Here's how Jay Copeland scored the last ‘platinum ticket’ on ‘American Idol’

Copeland had a life-altering decision to make before auditioning
Jay Copeland on American Idol
Photo credit (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)

23-year-old Jay Copeland signed, sealed, and delivered his way past the first round of Hollywood Week by taking home the final platinum ticket on the latest episode of American Idol.

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Copeland blew away Idol judges with a stunning rendition of the Stevie Wonder classic “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” and was rewarded with the show’s final platinum ticket.

The Salisbury, MD native revealed that he had to make a life-altering decision before he even stepped foot on stage. Copeland’s grad school program presented him with a choice, choose music and go on Idol, or choose acting and stay in grad school.

“I was told I couldn’t have it all,” he explained to Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. Copeland chose music and as a result, he lost funding through his fellowship.

Copeland’s bet paid off as he dropped jaws during his audition. “You controlled it, you did it, you owned it, and on top of that you were having so much fun,” Lionel Richie said.

“You might have lost the gift they were going to give you, for your masters, but the gift that you are going to give American Idol is going to be greater than anything you’ve ever imagined in your life. I’m telling you, your talent is off the chain.”

Luke Bryan told Copeland, “We’ve been waiting on a kid like you. You’re perfect, in my opinion.”

You can watch Copeland’s performance above and be sure to check out Audacy’s TV’s Top Talent, a station dedicated to the best contestants we’ve ever seen on reality singing competitions.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)