The next big thing. Kenedi Anderson more than impressed the American Idol judges when she auditioned for the reality competition series in March 2022, with Luke Bryan declaring that she “might be the biggest star we’ve ever seen.”
“It was super cool,” the Virginia native said on the local news on March 4, teasing her appearance. “They were really great — the judges — at calming me down. I’m someone that loves humor and so they’re great at cracking jokes here and there, and it made me feel much more comfortable.”
Not long after she started singing, Perry was intrigued, perking up after the first note. After she finished, the “Roar” singer jokingly asked Anderson for her autograph. Perry subsequently admitted that she felt “threatened” by the teenager.
“They’re younger, they’re skinner, they’re prettier, they sing really good,” Perry quipped. “Siri, make an appointment at the plastic surgeon. I don’t know how you haven’t been recruited yet. … You check every box. Get ready to become your own hero.”
Bryan, meanwhile, noted his head was “spinning,” referring to her as a “five-star recruit.”
Richie added, “You don’t understand. We can sit here all day long and sing songs, but we are looking for the next ‘thing’ in the music business. You have graced us because your voice, your look, your sound. … You have answered our prayers.”
After declaring that “no doubt” Anderson would be in the top 10, the judges called in her mother to announce that the young performer was Hollywood-bound.
“I never thought that an opportunity like this would come my way,” Anderson said in her aforementioned interview with 8News on Friday. “I think that music is definitely my main passion, and I’m really excited to be able to share that with everyone now. … I just want to pursue a career in music. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I want to be able to go on tour one day. I want to be able to sell my own music. Keep writing music. Collab with other artists. I want a career in this so badly.”
Despite her strong start, Anderson decided to quit the reality show after her top 24 performance, which aired on April 11, 2022. She addressed her exit via Instagram after the episode, writing, “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. I’m so grateful to American Idol, the judges, the producers, the amazing contestants, and all the fans who have supported me. 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 making lifelong friends along the way.”
20-year-old Kentucky native Noah Thompson became the winner of American Idol season 20 on May 22.
Scroll through for five things to know about Anderson: