Jay Copeland, a Salisbury University 2020 graduate with music and theatre degrees, was featured on Monday's episode of "American Idol".
The 23-year-old was pursuing a master's in acting at the University of Houston, but left grad school to follow his musical passion by auditioning for "American Idol".
“I don’t know if I made the wrong decision or the right decision, but I do know I made the best decision for myself,” Copeland said during his audition.
Copeland’s song of choice was “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. After singing, he received a standing ovation from judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.
“You don’t just jump on a Stevie Wonder song … you controlled it, you did it, you owned it," Richie said. "I’m telling you, your talent is off the chain.”
Performers who impress the judges receive a golden ticket — a pass to the next round of auditions in Hollywood. In tribute to its 20th season, "American Idol" has introduced a “platinum ticket.”
“They get to basically observe from the box seats at the theater — one day, they get to rest their voice, strategize, check out the competition, and select who they want to duet with,” Perry said during the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
“You’re a superstar, I think you are worth all of the platinum,” Perry said.
Copeland received the last of four platinum tickets given out this season.
“We’ve been waiting on a kid like you…you’re perfect in my opinion,” Bryan said.
Click here to watch Jay Copeland’s audition.
By HALEY RAWLS
Featured image courtesy of American Idol's Instagram