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Unveiling the Exceptional Recipients of the Platinum Tickets
That’s a wrap for the auditions of American Idol Season 20! A multitude of exceptionally talented artists have been awarded the coveted golden tickets and will soon embark on their journey to Hollywood. However, this season, in a thrilling twist, three extraordinarily lucky contestants were bestowed with the rare and prestigious platinum tickets. Join us as we take a closer look at the inaugural recipients of the American Idol platinum tickets and explore the significance of this remarkable achievement during Hollywood Week.
Kenedi Anderson is one of the platinum ticket winners on ‘American Idol’ Season 20. | Eric McCandless/ABC
Understanding the Uniqueness of the Platinum Ticket on ‘American Idol’
To celebrate the triumphant milestone of 20 seasons, American Idol introduced platinum tickets as an exclusive accolade. Similar to the golden tickets, these platinum versions guarantee the artists a place in Hollywood. However, unlike their counterparts, platinum ticket recipients are exempted from the Hollywood round. This remarkable advantage allows them to strategize and assess the competition thoroughly. With only one platinum ticket available per audition location (Los Angeles, Nashville, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas), the judges of Season 20 handpicked only the crème de la crème among the singers.
Huntergirl: The Inaugural ‘American Idol’ Platinum Ticket Recipient
Huntergirl, a talented 23-year-old from Winchester, Tennessee, arrived at American Idol with an immense passion for country music and a background in using music as therapy for veterans. Her captivating rendition of Rascal Flatts’ hit song “Riot” instantly won over the hearts of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.
By the end of her performance, Luke couldn’t contain his excitement for Huntergirl’s breathtaking voice. Later, he confessed that she possessed one of his “favorite female country voices” from all five seasons on American Idol. Although the judges initially awarded her with a golden ticket, they surprised Huntergirl that very night with a FaceTime call, inviting her to perform at Luke’s bar in Nashville and presenting her with the first-ever platinum ticket.
Kenedi Anderson: The Following Platinum Ticket Recipient
During another remarkable night of auditions, Kenedi Anderson, a 17-year-old high school student from Crozet, Virginia, captivated the judges with her soulful piano cover of Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” Growing up in a transient lifestyle due to her father’s fame as a renowned football coach, Kenedi discovered solace in music.
Once again, Katy, Luke, and Lionel found themselves grinning from ear to ear as they marveled at Kenedi’s soft yet commanding voice. Katy declared herself a devoted “KennyCat,” while Luke referred to Kenedi as a “five-star recruit.” Furthermore, Luke confidently claimed that Kenedi had the potential to become “the biggest star” the judges had ever encountered.
“You’re so incredibly talented that you deserve a well-earned break,” exclaimed Katy, as she presented Kenedi with the platinum ticket.
Jay Copeland: The Final Recipient of the Coveted Platinum Ticket
Finally, on the fifth night of auditions, American Idol witnessed the emergence of its last platinum ticket recipient. Jay Copeland, a 23-year-old from Salisbury, Maryland, faced a pivotal decision before entering the competition: pursue music or pursue acting, but not both. Jay ultimately chose to follow his passion for music through American Idol, relinquishing his graduate school fellowship in the process.
Jay wowed the judges with his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s iconic “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” His extraordinary vocal range and masterful control left Katy with goosebumps and Lionel in awe. Luke confidently predicted that Jay would “electrify” the crowd in the upcoming stages of the competition.
Lionel commended Jay, affirming that the gift he would bestow upon American Idol would surpass any imaginable expectations. “Your talent is off the charts,” he added.
Lionel, Katy, and Luke unanimously agreed that Jay was the quintessential candidate for the platinum ticket. Alongside Kenedi and Huntergirl, Jay will effortlessly bypass the Hollywood Week challenges and progress further in the competition.
American Idol airs new episodes every Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for the latest updates.