray was arrested a few days later after authorities discovered he had relocated to the next town over. Ray was booked for burglary of a habitation, which is a second-degree felony in Texas. Ray was released the same day of his arrest on a $15,000 bond.
When he auditioned on American Idol, Katy Perry called Cecil Ray the country Justin Bieber, and his performances got him all the way to the Top 24 in Season 19. Ray frequently spoke about his daughter and how he hoped that by winning the show, he could provide a better life for her.
The story from Mariah Lopez seems to tell a different story. A TikTok account allegedly owned by Lopez (which features videos of a baby watching Ray's audition on television back in February) has posted some further allegations against Cecil Ray. The video features screenshots, video, and other alleged evidence of Ray's abuse of Lopez:
The caption for the video alleges that Cecil Ray even denied that his daughter was his at some point in his relationship. Obviously, all these accusations remain alleged, however, and it's unclear what will become of the charges agains Ray down the line. With that said, it's hard to imagine he'll be welcomed back on American Idol in either instance, so fans probably shouldn't expect to see him return in a future season.
While anything is possible, I would not expect American Idol to acknowledge the arrest of Cecil Ray Baker on its upcoming live show. The episode will welcome back contestants from Season 18, all of whom will compete for a chance to be the 10th entrant in the Top 10 of Season 19.
American Idol airs on ABC Sundays and Mondays live at 8:00 p.m. ET. Season 19 has certainly been one of ups and downs for contestants and, while it all seems like bad news as of late, there are some upsides. For example, read up on the awesome opportunity eliminated contestant Phillip Murphy got not long after he was sent home.