After American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy exited the singing competition over a controversial video, judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan kept a tight lid on their reaction to both the news of his exit as well as the video. Now all three have broken their silence and let loose with what they really think about the situation.
Caleb Kennedy’s Scandal Clearly Hit The ‘American Idol’ Judges Hard
The judges spoke to People after last night’s semi-final episode to explain their reaction to the controversy surrounding former contestant Caleb Kennedy. The 16-year-old singing hopeful exited the competition after a video showing the teen seated beside someone dressed disturbingly similar to a Ku Klux Klan member. Kennedy addressed the scandal shortly after his departure from the competition was made public.
“I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse,” he wrote in a statement posted to Instagram. “I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I let down.” He also announced that he’d be taking time away from social media.
Surprisingly Supportive Statements From Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan, who recently rejoined the show after being out with COVID-19, said that he and the other judges “love these kids,” adding, “We get emotionally involved in these kids. We want the best for Caleb.” As for the decision made by ABC execs to part with Kennedy, Bryan didn’t have much to say but, “we wish nothing but the best for Caleb.”
Lionel Richie, who’s raised three children of his own, struck a sympathetic tone when he spoke about the teen, saying, “A lot of times, we think about it, we grow up and we make mistakes and we look at our life behind us many times and we say, ‘God, what was I thinking about when I did that?’ This was one of those situations where we kind of give him a big hug from the three of us.”
Richie acknowledged that Kennedy “definitely” has talent, but the situation proved to be “one of those unfortunate decisions that had to be made and we move on.” This is the second scandal to befall an American Idol contestant this season. After his elimination from the competition, Cecil Ray allegedly forced his way into his ex’s home in an ill-advised attempt to see his daughter. Several days after the incident, Ray was arrested and charged with a second-degree felony. It seems like there’s never a dull moment when it comes to this season of the show.
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