For the past two weeks, suspiciously, American Idol has not released video of Platinum Ticket winner Kenedi Anderson’s performances from Hollywood Week—either her Duets or Showstopper performances—leading to suspicions that the 17-year-old from Crozet, Va., had quit the show.
The Real Reason Why Kenedi Anderson Quit American Idol
Now, we can confirm that that is exactly what happened—”Kennedy” Anderson has left American Idol. After her Top 24 performance of Christina Perri’s “Human” at the Aulani Disney Resort in Hawaii on Monday night, host Ryan Seacrest revealed: “You will notice there was no voting information during Kenedi’s performance just now. Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi (or Kennedy Anderson) has chosen to withdraw from our show for personal reasons. We send her well wishes.”
Following Ryan’s announcement, Kenedi posted the following on her 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 judges, 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 making lifelong friends along the way.”
In addition, Fremantle Media issued the following statement: “We are disappointed to see Kenedi leave, but we are excited to watch this celebratory 20th season unfold with the incredible talent vying to be the next American Idol.”
For her audition, Kenedi had wowed judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan with her performance of Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” Luke said she “might be the biggest star we’ve ever seen,” and Katy added, “She was born to be a star.” The judges awarded her one of only three Platinum Tickets given out during the audition process this season.
As a result of the ticket, Kenedi didn’t have to perform the first night of Hollywood Week but returned to the competition for Duets. She and Jordan Chase performed “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. Then for Showstoppers, she sang “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars, which helped her make the cut to the Top 24.
Kenedi, who released her first original song in December 2020, has acquired quite the following on TikTok, where several of her videos have more than 150K views. And despite the social media following, she says that winning the Platinum Ticket gave her the boost of confidence she needed.
“Everyone in my family is athletic and I’m the musical one,” she said in her audition package. “Music really is my therapy. Whenever I’m frustrated, whenever I’m feeling down, music is the one thing that has stuck with me, no matter what. I’m happy where I am now, and I’m thankful for all the experiences that led me to this point. I feel that there’s no better time in my life right now to audition for American Idol.”
Apparently, something has changed since she made that statement, but for now, we just know she left the competition for “personal reasons.”
American Idol airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.