American Idol Season 19 was full of a lot of unexpected moments, though few could top the unexpected exit of country singer Caleb Kennedy from the competition. The singer was just a stone's throw away from the finale when a social media video from his past resurfaced and he was subsequently out of competition. Now, for the first time since his initial announcement, Kennedy has opened up about his time on American Idol and his life after.
Caleb Kennedy's competition dreams came crashing down when a short viral video surfaced in which the American Idol contestant was seated next to someone who seemed to be wearing a hood associated with white supremacy group the Ku Klux Klan. In an interview with the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Caleb Kennedy spoke about his life after the show and how he felt he was represented on the program.
On Idol, that wasn’t me. That world is so different. Now that I’m home, I try to be me, but I’m also scared of someone videoing me when I go to Academy or Wal-Mart. You have to worry about things like that now.
Caleb Kennedy's family also provided additional details about the video and added that it was from when the singer was 12 years old. They also have stated that the perception of the video was not the intended meaning behind it, though no additional context was given on its true meaning.
The topic American Idol fans undoubtedly have wanted to know about was Caleb Kennedy's thoughts on the series after the situation. It wouldn't have been surprising if the contestant had some ill feelings about how things went down considering his exit. Here's how he feels about the experience:
There’s no way to emotionally prepare for Idol. Because no one is ready for it, no matter how you prepare. But I don’t regret it, and I did love it.
Caleb Kennedy is still performing songs in his hometown, though it remains to be seen if greater opportunities open up for him in the future. Before the controversy, Luke Bryan and others praised not only Kennedy's singing ability but also his tremendous songwriting ability. It almost seemed a given he'd eventually end up with some job as a contributor to country songs at the very least, but with the controversy, who knows what the future holds for this young man. Kennedy made no excuses for the video at the time of his exit and apologized to fans for letting them down.
American Idol Season 19 is over, but Season 20 will happen over at ABC. One has to wonder what the series will do to commemorate its 20th season, which will be hard to top after the excess of talent featured in Season 19.