Every season, plenty of singers who look the part, fit the part, and more importantly, sing the part, are shut down early on during American Idol’s Hollywood Week.
Unfortunately for Kenedee Rittenhouse, she found herself in that situation. The abrupt elimination, though, isn’t going to be the end for Rittenhouse.
Calling her early exit a “shock,” the 20 year old admits frustration at how things ended so quickly, but has already set her sights on what’s ahead for her both musically and personally.
“The world is in a dark place but I feel like I can be someone who helps change that, through my music, and my story.”
“I strive to be someone that anyone of any age can look up to,” Rittenhouse said. “I want to be able to relate with anyone in any situation. I feel like I am a true idol. I did not expect to be eliminated so early in the competition because I felt I was on my A-game 24/7. I was me and I felt like that was enough because I am a legit person who loves what I do.
“It’s more than just the music to me. America and the world needs a TRUE idol, not just another musician, to step up and inspire others to step up as well and live up to high standards. The world is in a dark place but I feel like I can be someone who helps change that, through my music, and my story.”
Rittenhouse plans on doing just that through her song writing. She says that lately, “God has spoken to me,” and has inspired her in many ways, providing her with what she hopes are songs and stories that strike a chord with her listeners.
She has no plans on giving up on her dreams. Her goal is to start up with college when the time is right, focusing on her musical journey for the time being.
“I will not give up on my dreams until they are fulfilled. My life and future is already planned out,” RIttenhouse said. “I’m just doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do.”
From the get-go, Rittenhouse stood out on the Idol scene with a truly spectacular audition in which she paid homage to her hometown hero — and American Idol’s biggest star — Carrie Underwood. She covered the country star’s song, “I Told You So.”
There’s more of a connection between the two Checotah, Oklahoma natives than just American Idol, however.
It was back in 2009 when Rittenhouse was in fifth grade.
Prior to a school show, her principal had her go out on stage to sing a song to entertain the crowd beforehand. Rittenhouse, of course, got up and sang a song from Carrie Underwood.
Minutes later, her idol popped out on stage behind her and asked the awe-struck Rittenhouse to sing with her.
“Of course I said yes,” Rittenhouse recalls.
The two performed “It Was So Small.” It was in that moment that Rittenhouse realized what she wanted to do for a career.
“Ever since that moment when I got the five minutes of fame, I realized that I want that to be my everyday life,” Rittenhouse said.
While her Idol run didn’t go as she had hoped, RIttenhouse certainly has established herself in the right direction. Through the competition, she says she gained so much more confidence within herself and picked up a few things along the way that have improved herself as a singer.
She even began taking classes with two different coaches when she got home from American Idol after receiving her golden ticket.
“It has been crazy,” Rittenhouse said of life after auditioning. “I’ve been working 20 years to get my name out there and I’m telling you, it’s hard to get your name out there. That’s why a lot of people can’t do it, because it’s so hard. Most celebrities, it’s really the luck of the draw. I feel like it’s finally starting to pay off, slowly but surely.”
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