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'American Idol' Fans Will Be Shocked by What the Platinum Ticket Means for Contestants

american idol platinum ticket 2024
What Is the 'American Idol' Platinum Ticket?Eric McCandless - ABC

American Idol just wrapped up their auditions portion for the 2024 season, and did judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie find some incredible talent for Hollywood Week!

Fans met many aspiring musicians while watching the last few episodes, each with memorable voices and unforgettable journeys. But one person in particular has stood-out, for a number of reasons. When college student Julia Gagnon took stage, she revealed her story involved wanting to audition in order to make her birth mom proud, as the two reconnected in 2020 thanks to her adopted dad hiring a private investigator to find her in Julia's native Guatemala. As the musician delivered a moving rendition of Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way," the judges couldn't help but be stunned by the heart and soul she brought to the song.

"I am in shock," Lionel told her. "I grew up with Aretha Franklin. There are certain songs you just don't sing, because you just can't touch the original. And you just made it not only your song, but you did things that it's just beyond. That was amazing. That was absolutely outstanding. "

Not only did Julia manage to win over all three judges, but Luke, Katy and Lionel decided to do something special for her next phase on American Idol. Instead of delivering over a Golden Ticket, they gave her a Platinum version, which they also gave to two other contestants earlier on in the season. But what exactly is a Platinum Ticket, and what benefits does it give to anyone who receives one during the auditions? Well, we did some digging, and it turns out the Platinum Ticket comes with a very unique opportunity.

What is a Platinum Ticket on American Idol?

According to Gold Derby, the Platinum Ticket first came about in the 2022 season of American Idol, and it has a few cool perks for those who receive it.

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The outlet writes that it is an upgraded version of the Golden Ticket, and it allows contestants who showcase the most stellar auditions the chance to skip the first round of Hollywood Week. What's more, only three competitors receive it throughout the audition process, making it something that showcases a lot of promise from Luke, Katy and Lionel.

Who got a Platinum Ticket on American Idol in 2024?

Along with Julia gaining special recognition from the judges, Abi Carter and Odell Bunton Jr. also received Platinum Tickets for their spectacular auditions throughout the American Idol 2024 season.

In Abi's case, she stopped everyone in their tracks with a soulful rendition of Billie Eilish's Oscar-winning track "What Was I Made For?" from Barbie. Abi not only received a standing ovation from the judges, Katy hugged and thanked her for "being an example of singing from [her] heart."

As for Odell, he came to his audition with an emotional story of taking time off from pursuing his dreams in order to provide for his family. He left the judges stunned by a version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me," and Lionel walked over to say he had massive potential for a music career.

"You need some protection," Lionel joked. "You have what we call P-O-tential. Potential, son. Yes, sir. I got a security agency that can help you. I was not expecting all of that... but that was real tight, old school."

Have any American Idol winners received a Platinum Ticket?

In a surprise twist of events, no American Idol winner also received the Platinum Ticket.

When the Platinum Ticket was first introduced in season 5 (season 20 overall), HunterGirl, Kenedi Anderson and Jay all received the special allowance. Although HunterGirl was the only one to make it to the finale, she eventually lost to winner Noah Thompson.

What's more, in season 6 (season 21 overall), the Platinum Tickets were given to Cam Amen, Kaylin Hedges, Elijah McCormick and Tyson Venegas in a surprise fourth ticket. Tyson was the only one of the quartet to make it to the Top 10, but he eventually got eliminated, with Iam Tongi claiming the victorious title.


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