American Idol is back and contestant Kenedi Anderson blew the judges and audience at home away with her performance of Lady Gaga’s “Applause.”
Kenedi Anderson impressed the judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan so much so, they awarded her the second Platinum ticket of Season 20, sending her straight to Hollywood.
Viewers also recognized Kenedi Anderson as a result of her very famous father, Justin Anderson.
Newsweek has everything you need to know about Kenedi, her father Justin, and her breathtaking American Idol audition.
Who is Kenedi Anderson’s Dad, Justin Anderson?
Kenedi Anderson’s father, Justin Anderson is a professional American Football coach and former player.
In the early 2000s Anderson, played wide receiver at BYU (Brigham Young University) in Utah after starting his career at Ricks (Idaho) College. With the Cougars, he was a part of the 2001 Mountain West Conference championship squad that went on to compete in the Liberty Bowl.
After graduation from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2009, he joined as a graduate assistant coach. Anderson also obtained his master’s in communication from BYU in 2012.
From 2010 to 2015 he worked as an assistant coach and later assistant head coach at FCS member Nicholls State University and as the NFL liaison.
He then went on to serve as a director of player personnel at the Virginia Cavaliers for six years. According to his official bio, the Cavaliers earned bowl eligibility in four of the last five seasons when Justin Anderson was working at Virginia.
Today, he is the coach of East Carolina University (ECU) football team and the University’s Football Director of Player Personnel and Recruiting.
He and his wife, Anne, have five children: Dakota, Kenedi, Rubee, Peyton, Jayce, and Jackson.
Following the airing of his second oldest daughter Kenedi’s audition on American Idol, Justin Anderson took to Twitter to share his support.
He reposted a tweet from Kenedi Anderson that read: “I cannot believe I had #AMomentLikeThis. I GOT THE #PlatinumTicket AND IM HEADING TO HOLLYWOOD!!! Thanks so much, @KatyPerry, @LukeBryan, and @LionelRichie! #AmericanIdol.”
Justin Anderson, taking the role of proud father gushed: “Love you @kenedianderson_! Dreams do come true when you work hard for them! God is good!! #AmericanIdol #kenedianderson”
He also reposted a clip of Kenedi Anderson’s audition via the official American Idol Twitter account, writing: “God is good! Stay true to yourself and Him and he will continue to guide your path! Proud of who you are!!!! Love you kiddo!!!”
Kenedi, who is a 17-year-old high school student, received a standing ovation from the judges after her audition. Judge Katy Perry even joked: “I’m feeling threatened.”
“I don’t know how you haven’t been recruited yet. You check every box and a lot of all of them. Get ready to become your hero.”
Lionel Richie added: “You have graced us. Your voice, your look, your sound. Your 17-years-old. Congratulations you’ve answered our prayers.”
Luke Bryan chimed in: “Well I believe, you might be the biggest star we’ve ever seen. No doubt, I believe Top 10. I truly believe your musical journey for the rest of your life, just started right here.”
Unanimously, the judges decided to give Kenedi Anderson the extra special platinum ticket to Hollywood. There are only three in the competition this season and it means when Kenedi Anderson gets to Hollywood, she will have the day off to sit in the audience and watch the competition.
The ticket gives her a huge advantage as she will be able to figure out a strategy and pick her duet partner.
Speaking after her audition, with the coveted platinum ticket in her hand, Kenedi Anderson said: “It’s just insane to me, I cannot believe they think I’m worthy of this and that just gives me such self-confidence and happiness.”
As you wait for Hollywood week, you can see Kenedi Anderson sing much more on her TikTok account, joining the 15.6k followers who are already obsessed with her voice.
American Idol airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.