Casting for the 21st season of “American Idol” wrapped up in Nashville last week, and the show is scheduled to premiere on February 19, 2023. But in an unexpected twist, ABC started the season earlier, giving fans 24 hours to cast their vote for one of three top contenders who have already secured a ticket to Hollywood but are now vying for a coveted Platinum ticket. Here’s what you need to know…
On November 19, 2022, “American Idol” informed fans on social media via an announcement by host Ryan Seacrest that a special voting period would begin during the American Music Awards on ABC, allowing viewers to vote for a new nominee receiving one Platinum Ticket.
While the “Idol” judges have always awarded their favorite contestants gold tickets to Hollywood, the show introduced platinum tickets in its 20th season. In each of the three cities where hopefuls for celebrity judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie were trying, the star panel selected a singer who received a platinum ticket. The honor not only carried these contestants through to Hollywood Week, but also allowed them to skip the first round of the competition there. The three platinum ticket recipients were:
It’s not clear if multiple platinum tickets will be awarded again in Season 21, but only one will be awarded as part of the early voting event announced during the AMAs. In brief promos aired during the awards ceremony, Seacrest said the show will give fans “an exclusive look at three of this season’s top ‘Idol’ talents.”
He continued, “For the first time, your vote will determine who wins America’s Platinum Ticket.”
The three contenders for the honor are singers Elijah McCormick, Matt Wilson and Haven Madison. Snippets of her auditions were played during TV commercials, but one-minute snippets of each of her auditions can be viewed through a dedicated page on American Idol’s website.
Per online rules, fans can only vote once, must be at least 16 years old and live in the US, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. In addition, to cast a vote, you must have an ABC or Disney account created by providing an email address. The voting window closes on Monday, November 21 at 11:00 p.m. Eastern / 8:00 a.m. Pacific.
According to his Instagram profile Matt Wilson is an independent artist based out of Buffalo, New York. Hours before he was announced as one of the platinum ticket contenders, he posted photos on Instagram from his Las Vegas jury audition.
He wrote: “I did something WAYYY outside of my comfort zone y’all! Proud to say that I auditioned for season 21 of @americanidol. Thanks to my wife @meliwilson.x for pushing me and believing in me… I love you.”
Wilson has released numerous original singles available on Spotify; his latest title is called “There For You”.
Port Madison is a high school student in Clarksville, Tennessee, according to her Instagram profile, who says she’s “trying to survive high school while making music from the creative wanderings of my restless mind.”
Madison also posted a photo of herself in front of the big “Idol” sign before her audition and wrote, “I may have auditioned for @katyperry @lionelrichie and @lukebryan… maybe see me on February 19th?!”
In mid-2022, she released a four-song EP called All The Things I Didn’t Say.
Elijah McCormick is an R&B singer from Southern Pines, North Carolina. He has a limited social media presence but a strong history. Heavy reported on McCormick on November 14 after his local paper revealed he was in Nashville to audition for the “Idol” jury.
According to the Sandhills Sentinel, he originally planned to audition after graduating high school in 2019, but was involved in a serious car accident, was hospitalized for 79 days, and had 10 surgeries. Now finally healed and performing again, he was thrilled to make it through online auditions to audition before the celebrity judges.
ABC did not say when it will announce which of the three candidates will win the online vote.