American Idol Contestant Releases Statement After Abruptly Leaving The Competition

For every one American Idol champion that walks away with the crown each season, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of hopefuls who didn't make the cut throughout the auditions. But that wasn't the case for Kenedi Anderson, daughter of famed college football coach Justin Anderson, as she absolutely nailed her Audition round. In fact, she was the second contestant to sway the judges to give up one of the three Platinum Tickets that were added to the competition for Season 20. Unfortunately, Anderson is no longer involved with the show, as she made a sudden exit following her Top 24 performance in Hawaii, which aired on April 11. Her absence was touched on by host Ryan Seacrest, after which the singer herself took to social media to offer a personal statement. 

Without going too much into detail about what caused her to bow out of American Idol’s current season so soon, Kenedi Anderson shared the following message on Instagram:

For personal reasons, I’m unable to continue on American Idol. This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary. I’m so grateful to American Idol, the judes, the producers, the amazing contestants, and all the fans who have supported me. Thank you for giving me such an amazing opportunity to share my voice, chase my dreams, feel so much joy and happiness doing what I love, and make lifelong friends along the way.

Whatever the reason may be, fans can be sure that it’s something extremely important to Kenedi Anderson, or else she certainly would not have squandered the opportunity to continue competing on American Idol. Especially after the Platinum Ticket gave her a leg up by sending her straight to the second night of Hollywood Week. It’s possible she will be able to share more updates with fans at a later point, but now it’s best to respect her decision to keep things private. 

Clearly she had quite the amazing time during her relatively short stint on American Idol, which definitely isn’t always the case for younger competitors. And those around her seem to have made quite an impact, from judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan to the dozens of fellow hopefuls she met and connected with ahead of her abrupt exit. Assuming her reasons for leaving won’t keep her from singing on a permanent basis, it’s always possible she could return next season, or maybe even flip networks to audition for NBC’s The Voice, since there have been quite a few talented singers who competed in both series.

For anyone who didn’t catch it at the time, check out Kenedi Anderson’s audition below.

Of course, Anderson isn’t the only American Idol contestant who has had to drop out of the competition earlier than expected. In fact, Season 19 featured two different performers who left mid-season. First, there was Wyatt Pike, who bowed out of the show for personal reasons following his Top 16 performance, even though he would have made it into the Top 12. And then there was Caleb Kennedy, who found himself in the middle of a controversy after a video surfaced online of him as a preteen sitting next to someone wearing what appeared to be a KKK hood, which sparked his early exit

Hopefully without any more exits or  Katy Perry's wardrobe malfunctions, American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the competition getting even more fierce now that the core group of finalists is being whittled down

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.