Kenedi Anderson is out of American Idol.
But she hasn’t been voted out.
The 17-year-old revealed the shocking news on Instagram Monday after her pre-taped Top 24 performance aired, in which the season 20 frontrunner sang a beautiful rendition of Christina Perri’s song “Human.”
“Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons,” host Ryan Seacrest explained briefly on air.
“We send her well wishes.”
Anderson didn’t delve into the specifics behind her decision.
She did write the following online, however:
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 make lifelong friends along the way.
Anderson first grabbed the attention of viewers — as well as judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan — with her amazing piano-based cover of Lady Gaga’s “Applause” during the show’s auditions.
The performanced earned Anderson a standing ovation from the aforementioned panel.
“I mean, my head is spinning,” Bryan said after Anderson’s audition, while Perry chimed in as follows:
“I’m threatened! They’re younger, they’re prettier, they sing really good! You check every box. And a lot of all of them. Get ready to become your own hero.
Added Richie after Anderson’s audition, one of the best in show history:
“You don’t understand. We can sit here all day long and sing songs, but we are looking for the next ‘thing’ in the music business. You have graced us because your voice, your look, your sound…
“You have answered our prayers.”
Anderson was one of only three contestants this season to earn the show’s newest honor this year, the Platinum Ticket.
An upgrade from a standard Golden Ticket, this ticket permitted its holders to skip the first round of Hollywood Week. Yes, she was that good.
“I never thought that an opportunity like this would come my way,” Anderson said in an earlier interview with Virginia 8News, an outlet near her hometown.
“I think that music is definitely my main passion, and I’m really excited to be able to share that with everyone now. … I just want to pursue a career in music.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I want to be able to go on tour one day.
“I want to be able to sell my own music. Keep writing music. Collab with other artists. I want a career in this so badly.”
Production company Fremantle Media, meanwhile, expressed its own sadness in losing Kenedi via a statement to TV Line, while also pivoting back to the remaining 23 contestants.
“We are disappointed to see Kenedi leave,” it reads.
“But we are excited to watch this celebratory 20th season unfold with the incredible talent vying to be the next American Idol.”