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Who is Elijah McCormick? Platinum ticket winner on 'American Idol' Season 21 escaped death to pursue dreams

Contestant Elijah McCormick wanted to audition back in 2019 but could not when a terrible accident nearly killed him
 'American Idol' Elijah McCormick is America's first Platinum ticket winner (Instagram/ @musicbyelijahmc)
'American Idol' Elijah McCormick is America's first Platinum ticket winner (Instagram/ @musicbyelijahmc)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: 'American Idol' is back with Season 21 on ABC. Once again the trio of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie search for the next musical sensation. With the Week 2 auditions over, the audience was able to see some talented contestants advance to the next round. Emotions were high as there were even some tragic stories like that of Jon Wayne Hatfield. Week 3 auditions will bring some new fresh faces, one of them being America's first Platinum ticket winner Elijha McCormick. 

Elijah is a singer and songwriter from North Carolina who intended to enter the national singing competition after finishing high school in 2019, but a horrific accident nearly ended his life and his ambitions. But after he escaped death, he has been making strides in the musical industry. He beat Haven Madison and Mat Wilson during American Music Awards and got an extra special Platinum ticket as it was awarded by the fans. Keep reading to know more about him.


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Who is Elijah McCormick?

Elijah is an American singer and songwriter who was born and brought up in North Carolina. His father Keith McCormick owns a landscaping business in Moore and Hoke, Lee County. His mother Teshauna worked as a front desk receptionist at a children's center. Elijah has a younger sister and finished high school at Pinecrest High School. He was a standout soloist with Pinecrest’s Chamber Ensemble and showcasing his talent on the national stage had always been his dream. He first planned to audition for 'American Idol' after his graduation in 2019 but he was gravely injured in a head-on collision accident. He underwent ten surgeries, was given a feeding tube and dialysis, and eventually had to relearn how to walk. Elijah's first question after he woke up from the terrible accident was "Mama can I still sing."

It was a long road to recovery but Elijha decided it was time to follow his goal last summer and went to audition in front of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Ritchie. He was subsequently chosen to compete for a coveted Platinum Ticket as one of three Idol hopefuls. Before making his debut on television Elijah pursued classes at a community college while working as a technician for an ophthalmologist. 


Elijah McCormick's journey to winning 'American Idol' Platinum Ticket

The American Music Awards, which were broadcasted on November 20, 2022, were the event for the voting for the American Idol season 21 America's Platinum Ticket. Fans had 24 hours to vote for their three favorite competitors. Elijah performed a soulful cover of Rascal Flatts' 'Bless the Broken Road' at his audition and you can watch his audition here. Before taking the stage Elijah confessed, he didn't think he would be here, but now he wants to leave 'American Idol' with absolutely no "regrets."

After his performance, Elijah received a standing ovation from all three judges as well as some heartfelt hugs. Katy Perry thought, "You were meant to be here. It was your destiny." Elijah's voice almost brought tears to the judge's eyes, especially Lionel and he said, "It was one of the moments in my life I would never forget. God brought you back 9 times for you to do something amazing."  Lionel even told Elijah's mom, "Let me tell you when your son opens his mouth he is divine."He competed against Haven Madison, who performed 'Arcade' by Duncan Laurence, and Matt Wilson, who sang 'For Tonight' by Giveon. The R&B artist was announced the winner of the fan-voted Platinum ticket on American Idol Instagram.

Fans have found Elijha's performance 'incredible' and they believe he deserved to win. One fan said, "This made me tear up. So beautiful!" Another one added, "He’s got my vote for sure." One more fan commented, "You are a blessing in God’s plan! It is a YES for me!"  Another one said, "You have my vote you keep on with that amazing voice." Adding to this, one fan said, "Your tone is intoxicating, Elijah! Your runs and control are incredible!" One more fan commented, "I am honored to be able to hear such an angelic voice! You have won."

'American Idol' Season 21 airs every Sunday at 8 pm ET on ABC.

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