American Idol Judges React to Caleb Kennedy Exit ‘Challenging, Upsetting’

AMERICAN IDOL - "418 (My Personal Idol/Artist Singles)" - "American Idol" gets closer to crowning its winner as the top four become the top three who will head to the finale on a live coast-to-coast episode airing SUNDAY, MAY 16 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless) LUKE BRYAN
(ABC/Eric McCandless) LUKE BRYAN

On last night’s American Idol semi-final, host Ryan Seacrest barely mentioned that Caleb Kennedy was no longer a contestant. But after the episode aired coast-to-coast, judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan shared their thoughts on Caleb’s shocking ouster with the media. So far, Katy Perry hasn’t commented.

“First and foremost, as judges, we love these kids,” Luke told People. “We get emotionally involved in these kids. We want the best for Caleb. As far as the nuances on how ABC gets viewed, either way, decisions got made and it’s our job as judges to show up and do our best job and comment on the kids who are in front of us. But we wish nothing but the best for Caleb. It does make for a very, very challenging and upsetting week.”

“You know, we love these kids, we love every aspect of their growth and all of this, but it’s certainly devastating news when we hear about this,” Luke told Entertainment Tonight. “But like we said, our thoughts will be with him as he grows as an artist.”

“We grow up and we make mistakes”

“A lot of times, we think about it, we grow up and we make mistakes and we look at our life behind us many times and we say, ‘God, what was I thinking about when I did that?’ This was one of those situations where we kind of give him a big hug from the three of us,” Lionel told People. “He has definitely has a talent. The problem is, this is one of those unfortunate decisions that had to be made and we move on. But this will be remembered in his lifetime and he’ll know what it’s all about.”

“Well losing great talent is always [hard]… this is our class. This is the class of 2021. So, you know, it was an unfortunate situation,” Lionel told Entertainment Tonight. “We had to ride with what’s happening with ABC, and you know that’s where we play. So you know we wish him all the best, but that was just one of those unfortunate things that happens along the way of life.”

Very uncontroversial and PR friendly statements from Luke and Lionel.

American Idol disqualified Caleb after controversial video surfaced

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, American Idol disqualified Caleb Kennedy from competition after a video surfaced depicting him sitting next to a person wearing a white hood similar to the K*K*K uniform. Caleb took to Instagram to apologize for his actions and to say he was stepping away from social media for awhile.

“Hey y’all this is going to be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer going to be on American Idol,” Caleb wrote. “There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.” The singer added, “I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I want to say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down.” Caleb continued, “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.”

About mj santilli 32217 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!