Caleb Kennedy American Idol
Source: ABC

'American Idol' Contestant Caleb Kennedy Has Been Eliminated Due to Incriminating Video

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May. 12 2021, Published 8:28 p.m. ET

Breaking news: 16-year-old American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy has left the show during its 19th season because an older video of him posing with someone dressed in a Ku Klux Klan hood has surfaced. It comes as a shock to everyone, and it looks like this upcoming episode on Sunday will only feature the top four singers and one elimination. 

Here's everything you need to know about the situation.

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What happened to Caleb Kennedy from 'American Idol'?

Caleb Kennedy has been eliminated from American Idol because someone posted a clip (it looks like an old Snap) of him and an individual who looks like they're wearing a KKK hood. According to Caleb's mother, Anita Guy, Caleb was 12 when this was filmed, and he and the person he was with were watching the horror film The Strangers: Prey at Night, in which a villain has a white sack over his head.

caleb kennedy
Source: Instagram
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“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online. 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," Anita told the Herald-Journal.

caleb statement
Source: Twitter
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Caleb has already made a statement, saying:

“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. 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.”

The former American Idol contestant hails from Roebuck, S.C., and stood out from the other contestants when he sang a song he wrote himself called "Nowhere." He told Luke Bryan that he writes new music "every day," which deeply impressed the judges. Katy Perry told him she thought he had "something real special," and even Lionel Richie himself said Caleb had a "storyteller's voice."

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During the May 9 episode of American Idol, Caleb gave Coldplay's song "Violet Hill" a country remix. Katy Perry's reaction was that his rendition "scared her, but in a good way because it was that good." 

Due to Caleb being underage now and underage when the video was taken, Distractify will not be posting or sharing it here.

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