‘American Idol’ Finalist Caleb Kennedy Quits Following Controversial Video


ABC/Christopher Willard

Caleb Kennedy, one of the top five contestants on ABC’s “American Idol” season 19 left the show following a KKK-themed video surfacing, according to TMZ.

The 16-year-old contestant posted on Instagram and Twitter that he would no longer be a part of the competition.

Kennedy recently worked on a single for the show titled “Raised On Dirt,” which was slated to be released in the upcoming episode.

Read on to learn more about Kennedy’s exit from the show.


Kennedy Apologized For His Actions

“Hey y’all, this gonna be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer gonna be on ‘American Idol,’” he wrote. “There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not to be taken in that way.”

He added, “I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. 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.”

The singer said he was sorry.

“I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect,” he concluded. “Thank you for supporting me.”

It’s not yet clear if “American Idol” will still release Kennedy’s single, which was set to be debuted on the Sunday, May 16 episode. The song was called “Raised on Dirt,” according to a spoiler posted on Twitter.


‘American Idol’ Will Continue With the Top Four Contestants

Kennedy was just voted into the top five of the competition on Sunday, May 9, 2021. It’s not clear if the competition will proceed with only the top four remaining performers or if they will bring another contestant back. The top four contestants are currently Grace Kinstler, Willie Spence, Chayce Beckham and Casey Bishop.

TMZ sources say that the upcoming episode will feature only four singers with one to be eliminated at the end of the show rather than two.

Here’s what the schedule for the rest of the season looks like:

  • Sunday, May 16: Top Five Performances, Live Vote & Top Three Announced
  • Sunday, May 23: Three-Hour Season Finale, Live Vote & Winner announced

At the time of writing, there is no clear-cut front-runner in the competition. Following the most recent episode, GoldDerby reported that polls from viewers show that the competition is now anyone’s to win.

Earlier on in the season, the clear front-runner was Grace Kinstler, who made Luke Bryan cry during her audition with just her voice and went on to stun viewers with her vocals. Now, according to the outlet, Kinstler isn’t the front-runner and may not even make the top three if the current trend holds out.

At the time of writing, GoldDerby’s odds has Grace Kinstler and Willie Spence tied in the front spot followed by Casey Bishop and Chayce Beckham, who are also tied. Then, Caleb Kennedy rounds out the pack with most viewers polled saying they do not believe he will make it to the top three.

The next season of “American Idol” will likely air in the fall of 2021.

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“American Idol” airs on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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