American Idol season 21 contestant Kaylin Hedges received a Platinum Ticket from the judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, but they later eliminated her after Hollywood Week at the Final Judgment. Kaylin, a 15-year-old high school student from Pound Ridge, New York, auditioned in Nashville. She impressed and moved the judges with her emotional rendition of “I’m Already There,” by Lonestar, which she dedicated to father. Kaylin shared that her dad deployed with the military in order to help her get to New York. He surprised her and her mom by coming to her audition.
In an Instagram post, Kaylin reacted to her shocking American Idol Hollywood Week elimination. She shared a video of clips from her journey on the show, along with behind-the-scenes moments.
The background music to the video is her new original song called “Ugly Duckling,” which is about turning into a swan. In the caption, she wrote, “I’ve grown in ways I never thought possible! I am so grateful for this experience on @americanidol but furthermore I am grateful I got to find who I was at the end of it.” Kaylin admitted that the American Idol Platinum Ticket didn’t increase her confidence, but had the reverse effect.
American Idol’s Kaylin Hedges Felt Imposter Syndrome
Kaylin confessed, “I struggled a lot during the show on my confidence. I know you would think the platinum ticket would have done that but really it actually had the opposite effect and made me doubt myself even more and wonder why they picked me. Imposter syndrome is real guys and I fell so hard to that!” However, Kaylin revealed that after she went home, she realized that she “had to go through that battle to find myself” and “to know I’m good enough!” Kaylin shared that she wrote “Ugly Duckling” to give her younger sister advice about how to find herself, but she realized she needed it too.
During Hollywood Week, Kaylin earned the privilege of sitting out the first round along with her fellow American Idol Platinum Ticket winners, Tyson Venegas, Cam Amen, and America’s Platinum Ticket winner Elijah McCormick. They also received the opportunity to choose their partners first for the duets round. Kaylin and Tyson teamed up to sing, “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. During the Showstopper round, she sang “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal. Although Kaylin’s performances were wonderful, and she is a very talented singer, the judges ultimately decided that she would not make the Top 24.
Kaylin’s American Idol elimination before the voting rounds was truly shocking. Platinum Ticket winners are usually frontrunners in the competition, especially because the judges decide early on that they are the best of the best of the season. It is very surprising that the judges changed their minds about Kaylin’s American Idol readiness. Kaylin is an experienced performer who has even starred in musicals, to much acclaim, including the lead role in the Hollywood Bowl’s production of Annie. As a teenager, Kaylin has a bright future ahead of her. And, because she didn’t make it to the voting rounds, hopefully she will return to American Idol next season.
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.
Source: Kaylin Hedges/Instagram