Three teen talents from “American Idol,” who created a strong bond behind the scenes while filming season 20, just reunited to perform and do a magazine photo shoot together. The trio included 18-year-old Kenedi Anderson, who abruptly left the competition despite being one of the judges’ favorite contestants. Here’s the latest on the reunion show and the teens’ plans…
Inside Anderson’s Unexpected Journey on ‘Idol’
During initial auditions for season 20 of “Idol,” Anderson was one of three contestants who impressed the judges so much that they were awarded a platinum ticket, which granted the three immunity during the first round of Hollywood Week. The other platinum ticket winners were Jay Copeland, who made it to the Top 7, and HunterGirl, who was runner-up to winner Noah Thompson.
Anderson, who was a high school senior when she auditioned, sailed through the early competition, but after making it into the Top 24, she abruptly left the show, shocking the judges and fans. On April 11, 2022, she shared via Instagram that she felt she could no longer continue.
“For personal reasons, I’m unable to continue on ‘American Idol,’” she wrote. “This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary. I’m so grateful to American Idol, the judges, the producers, the amazing contestants and all the fans who have supported me.”
She added, “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 went on to graduate from Western Albemarle High School in Cozet, Virginia, posting Instagram photos from the milestone event in June. She has also posted videos of herself playing acoustic covers and original tunes, as well as trips to Los Angeles and Nashville.
Teen Contestants Reunite for Concert & Magazine Shoot
In early September, Anderson reunited with two of her besties from the show, whom she bonded with during long days of rehearsals: 17-year-old Emerson Flora, who reached the Top 10, and 16-year-old Paige Fish, who was eliminated after the Showstopper round.
The trio and their moms met up in Provo, Utah, where Fish and her family live. On September 8, they had a nearly sold-out show at the Velour in downtown Provo. Emyrson posted videos to her Instagram Stories of the three harmonizing together on stage and Fish shared photos of the packed venue and the concert to her Instagram feed.
The girlfriends also did a photo shoot and brief interview with Our Era Magazine, which revealed that the girls grew close quickly as they spent long days together rehearsing and doing school work since they were all still in school.
“It’s really rare to find people in your day-to-day life who love music as much as you,” Anderson said.
Flora, the youngest contestant to ever make it into “Idol’s” Top 10, said that bonding backstage with other teens kept her grounded. She said, “I just kind of felt home for the first time when I was with Kenedi and Paige.”
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Flora just started her senior year at Walsh Jesuit, a Catholic college prep school in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She returned to Hollywood for the grand finale of “Idol,” and also told Our Era she’s been working on new music and networking with people in the business.
Anderson also shared that she hopes to release new music in the near future.
“I’m really excited to actually release music,” she told Our Era. “I’ve been writing some of my favorite songs I’ve ever done and I can’t wait to share them with the world.”