Ryan Seacrest announced her decision after airing her previously recorded Top 24 performance, citing "personal reasons" -- Kenedi Anderson expanded in a statement of her own.
"American Idol" fans were stunned during Monday night's broadcast of the Top 24 performance episodes to learn that one contestant had made the decision to leave the competition. Even more shocking, she was one of the de facto frontrunners.
Kenedi Anderson's performance was shown during the pre-recorded broadcast, but Ryan Seacrest showed up on the screen afterward to explain why there was no voting information provided for her.
"Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons," he explained briefly. "We send her well wishes."
Production company Fremantle Media expressed their disappointment in losing Kenedi as well, while also pivoting focus back on the remaining 23 contestants in a statement of their own, received by TVLine.
"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."
After the episode aired, Anderson posted a longer statement to her Instagram account, where she again cited "personal reasons" as her reason for withdrawing from the competition ahead of the live rounds.
"This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary," Anderson shared, expressing gratitude for everyone involved in the show's production, as well as the fans she picked up along the way.
"Thank you for giving me such an amazing opportunity to share my voice, chase my dreams, feel so much joy and happiness doing what I love, and make lifelong friends along the way," she concluded.
Anderson was one of only three contestants to earn the show's newest honor this year, the Platinum Ticket. An upgrade from a standard Golden Ticket, this ticket allowed its holders to skip the first round of Hollywood Week.
Even better, the recipients were allowed to choose their partners for the Duet round, while everyone else was subject to whomever the judges opted to pair them with. All three Platinum Ticket holders sailed through Hollywood Week, with many predicting Kenedi the likeliest winner of the whole season.
You can check out her full message below, followed by that Platinum-winning audition on "American Idol":
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