The 17-year-old Virginian had received the coveted platinum ticket as judge Luke Bryan predicted she'd be in the Top 10.
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LIONEL RICHIE, KATY PERRY, RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN

What's American Idol without a few twists to the game along the way?

In a shocking move, contestant Kenedi Anderson, considered a frontrunner in the music competition show after scoring a platinum ticket from the judges, has abruptly dropped out of the running.

Monday night's episode aired Anderson's latest performance, a cover of Christina Perri's "Human," and host Ryan Seacrest made the announcement directly after.

"You might have noticed that there was no voting information during Kenedi's performance just now," Seacrest said to camera. "Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons. We send her our well-wishes, and needless to say, we have incredible talent on this historic season, with more iconic Idol performance coming up for you right now."

KENEDI ANDERSON
'American Idol' frontrunner Kenedi Anderson drops out of the competition, citing "personal reasons."
| Credit: Karen Neal/ABC

Anderson later released a statement on her Instagram page saying she's "unable to continue on American Idol."

"This has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, but I know it's necessary," she said. "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, a 17-year-old resident of Crozet, Virginia, instantly wowed judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and a Lionel Richie with her audition. She sat at the piano to deliver a soulful cover of Lady Gaga's "Applause."

"I need two backstage passes right now," Richie said after hearing her perform.

"I believe you might be the biggest star we've ever seen," Bryan said. "No doubt, I believe, Top 10."

"She was born to be a star," Perry remarked.

The judges decided to award Anderson one of three platinum tickets, a new element of American Idol that not only sent her through to Hollywood Week but also got her past the first round of cuts.

The teen went on to deliver impressive performances of Bill Withers' "Lean on Me," a duet she sang with contestant Jordan Chase; and Bruno Mars' "Talking to the Moon" for the showstoppers round.

Watch the audition that started it all above.

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LIONEL RICHIE, KATY PERRY, RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN
American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

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