Another American Idol Season 19 contestant has left the competition. Country singer/songwriter Caleb Kennedy was removed when it was discovered that he had a racially insensitive video circulating the web. Now, Kennedy has spoken out after his expulsion and apologized for his actions.
A video that surfaced online showed (via TMZ) Caleb Kennedy on camera, seated alongside someone who appeared to be wearing a hood similar to one worn by a member of the white supremacy group, the Ku Klux Klan. Kennedy addressed the video on Twitter and as well as addressed the fans that supported him during American Idol.
Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer gonna be on ‘American Idol.’ There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.
American Idol has not officially revealed the plans this Sunday's episode, as Caleb Kennedy was voted by America as one of the Top 5 of the competition. The competition will reportedly proceed with four competitors and only one contestant will be eliminated ahead of the finale next Sunday. Caleb Kennedy will presumably not be invited back to perform on finale night, as part of the tradition of seasons past.
Caleb Kennedy caught the eye of American Idol fans and judges with a voice and songwriting ability seemingly well beyond his years. The 16-year-old competitor received numerous compliments from judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry, and it seemed likely he'd have a career in music whether or not he won Season 19.
American Idol has had a rough go with contestants in Season 19. The series lost contestant Wyatt Pike when he removed himself from the competition for personal reasons not long after advancing. This season also saw contestant Cecil Ray get eliminated and then arrested for allegedly forcing his way into the home of the mother of his child not long after.
American Idol is set to air Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Caleb Kennedy's expulsion will undoubtedly shake up the competition, though it still feels like a toss-up in regards to who will win the competition. Obviously, Kennedy is out of the running of our breakdown of each finalist, but this handy list lays out just how close this finale could be in votes.