'American Idol' Frontrunner Kenedi Anderson Drops Out of Competition for 'Personal Reasons'

“This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary,” 17-year-old Anderson wrote on Instagram Monday

Kenedi Anderson will no longer be competing on American Idol.

The 17-year-old singer revealed the news on Instagram Monday after her pre-taped Top 24 performance aired, in which the season 20 frontrunner sang a stunning rendition of Christina Perri's song "Human."

"For personal reasons, I'm unable to continue on American Idol. This has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, but I know it's necessary," Anderson wrote. "I'm so grateful to American Idol, the judges, the producers, the amazing contestants, and all the fans who have supported me."

"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," she concluded.

PEOPLE has reached out to Anderson for additional comment, but did not immediately hear back.

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AMERICAN IDOL – “502 (Auditions)” – Season five of “American Idol”
Eric McCandless/ABC

"We are disappointed to see Kenedi leave, but we are excited to watch this celebratory 20th season unfold with the incredible talent vying to be the next American Idol," a source close to production told PEOPLE.

AMERICAN IDOL – “508 (Showstopper/Final Judgment)
Eric McCandless/ABC

"You might have noticed that there was no voting information during Kenedi's performance just now," Idol host Ryan Seacrest said in a special announcement during the episode. "Since we taped these shows in Hawaii earlier, Kenedi has decided to withdraw from our show for personal reasons. We send her well wishes."

RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE (the TV show!) Is in Hawaii with All the Judges for American Idol's 20th Season

Anderson first grabbed the attention of fans, as well as judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, with her gorgeous piano cover of Lady Gaga's "Applause" during the show's auditions – which was fitting, considering the trio of famous artists gave the teen a standing ovation after her stripped-down performance.

"I mean, my head is spinning," Bryan, 45, said after Anderson's audition, with Perry, 37, chiming in with, "I'm threatened! They're younger, they're prettier, they sing really good!"

Added Perry: "I don't know how you haven't been recruited. You check every box. And a lot of all of them. Get ready to become your own hero."

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