‘American Idol’ finalist leaves show over KKK video

The finalist took to Instagram to apologize to his fans and announce his social media hiatus amid the controversy

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Due to a leaked video, American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy has officially lost his shot to be the next winner of the famed competition.

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Caleb Kennedy was a top-five finalist on the latest season of American Idol. With a strong country-rock voice, the singer seemed to have wowed the judges and fans alike with his musical abilities. Ahead of the final episodes of the season, however, Kennedy has reportedly left the competition after a controversial video from the singer’s past resurfaced online.

Caleb Kennedy on American idol Youtube: Talent Recap

In the video circulating around social media, the American Idol contestant is sitting next to someone who appears to be in a KKK hood. Kennedy posted on his Instagram account to explain why he will no longer appear on the latest season of American Idol despite making it pretty far in the competition.

In a lengthy notes-style Instagram post, the singer wrote, “Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer gonna be on American Idol. There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.” 

Further explaining the reasoning and mindset at the time the video was recorded, he explained, “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.” 

Kennedy continued in the post, explaining that he plans on taking a social media hiatus and hopes he can someday earn “trust and respect” again.

He 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.”

Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, recently spoke to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal to defend her son.

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She shared in a statement, “I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online…his 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.” 

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