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‘American Idol’ Platinum Ticket Winner Nearly Died Before Trying Out for Show

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

People know that singers and musicians take long journeys to become part of American Idol but what about this ticket winner? Elijah McCormick picked up a Platinum Ticket after getting the most votes from an early 24-hour voting period. That took place during the American Music Awards in November. Fans got a chance to choose the ticket winner. McCormick was the chosen one. But he almost didn’t make it this far.

McCormick of American Idol was involved in a head-on collision back in 2019. It happened less than a mile from his home. Witnesses managed to pull him out of his wrecked car, The Pilot reports. McCormick was flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The fire in the car destroyed his driver’s license. Medical team members nicknamed him “Golden Child” due to the tips of his hair being dyed golden blonde.

‘American Idol’ Ticket Winner Survived Harrowing Auto Accident

“The first two weeks, I had dreams but I don’t remember anything,” McCormick told The Pilot about his time in a coma. All at the same time, McCormick also was placed on dialysis and had a feeding tube. He had to go through 10 surgeries and “coded” numerous times. He was in the hospital for 79 days. Upon waking up, McCormick began to sing Gratefully Broken, a song from Tasha Cobbs Leonard.

“It’s a song about God breaking you down to position you better,” McCormick told The Pilot. “I guess that is what is happening now for me. I hate that the accident happened, but I’m not going to hate why it happened. God is good.” He finally felt strong enough to audition for American Idol. The singer didn’t imagine his journey would be special from the start. McCormick, beyond singing, is a technician for an ophthalmologist and attends classes at Sandhills Community College.

In getting his Platinum Ticket, McCormick actually beat out two other contestants that judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie nominated for that honor. The person with the Platinum Ticket gets to bypass competition during the first round of Hollywood Week. On Monday, McCormick headed over to social media to announce his victory. He posted a photo of him holding a Platinum Ticket. McCormick also filmed a video where he thanked fans for voting for him. Also, American Idol posted the news to its social media accounts, Heavy reports. McCormick also was part of his high school choir ensemble. He graduated from high school in 2019. American Idol airs on ABC with contestants looking to pick up a coveted victory.