Caleb Kennedy American Idol finalist booted after KKK video emerges. A top five finalist is forced to leave the show after incriminating racist video is released on social media.
‘American Idol’ top-five finalist Caleb Kennedy has left the show after a video surfaced showing the contender sitting next to someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood.
The video went viral when YouTube comedian DefNoodles, whose real name is Dennis Feitosa, posted the video to Twitter at midnight on Tuesday. It soon went viral and ratcheted over 61K views, raising serious concerns over the aspiring performer’s credibility.
Addressing the video, Caleb Kennedy issued a statement saying he will no longer be moving forward in the competition.
The singer, 16, posted a statement about his departure on Instagram Wednesday.
‘Hey y’all, this is 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 meant to be taken in that way. 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. 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.’
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THIS SHOULD’VE STAYED IN YOUR DRAFTS: American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy allegedly seen in a resurfaced with someone wearing a KKK hood. Caleb is allegedly blocking anyone who mentions the video, according to multiple reports. pic.twitter.com/9OKHmvOCEB
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) May 12, 2021
Does Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body?
The remaining finalists include Willie Spence, Grace Kinstler, Chayce Beckham and Casey Bishop.
Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, gave a statement to MSN claiming that the video was taken when Kennedy was 12 and inspired by a movie he had seen.
‘I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,’ Guy said. ‘This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ and they were imitating those characters. It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know that’s how it looks. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.’
On Tuesday, Kennedy had posted an upbeat message on Instagram, thanking his followers for their support. ‘Hey guys! So glad to have y’all on the journey with me through #Americanidol,’ he wrote. ‘Also really happy to be in the studio working on songs!! I love you guys so much!!’
Almost star in the making
On the most recent episode this past Sunday, May 9, Kennedy performed a version of the Coldplay song ‘Violet Hill,’ plus an original tune, ‘Mama Said,’ according to Heavy.com.
The song led to panel judges including Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry calling Kennedy ‘gifted’ and predicting the song will be a ‘smash record.’ But that was before the KKK video surfaced days later.
Mid-afternoon Wednesday, the show posted a Twitter teaser that Billie Eilish’s brother Finneas would mentor finalists in the upcoming episode on Sunday, but it did not mention Kennedy’s ouster.
Kennedy’s rise to ‘almost fame’ came after the budding music star and high school sophomore from Roebuck, S.C., having grown a following with his live performances, according to the Herald-Journal, before auditioning for “American Idol” over Zoom.
Of note, former American Idol contestant, Wyatt Pike, 20, left the competition series after making the top 12, citing ‘personal reasons.’