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The 17-year-old American Idol frontrunner who sensationally quit the show after becoming the favorite to win has released a new original song on TikTok just days after walking away from the competition series – sparking a flurry of rumors that she has signed a record deal.
Singing sensation Kenedi Anderson, from Crozet, Virginia, left American Idol fans and judges devastated when she suddenly announced on Monday that she was withdrawing from the competition because of ‘personal reasons’.
As yet, the teenager has yet to share what those personal reasons are, however a new series of TikTok posts shared to her account have left many fans speculating that she has signed a contract with a major record label – prompting her to quit the show that she was primed to win.
Kenedi – who received a standing ovation from all three judges during her initial audition, earning herself a coveted Platinum Ticket that allowed her to bypass subsequent rounds of the show – took to the social media site on Wednesday to share a taster of what fans can expect now that she has quit American Idol.
‘Here is the chorus of a song I wrote not too long ago,’ she explains at the start of the clip, which she filmed while playing the piano.
American Idol frontrunner Kenedi Anderson, 17, has sparked a flurry of speculation that she’s signed a record deal after suddenly quitting the show on Monday
The teenager, from Crozet, Virginia, took to TikTok on Wednesday to share a video of herself singing an original song – which details her need to ‘find something better than she had’
The teenager then bursts into song, warning her followers that the ballad is ‘a little loud’ at the beginning.
‘I need to find, need to find something better than what I had, and with no strings attached,’ she sings. ‘Don’t I deserve that? Something with no strings attached.’
After finishing with a drawn-out note, she closes her eyes, before telling her fans: ‘That’s all you get.’
Within seconds of the video going live, viewers began flooding the comments section with praise for the singer – as well as furious speculation that she quit American Idol because she has signed a record deal.
Others suggested that she was sending a clear message about her thoughts on the show with the lyrics of her song, with one writing: ‘Y’all, listen to the lyrics of this song. I think it answers your question as to why she quit!’
‘Hope you got a better opportunity than what American Idol would have given you,’ another chimed in. ‘You are way more than them!’
A third then wrote: ‘Rumor has it you got a record deal….? Congrats if so.’
Many viewers have suggested that the lyrics of the song are a thinly-veiled hint as to why she left the show so suddenly
The teenager had been tipped as the favorite to win the competition, before withdrawing from American Idol for ‘personal reasons’
Earlier in the day, she shared a video gushing about her fans – whom she has named ‘Kenicats’
In a video shared earlier today, Kenedi paid tribute to her fans – whom she has named ‘Kenicats’ – writing in the caption: ‘I love my Kenicats.’
Once again the comments section was filled with speculation from TikTok users about Kenedi’s rumored record deal, with one person asking: ‘Did you get a record deal?!?’
News of Kenedi’s sudden withdrawal from the reality show came shortly after she received a standing ovation from all three judges for her latest performance – an emotional rendition of Christina Perri’s hit Human, which was pre-recorded for Monday night’s episode in Hawaii.
Just moments after her performance was aired, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced that Kenedi, from Crozet, Virginia, had pulled out of contention, telling viewers: ‘Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons. We send her well wishes.’
The teenager also released a statement about her decision, writing on Instagram: ‘For personal reasons, I’m unable to continue on. This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary.’
She did not share further detail about the ‘personal reasons’ that prompted her withdrawal.
Personal reasons: Kenedi shockingly dropped out of American Idol for ‘personal reasons’ on Monday’s episode after becoming a frontrunner as a Platinum Ticket winner
Hawaii performance: The singer had performed Human by Christina Perri for the judges
The teenage singing sensation – who was unanimously awarded a Platinum Ticket by judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan after the first round of the competition – went on to pay tribute to the American Idol team and her many fans.
‘I’m so grateful to American Idol, the judges, the producers, the amazing contestants, and all the fans who have supported me,’ she continued.
‘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.’
Speaking ahead of her performance – which was pre-taped and then aired on Monday night – Kenedi opened up about the ‘vulnerability’ of the song, explaining that she felt as though she was able to ‘connect’ to that aspect of the writing.
‘Christina wrote it in a very vulnerable way, so I think that I can connect to it really well emotionally,’ she said.
‘This has been one of the best weeks of my life already,’ Kenedi said in a confessional. ‘This experience is just overwhelming in the best way possible.’
The teenage singer got the surprise of a lifetime when she received a FaceTime from Human singer Christina ahead of her performance, with the chart-topper wishing the youngster luck before she made her way out on stage.
‘I heard you were singing my song this week and I wanted to say hi!’ Christina told an emotional Kenedi. ‘Listen, I can’t wait to hear it. I wanted to wish you the best of luck.’
‘I hope I do it justice,’ Kenedi said to her.
Social media: Kenedi also posted on Instagram on Sunday about leaving the ABC singing competition show
Great experience: ‘This has been one of the best weeks of my life already,’ Kenedi said in a confessional. ‘This experience is just overwhelming in the best way possible’
Good luck: Singer-songwriter Christina also called Kenedi during the show to wish her good luck. Kenedi was shocked
After Kenedi’s performance, Ryan came on the screen to explain the reason why there was no voting information for Kenedi and that instead of 12 contestants to vote on for Monday’s show competing on the episode that was filmed on location at Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii that there would only be 11.
Well wishes: ‘Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons,’ host Ryan Seacrest said. ‘We send her well wishes’
Kenedi’s decision to quit the talent competition comes weeks after she wowed judges in her initial audition – prompting Luke to declare that she ‘might be the biggest star we’ve ever seen’.
The teen performed a soulful rendition of Lady Gaga’s Applause, singing and playing piano for the judges, after opening up about her home life to the cameras.
Kenedi explained that she ‘moved a lot because of her dad’s job’ as a child, adding that she is ‘never in one place for a long time’ because of her father, Virginia football coach Justin Anderson’s job.
‘I have been moving basically my whole life,’ she explained. ‘It’s so hard starting over and readjusting to new places. It’s tough sometimes, it really is, and it can get really lonely.’
However she noted that having a ‘big family’ has helped her to cope with the constant upheaval, adding: ‘Having a big family has helped me a lot. I’m one of six children, [I’m] the second oldest.
‘We’re pretty close and we’ve been through a lot together. Everyone in my family is really athletic and I’m the musical one.
‘Music really is my therapy. Whenever I’m frustrated, whenever I’m feeling down, music has always been the one thing that has stuck with me, no matter what.’
During her first audition, Kenedi quickly became a frontrunner in the competition after earning a Platinum Ticket with her rendition of Lady Gaga’s Applause
The teenager earned a standing ovation from all three judges – and Luke told her that she ‘might be the biggest star we’ve ever seen’
Kenedi continued to go from strength to strength on the talent series, landing herself a spot in the top 24, before choosing to withdraw herself from the competition
Her performance left all three judges open-mouthed in shock – and earned her a standing ovation from the stunned trio, with Katy telling the teenager that she was shocked she hadn’t already been ‘recruited’ by a talent agency or record label.
‘I don’t know how you haven’t been recruited yet. You check every box and a lot of all of them. Get ready to become your own hero,’ she told Kenedi, as the teen broke down in tears.
The popstar then joked that she was incredibly envious of Kenedi – not only because of her talent, but because of her youth and looks, joking that the teen was ‘younger, skinnier, prettier’ than her.
Lionel was equally impressed with Kenedi’s audition, telling her: ‘You don’t understand, we can sit here all day long and sing songs, what we’re looking for is the next thing in the music business.
‘You have graced us because your voice, your look, your sound… if that’s 17 years old then congratulations. You’ve answered our prayers.’
Meanwhile Luke chimed in: ‘I believe you might be the biggest star we’ve ever seen, no doubt, I believe top ten. I truly believe your musical journey for the rest of your life just started right here.’
Kenedi was accompanied at the audition by her mother, who was seen happily congratulating her daughter after she claimed her Platinum Ticket.
Kenedi – whose father Justin is a University of Virginia football coach – attended her initial audition with her mother (left), who has six children including the teenager