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‘American Idol’ Fan Favorite Kenedi Anderson Drops Out of Competition for ‘Personal Reasons’

Anderson drew praise for her version of Lady Gaga’s ”Applause“ in her audition

“American Idol” contestant Kenedi Anderson advanced to this season’s Top 24 and seemed poised to go all the way to the finale, so her announcement on Monday night that she is dropping out of the competition shocked viewers.

In an Instagram post, the 17-year-old wrote, “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.”

She thanked the judges, producers, fellow contestants and fans who supported her during this “amazing opportunity.”

After her pre-taped Top 24 performance of Christina Perri’s “Human” on Sunday’s episode, host Ryan Seacrest explained why fans were unable to vote for her. “You might have noticed that there was no voting information during Kenedi’s performance just now. Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons. We send her well wishes.”

“We are disappointed to see Kenedi leave, but we are excited to watch this celebratory 20th season unfold with the incredible talent vying to be the next ‘American Idol,’” a rep for Fremantle Media, which produces the ABC series, told TVLine in a statement.

Anderson wowed the judges with her audition as she delivered an unforgettable version of Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” showing off not only her voice, but her skill at the piano. The audition earned her a Platinum Ticket, so it was no surprise when she made it to the Top 24.