‘American Idol’: How the Platinum Ticket Will Change the Competiton

by Maggie Schneider

This new season of American Idol includes a bit of a twist. Here’s everything you need to know about the platinum ticket.

Season 20 of American Idol is officially airing on ABC. The iconic singing competition is back for another year of bright young talent and compelling performances. This time, however, the show is surprising fans with a new kind of ticket.

Viewers of American Idol know all about the golden ticket. A tradition since Season 1, this ticket allows contestants to advance to the Hollywood rounds of the competition. The golden tickets are given to the singers after their preliminary auditions in front of the judges.

The platinum ticket, however, is raising the stakes even more this season. This special ticket allows one contestant to skip the first Hollywood round, moving onto to the second round without fear of elimination. This offers the recipient a rare day of rest from the competition, as his/her fellow golden ticket recipients fight to move onto the next phase.

‘American Idol’ Platinum Ticket Winner

This season’s platinum ticket recipient is Tennessee country singer Hunter Wolkonowski, aka HunterGirl. The female vocalist tugged at Luke Bryan’s heartstrings with her performance of a Rascal Flatts classic. After receiving a standing ovation from all three judges, Bryan runs around the audition room in excitement. He compares her to Miranda Lambert and gives another impressive compliment.

“This is my fifth year doing this and that is my favorite female country voice I’ve heard in five years,” he says.

Watch HunterGirl’s performance below and see the judges’ sweet reactions to the young talent.

Why The Platinum Ticket Matters

Hollywood round of American Idol is typically the most stressful part of the competition. Whether it is a lack of sleep, a poorly-executed group number, or just a bad song choice, viewers can watch their favorites leave the show in an instant. The stakes are high, and the pressure contestants feel can make or break their performance.

As a singer myself, I know how crucial it is to sleep and maintain a healthy singing voice. When long hours and many distractions are added into the mix, it can create strain on one’s vocal cords. Having a platinum ticket gives HunterGirl the opportunity to reset and recharge before the second round of Hollywood. I think this will help her move on to the next round with ease.

The only downside to the platinum ticket is that viewers will have to wait to see HunterGirl take the stage. For those of you who are rooting for her, remember that she’ll be back very soon. If Luke Bryan calls her “Top 10” material, I have a feeling she can make it there with no problem.