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American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy has exited the competition after a video resurfaced on social media of Kennedy sitting next to and filming someone who appears to be wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. “American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy will no longer be moving forward in the competition. Sunday’s episode will feature the Top 4 with one contestant elimination,” the show confirmed to People and Variety. Kennedy addressed the situation on Instagram, writing in a statement, “There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.” He continued, “I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down.”
Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that the clip was taken out of context, and claimed that Kennedy and his friend were imitating characters from the horror movie The Strangers: Prey at Night. “It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know that’s how it looks. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body,” Guy said. Neither of the contestants eliminated last week, Arthur Gunn and Hunter Metts, will be returning to American Idol to take Kennedy’s place. This Sunday’s episode will instead feature the remaining four semifinalists, Chayce Beckham, Casey Bishop, Grace Kinstler, and Willie Spence.