The 20th season of “American Idol” is officially underway, and budding superstars across the country are vying for a golden ticket to Hollywood. But this season, the long-running contest introduced a different type of ticket to single out some of its top singers.


What is the “American Idol” platinum ticket?

This season, “American Idol” judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan are handing out three platinum tickets in the audition round. The special ticket not only advances a singer to the Hollywood round, but also allows them to skip the first part of that round, thus avoiding part of the elimination process.

  • “Some people come out and they’re stars, they’ve got all the boxes checked: stage presence, delivery, their sound, their style,” Richie said, according to The envelope. “They have everything there so that when they open their mouths you know exactly who they are as artists. It just rings that bell. And when that happens, you just give them the platinum ticket as fast as you can.

Who got a platinum ticket for “American Idol”?

Kenedi Anderson

So far this season, the “Idol” judges have already handed out two platinum tickets. The most recent went to 17-year-old singer Kenedi Anderson during the episode that aired March 6.

Anderson, who is from Virginia and the second oldest in a family of six children, won over the judges with her rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” The judges had nothing but praise for Anderson as she stood up from the piano and faced them to receive his comments.

  • “My head is spinning,” Bryan said, later adding that he thought Anderson might be the “biggest star” the judges had ever seen on the show. “Without a doubt, the top 10.”
  • “I don’t know why you haven’t been drafted yet,” Perry added.
  • “You answered our prayers,” concluded Richie, who said the young singer could be the next best thing in the music industry.

HunterGirl

Anderson is the second person to claim the coveted platinum ticket. The first went to country singer Hunter Wolkonowski, who goes by the name HunterGirl, when the season premiered on Feb. 27.

The 23-year-old singer from Winchester, Tennessee, is a music therapist who works with veterans by listening to their experiences and turning them into songs, she said during her audition.

When HunterGirl finished performing Rascal Flatts’ song “Riot” for the judges, Bryan excitedly stood up and walked around the audition room, proclaiming the country singer a top 10.

  • “It’s my favorite female country voice I’ve heard in 5 years,” Bryan said.

After the audition, Bryan invited HunterGirl to perform at his Nashville bar, where the “Idol” judges showed up and surprised the singer by awarding her the show’s first platinum ticket. country now reported.

The “American Idol” judges have one more platinum ticket to hand out this season. The next episode of “Idol” will air on Sunday, March 13.


Other “American Idol” Highlights

Other “American Idol” auditions that have garnered a lot of attention so far this season include:

Lea Marlene

Cole Hallman

Kelsie Dolin

Noah Thompson

Lady K

Taylor Fagins

Renee Delaney

Nicolina Bozzo

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