American Idol frontrunner Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon revealed he was forced to leave home after being so open about his homosexuality on the hit TV show.
The 25-year-old janitor at his family's church in Cantonsville, Md., first stunned the judges in the audition with his own song Heaven, questioning if there was 'a place for people like me in heaven.'
As half of the top 40 were sent home on Sunday's episode, Jeremiah admitted an even bigger eviction – having to leave home.
Left home: Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon revealed on Sunday's episode of American Idol that he was forced to leave home after being so open about his homosexuality on the ABC show
'My parents have still not been able to accept me as gay,' he admitted, saying he quit his job at their church and moved out.
'Being a part of this show has been good for me in one way, but it's also been a challenge for me. I'm just being very public about my story and it's causing a lot of change in my life.'
The conflict inspired his song choice, saying he 'really connected' to Fleetwood Mac's Landslide 'after having a really tough conversation with my parents.'
'I want my parents to know that I love them no matter what,' he said, adding heartbreakingly: 'I'm sorry for disappointing them and not turning out to be everything that they dreamed of.
Close connection: Katy Perry who described herself as a fellow 'pastor's kid' connected with Jeremiah
Hawaii concert: The top 40 contestants including Jeremiah performed in Hawaii
Strong rendition: Jeremiah performed Fleetwood Mac's Landslide
'I wish they were here. I wish my whole family were here.'
He then insisted: 'I'm doing this for everyone who's been outcast by their loved ones. I know this isn't just my experience. If I can be open about it and vulnerable then maybe that can bring hope to someone else.'
He was in tears as he admitted he had wanted to dedicate it to his parents, saying: 'They were on my mind singing that...'
Getting emotional: The former church janitor got emotional discussing his parents
Judge Katy Perry, 34, soon connected with him, saying: 'You're a pastor's kid, I'm a pastor's kid – we have a lot in common.
'I started to find my true voice and can you imagine when my first single was I Kissed a Girl, and how they reacted?
'It was difficult for me, because I felt very alone in what was supposed to be a really exciting time in my life,' she told him.
The judges: Lionel Richie, Katy and Luke Bryan evaluated the talent
'It's taken some time, but we've all come around to agree to disagree.
'I just want to say from one pastor's kid to another, I see you, and I love you, and I accept you, and I'm so proud of you,' Katy added.
She left him thrilled when she said: 'I'm just excited that you're gonna continue the journey with us to the top 20. And we're here to celebrate with you.'
Big hug: Jeremiah and Katy hugged after he made the top 20
Despite performing in 'paradise' on the beach in Hawaii, the contestants faced the season's most brutal night to make the top 20.
'Being in Hawaii is so relaxing – but then I remembered, ''Oh my God, 20 people are going home!'',' contestant Alyssa Raghu,16, admitted.
The savage cuts meant the end for some early favorites – including Myra Tran whose initial audition of Jennifer Hudson's One Night Only became a massive viral hit online.
Island fashion: The pop star got into the Hawaii episode with a floral headband
'You are up there with the Kelly Clarkson's of the world,' Luke had told the 19-year-old Vietnamese student, with Lionel agreeing: 'Absolutely.'
Myra – who said the show was her chance to live 'the American dream' – had burst into tears after a huge ovation for her latest performance, How Far I'll Go from Moana.
'She did it! She killed it,' Lionel Richie, 69, insisted – while Luke Bryan, 42, warily called it a 'tough song' and Katy Perr said it was 'a bit all over.'
Dream over: The savage cuts meant the end for some early favorites – including Myra Tran whose initial audition of Jennifer Hudson's One Night Only became a massive viral hit online
Lionel then told her: 'The good news is that your talent is amazing. Your potential is unbelievable.'
She was soon in tears, however, when he added: 'Unfortunately, it will not take you through the next phase of the competition. But we love you very very much and don't let this discourage you, not one bit.'
Blind singer Shayy Winn, 17, was also out despite Lionel calling her 'a light that comes along that inspires all of us.'
Tough news: The judges broke it to Myra that she wasn't advancing and she cried
'We love you, and I'm sure that America has fallen in love with you,' he told her. 'The potential in where you can go with this is endless – the timing may be wrong. You're not gonna make the top 20 but we love you.''
It was also the end for a performer with one of the most heartbreaking stories, with Nick Townsend, 25, having lost both his brothers to suicide.
'Seeing him perform on the stage, I feel like he's living again,' his sister insisted.
Good times: Lionel and Luke were having fun together in Hawaii
'Your story has really affected us,' Luke then told him. 'I don't know if we've had one shake us up quite like your story has. It's very heavy on our hearts to let you know that you're not in our Top 20.'
Lionel then stressed: 'Do you realize how many people you've inspired? 'Watching your story on American Idol, do you know how many people you've saved?'
After Nick walked away, Lionel said: 'That was a tough one. I love that kid.'
Tough one: The judges struggled with sending Nick Townsend home
Formerly-homeless hopeful Kai the Singer, 19, who admitted being on the show felt like a dream, also had to say goodbye.
'The first time we met you, Kai, we loved you. And we love you and we see you and we believe in you,' Katy told her before leaving her shaking with the bad news.
'You've made us believers,' Lionel insisted, with Kai calling the show 'so life-changing. I just know that somehow this is just the beginning.'
Strong effort: Kai The Singer also failed to advance into the next round
Johanna Jones – the 23-year-old whose boyfriend proposed on the Idol stage – was also among those cut.
'No matter what, she's my American Idol and I love her and can't wait to have a future together,' new fiance Matt Zavoral said.
The news was particularly brutal for Nate Walker, 18, who went through the toughest journey to get to Hawaii.
Journey over: Nate Walker overcame obstacles but the journey ended in Hawaii
The 18-year-old had been rushed to hospital before the group round – just to come back and push through both the group round and a solo performance with almost no voice.
Nate – who tried to warm himself to at least one judge, singing Still by Lionel's former band the Commodores – insisted he could envision his name being announced as the overall winner.
He looked stunned when Lionel told him he was too 'in his head' and said: 'You won't make out top 20.'
Familiar song: Nate performed Still by Lionel's former band the Commodores
'I'm gonna use every single thing they said,' he insisted later of the criticism. 'They know what they're talking about.'
Many favorites made it through, however.
Alejandro Aranda, 24, had arguably the biggest impact in the auditions, with Luke saying they were in 'the presence of greatness.'