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Caleb Kennedy Returns to the Stage After Controversial ‘American Idol’ Exit

Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate

Caleb Kennedy performsEric McCandless

Caleb Kennedy left Season 19 of American Idol after making it to the Top 5 when a controversial video surfaced online. Over the weekend, he made his on-stage return at Wings Etc. in his home state of South Carolina. Despite his American Idol experience shockingly coming to an end, a packed crowd joined him at the restaurant in Boiling Springs.


Caleb Kennedy Performs South Carolina Show One Month After Getting Kicked Off of ‘American Idol’

Caleb held a meet and greet before the show where he got to connect with his fans and sign autographs. He performed his original song “Raised on Dirt,” which he worked on with Ross Copperman before he left American Idol. Caleb was supposed to perform the song during the Top 5 episode. An accompanying music video was also in the works, but neither were released.

Chayce Beckham, who also worked with Copperman on his original song “23,” was crowned the winner of Season 19. Caleb announced he would be going on a social media hiatus in May after the video of him sitting next to someone in what appears to be a white KKK hood went viral. All eyes are on the country singer now as he reemerges on the music scene less than a month later.

Prior to Caleb going out on stage, he needed a hug from his mom, Anita Guy. He took on some huge country hits and his original song “I Miss My Buddies” during his set. Caleb picked young fan Paisleeigh Sims out of the crowd. He performed her favorite song “Nowhere” as she sat on stage.


“It feels good to be back, but different and little more nerve-wracking with so many more people,” Caleb said about his big return to the stage.

Caleb was a regular performer at Wings Etc. before heading off on his American Idol journey. Videos and photos from the event posted on Twitter show a room flooded with people. Fans of the 16-year-old stood behind the chairs and off to the sides of the stage. Several people even gave standing ovations throughout the show. Though he will no longer be backed by American Idol if the Season 19 contestants ever go on tour, he does have the support of his hometown to fall back on.


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About the Author

Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is the Talent Guru here at Talent Recap. Her work has been featured at The Blast. Samantha graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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