‘American Idol’: A Grad School Dropout Gets The Final Platinum Ticket

The fifth night of auditions on the March 21 episode of 'American Idol' featured the judges handing out the last platinum ticket to Jay Copeland.

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The first contestant to perform for judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on the March 21 episode of American Idol is Tobias Hill, who is a music teacher. He sings Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” and the judges notice he’s a little nervous. Katy encourages him to loosen up and show off some dance moves. Even though Tobias isn’t “100 percent there,” he gets a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Morgan Gruber, 17, is next to audition. The high school student from Pennsylvania performs “Can’t Be Loved” by Elle King. The judges get to their feet to give Morgan a standing ovation and Katy says the performance was “amazing.” After opening up about the death of her grandmother, who encouraged Morgan to sing, the 17-year-old gets a golden ticket.

‘American Idol’ Auditions Continue

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Morgan Gruber on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC/Eric McCandless)

The next contestant who auditions is Kimmie Caraffa. She sings “How Do I Live” and opens up about raising her young daughter as a 25-year-old mother. Even though Kimmie’s voice cracks at one point, the judges encourage her to keep going. She’s discouraged, but assures the judges that she’ll be ready in Hollywood. Unfortunately, it’s not enough, and Kimmie is not pushed through this time.

Kaylin Roberson and her boyfriend, Matt Gorman, audition for American Idol together. They sing an original song called “Fast Forever,” and the judges love how they complement each other. Matt gets a yes from Lionel, but Luke and Katy tell him he’s not ready yet, and say no. Meanwhile, Kaylin is put through with three yeses.

Next to audition is 18-year-old Saylor. She tells the story of her dad walking out on her and her mom to begin a new life with a woman who he met on Saylor’s music fan page. Saylor sings “All I Want” for the judges and starts crying in the middle of her audition. With encouragement from Lionel, she keeps going. Not only do the judges love Saylor’s voice, but they feel connected to her because of her emotional performance, and she’s through to Hollywood.

Up next, Cameron Whitcomb, an 18-year-old from Canada, sings “Rock, Salt & Nails” by Waylon Jennings. The judges are shocked by how different his singing voice is from his talking voice. Cameron reveals this audition is his first time singing in front of anyone. He gets a no from Lionel, with encouragement to “work on it,” but Katy and Luke give Cameron a yes, so he’s off to Hollywood.

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Lionel, Katy and Luke judging ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Following Cameron is an audition from Emyrson Flora. She’s just 16 years old and auditions with “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile. The judges agree that Emyrson’s performance isn’t perfect, but recognize her raw talent. They decide to roll the dice, though, and all three give Emyrson a yes for Hollywood.

Sir Blake is the next contestant to audition. After opening up about his tough musical journey and previously being homeless, Sir Blake performs a rendition of “Dive” by Ed Sheeran for his audition, as well as an original song. Luke admits that Blake is “trying too hard” at times, and says no to voting him through. However, he gets yeses from Katy and Lionel to nab that golden ticket.

After some failed auditions, the judges are hoping to find a star in Carly Mickeal. With her dad accompanying her on the piano, Carly sings “Your Song” by Elton John. Luke declares that Carly is a “star,” and while the judges have some advice for her, they’re also very impressed. Carly gets a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Jay Copeland Gets The Platinum Ticket

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Jay Copeland on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC/Eric McCandless)

The next audition is from Jay Copeland, who recently dropped out of grad school for acting after being told he couldn’t pursue both acting AND music. Jay performs “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, and from the very first note, the judges are blown away. Jay gets a loud standing ovation from Katy, Luke and Lionel. In addition to going through to Hollywood, he also gets the final PLATINUM TICKET, which means he’ll get to skip the first round of the Hollywood Week competition.

The final audition of the night is from Skyler Maxey-Wert, who lives in Germany and works as a ballet dancer. The judges agree that Skyler brings an “element [they’ve] never experienced.” Needless to say, they’re impressed, and grabs that golden ticket to Hollywood.