The American Idol judges have finally spoken on the sudden departure of American Idol contestants, Kenedi Anderson.
At the American Idol 20th Anniversary party held at Desert Five spot on Monday Night (April 18) after the Top 14 LIVE reveal show, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan shared their thoughts with reporters on the teen singer’s departure due to personal reasons after performing in the Top 24.
Kenedi earned one of three Platinum Tickets during the auditions, which gave her special perks during the Hollywood Round. With her soaring, pop-ready vocals, the panel and many fans considered her a front-runner who could win it all.
“We were heartbroken,” says Lionel about Kenedi’s exit, adding that her potential “was unbelievable.”
Fans speculated for a week about the singer’s fate, as she didn’t seem to be with her fellow contestants in Hollywood, preparing for the next rounds. Spoilers said she had left the competition. Interestingly, Kenedi had gone silent on social media, and Idol didn’t upload her Hollywood performances.
After Kenedi’s Top 24 performance aired, host Ryan Seacrest announced that she had left the competition, and that the show wished her well. At the same time, Kenedi posted a message to social media saying that leaving Idol was “one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary.” She didn’t go into further specifics.
Katy believes there is plenty of talent able to step up to the plate in Kenedi’s absence.
“I mean, look, she was a great one, but I do think that we have such incredible other voices that have now even stepped forward a little bit more,” she said. “It’s just really another opportunity for one of these incredible contestants, and we wish nothing but the best for her. …”
“Most artists can’t take it”
Lionel admits that the competition can be too much for some contestants to handle. “Singing is the easy part,” he says. “If you know what we go through from a pressure point-of-view, most artists can’t take it. It’s just that simple. And it’s not a survivable business, let me say it that way. So when you get under pressure that young in life, I get it.”
Luke added, “These kids, they got a lot coming at ’em. I think, potentially for her career, her being a part of our family is as good as the route or the way to the top can be. But, if you’re having doubts and anxieties and other things … we’re heartbroken as a show because she was so dynamic and great.”
Fans speculate that Kenedi left to take a record/management deal outside of American Idol. A few days after her official announcement, the singer posted and then deleted a snip of an original song that seemed to say she wanted a situation with “no strings attached.”