American Idol 2023 Preview: Elijah McCormick Fulfills His Destiny
Elijah McCormick auditioned in front of the American Idol judges with an incredible story, in a new preview clip from the upcoming auditions 3 episode.
On the day he graduated from high school in 2019 Elijah was in a terrible car accident that nearly killed him. The vehicle caught fire on impact. The singer had to learn to walk and talk again. He flatlined nine times, including while being airlifted and on the operating table. Elijah was in the hospital for 79 days, during which he had 10 surgeries, including open heart surgery and dialysis.
What’s more, Elijah was set to audition for American Idol later in the year. He had his contestant number from the producers. “I was not supposed to be here,” says Elijah. “I have to fulfill my purpose.”
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Elijah performs a powerful version of “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts, a full version fans are hearing for the first time. Elijah competed in the American Music Awards Platinum Ticket contest with Haven Madison and Matt Wilson. Elijah’s brief audition snip got the most votes, earning the singer the coveted perk, which allowed him to skip the first round during Hollywood Week.
“The last person I saw approach singing like you was Willie Spence.”
Elijah moves the judges to such a degree, they jump out of their seats to hug the singer. Lionel Richie is crying. Luke Bryan says, “The last person I saw approach singing like you was Willie Spence.” It’s a chilling thought, as Elijah survived a terrible car accident, while Willie, the runner-up on season 19, did not.
Elijah also reminded Lionel of Willie, which he admits is why he began crying. “That’s what got me,” he says. “You hit one of those notes, and I thought of Willie.” Lionel adds, “God brought you back nine times to do something amazing.”
Katy Perry reminds Elijah that it’s the beginning of his story. “I can’t believe you came to us. How the heck did you come to us,” she says. Eventually Elijah’s mother joins him in the audition room, where Lionel assures her that her “golden child” is here for a reason. Elijah reveals that before hospital personnel could identify him, they called him “golden child” because his hair was gold at the time.
The judges vote, and Elijah is through to Hollywood. “The golden child deserves the golden ticket,” Katy remarks.
American Idol 2023 Auditions 3 airs on ABC Sunday March 5 at 8 pm ET/PT