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'American Idol' favorite Kenedi Anderson leaves show, citing 'personal reasons'

“This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary,” Anderson, 17, wrote on Instagram.
Kenedi Anderson
Kenedi Anderson on "American Idol"Eric McCandless / ABC

Kenedi Anderson, a 17-year-old front-runner on "American Idol," announced she is leaving the show for "personal reasons."

"I'm unable to continue on American Idol," she wrote Monday on Instagram. "This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary."

She continued: “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 make lifelong friends along the way."

Anderson did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest confirmed her departure in a clip that aired during Monday's episode.

"You might have noticed that there was no voting information during Kenedi's performance just now," Seacrest said. "Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons.

"We send her well wishes, and needless to say, we have incredible talent on this historic season, with more iconic 'Idol' performances coming up for you right now," he added.

Anderson won both fans and judges alike with her audition rendering of Lady Gaga's "Applause" — earning her one of the three platinum tickets that moved her past the first rounds of elimination and sent her straight to Hollywood.