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American Idol judges talk Kenedi Anderson leaving the series

Kenedi Anderson talks to Bebe Rexha on American Idol
Kenedi Anderson talks to Bebe Rexha on American Idol. Pic credit: ABC

Kenedi Anderson quit American Idol after reaching the Top 24 round.

While she performed and would have moved on in the competition, she chose to leave the show after that performance and the fans didn’t get a chance to vote on her.

The only hints about why she left were in a song clip Kenedi shared on TikTok before deleting about having better options — possibly referring to the locked-in contracts with American Idol for the winners.

Fans have been split on social media, with some saying she did what was best for her and others saying they won’t support her in the future since she felt she was bigger than the show.

The three judges had been silent about Kenedi Anderson leaving American Idol until now.

American Idol judges respond to Kenedi Anderson leaving the show

While Kenedi Anderson left a message explaining that she left the show, she never said why – only that it was a personal decision.

In an interview with the American Idol judges by USA Today, Lionel Richie said, “We were heartbroken,” adding that Anderson’s potential “was unbelievable.”

When the three judges awarded her a Platinum Ticket, it allowed her to skip a round in Hollywood and then choose her duet partner in the next round. It also made her a favorite to make it to the finals.

However, Katy Perry said this was a chance for other singers to step up and prove they belong.

“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,” Katy said.

“It’s just really another opportunity for one of these incredible contestants, and we wish nothing but the best for her,” she continued. “I say #GBHOJ: God bless her on her journey. Oh, I missed an H. But you know what I’m saying.”

While many feel Kenedi left to get a better recording deal, Lionel hinted that the pressure is too much for some people.

“Singing is the easy part,” Lionel said. “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.”

Did Kenedi Anderson steal a chance for someone else?

One thing that many people believe is that Kenedi Anderson used American Idol to make her name and then left when enough people heard her singing.

However, by quitting the show when she did, there were some people who lost out on big opportunities.

For one thing, someone else could have gotten the Platinum Ticket and had the advantage in Hollywood Week. For another, she took the place of someone in the Top 24 that could have moved to that round in her place, and then faced the fan votes to move on.

However, despite this, Luke Bryan said the judges wished her the best.

“These kids, they got a lot coming at ’em,” Luke said. “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.”

American Idol airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

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