He found out that his cousin, Burl Head, whom he refers to as his uncle, died in a home fire in Houston.
The magazine reports that Burl had given the "Idol" contestant $1,500 for his stay in Los Angeles during the competition.
Head learned of the tragic news after the broadcast and went to Paula Adbul's dressing room to inform her.
He told Abdul, sobbing, "I just learned my uncle's house burned down with him in it today but they didn't tell me because of the show. They don't know what happened," OK reports.
Head was eliminated from the reality show during Thursday night's broadcast. The last few minutes of the show had Head and contestant Sanjaya Malakar as the final two contestants battling to make it to the top 12.
Head, 28, is from Porter, Texas. Head's profile on the "American Idol" Web site says that his toughest obstacle was growing up after his older brother died in a car crash less than a mile from his house.
A publicist for FOX said Friday that the network does not comment on the contestant's personal lives.