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'American Idol' Judges React to Caleb Kennedy's Exit Over Controversial Video

'American Idol' Judges React to Caleb Kennedy's Exit Over Controversial Video

The judges from American Idol are breaking their silence on the controversy surrounding contestant Caleb Kennedy‘s abrupt exit from the show last week.

If you missed it, the 16-year-old singer was cut from the competition after a video surfaced of him sitting next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan-style white hood.

Just hours after the video went viral, Caleb announced that he would be leaving the show and taking a break from social media to better himself.

Click inside to see what the judges are saying…

American Idol judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan

After Sunday night’s live episode, during which the Top 4 performed and then became the Top 3, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan spoke out for the first time with their thoughts on the controversy.

Luke told People, “First and foremost, as judges, we love these kids. We get emotionally involved in these kids. We want the best for Caleb. As far as the nuances on how ABC gets viewed, either way, decisions got made and it’s our job as judges to show up and do our best job and comment on the kids who are in front of us. But we wish nothing but the best for Caleb. It does make for a very, very challenging and upsetting week.”

Lionel said, “A lot of times, we think about it, we grow up and we make mistakes and we look at our life behind us many times and we say, ‘God, what was I thinking about when I did that?’ This was one of those situations where we kind of give him a big hug from the three of us. He has definitely has a talent. The problem is, this is one of those unfortunate decisions that had to be made and we move on. But this will be remembered in his lifetime and he’ll know what it’s all about.”

See how the show addressed Caleb‘s exit during the live show on Sunday.

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