‘American Idol’ Season 20: Here’s How Far the Platinum Ticket Winners Made It

by Emily Morgan

As all eyes are on Sunday night’s “American Idol” finale, we’re looking back on the three contestants who were granted the coveted platinum tickets at the beginning of the season.

Season 20 of “Idol” will conclude tonight as the Top 3 finalists take the stage one last time for America’s vote. Huntergirl, Noah Thompson, and Leah Marlene are the last three contestants standing out of the dozens that made it to Hollywood week at the season’s beginning.

One of the three finalists also happens to be a platinum ticket winner from the show’s beginning. Huntergirl was the first contestant on Season 20 to earn a platinum ticket.

For the first time in the show’s history, after the judges gave the ticket away, it allowed the lucky contestant to skip the first round of the nail-biting Hollywood week.

During the season premiere on Feb. 27, judges surprised the Tennessee native with the platinum ticket while she was performing at Luke Bryan’s bar in Nashville. Previously, she received a gold ticket earlier in the episode after she auditioned with the country music hit “Riot” by Rascal Flatts.

As Huntegirl gears up for tonight’s finale, we can’t help but wonder what happened to the other platinum ticket winners. Kenedi Anderson was the second lucky winner of the platinum ticket. At the time of her audition, judge Katy Perry told her that she was “born to be a star.”

Up-and-coming star Kenedi Anderson leaves ‘American Idol’

At just 17-years-old, she delivered an original rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” Unanimously, the judges gave her a platinum ticket

Sadly, the rising star dropped out of the competition after making it to the top 24. However, “Idol” still aired her top 24 performance, which the production had filmed previously.

While she didn’t explain in-depth why she left the show, Anderson clarified that it was due to “personal reasons.” Host Ryan Seacrest announced her departure, and Anderson also revealed it on her Instagram account.

“For personal reasons, I’m unable to continue on ‘American Idol,'” she admitted to her followers. “This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I know it’s necessary.”

Finally, the judges gave the last platinum ticket to contestant Jay Copeland. He blew the judges away with his audition when he sang Stevie Wonder’s hit, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

“Your talent is off the chain,” remarked judge Lionel Richie to Copeland. “We needed this.”

However, after he made it to the Top 7, Copeland lacked the votes and was eliminated from the competition. Along with several other past season 20 contestants, Copeland will host a guest performance on the show’s finale episode, performing with the iconic musical group Earth, Wind, & Fire.

“American Idol” Season 20 finale airs on Sunday, May 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.