Caleb Kennedy Says He “Wasn’t Ready” for the Pressure of ‘American Idol’
Season 19 American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy recently spoke with local news about his experience on the show. The 16-year-old country singer left the competition after a controversial video surfaced.
In the clip, recorded when Kennedy was 12 years old, he sits next to someone wearing what appears to be a white KKK hood. After his departure from the show, Idol removed his performances from YouTube.
Caleb Kennedy Talks About ‘American Idol’ Pressure
“You think it’s all going to be fun, and a lot of it is, but it will slap you in the face really quickly. I wasn’t ready for it,” Kennedy told local newspaper the Herald-Journal in South Carolina in a recent interview. “There’s no way to emotionally prepare for Idol. Because no one is ready for it, no matter how you prepare. But I don’t regret it, and I did love it.”
Despite the controversy surrounding his exit, Kennedy recently returned to the stage for a performance at a South Carolina restaurant. It was a packed show, and Kennedy even signed autographs for people during a meet and greet.
“On Idol, that wasn’t me,” Kennedy told the Herald-Journal about how he’s changed. “That world is so different. Now that I’m home, I try to be me, but I’m also scared of someone videoing me when I go to Academy or Wal-Mart. You have to worry about things like that now.”
Kennedy is Writing Songs About His ‘Idol’ Experience
Kennedy is a songwriter as well as a singer. He’s apparently started writing songs about his time on American Idol. He recently posted a clip on Instagram of himself singing a song called “May to June.” He shows off his gravelly voice and plays the guitar.
“Now I’ve spent a lot of time wasting time. Broke my mama’s heart and made her cry. One day I’ll make it right,” he sings on the track. The singer shared another verse from the song with the Herald-Journal: “Living like a rock star over on the west coast. Crazy how people change that claim to love you the most.”
Kennedy made it to the Top 5 of Idol Season 19. The season’s title ultimately went to 24-year-old Chayce Beckham, with Willie Spence finishing in second place.