Elijah McCormick Had to Learn How to Talk Again Before 'American Idol'

Emma Saletta - Author

Mar. 5 2023, Published 5:04 p.m. ET

Before the premiere of Episode 3 of auditions, American Idol released a clip of show hopeful Elijah McCormick singing "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. However, it was his journey before the audition that helped him find his voice again — literally.

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Prior to American Idol, Elijah had been a man who had a passion for singing ever since he was little. However, he was also a man who after sustaining injuries from a serious car accident in 2019, asked his mother if he could still sing.

Thankfully, he was given the chance to continue pursuing his passion for music. Although he has not been the same since 2019, he opened his heart to all the judges, which led him to receive a "yes: from all three judges.

Elijah McCormick plans to not let anyone down on 'American Idol' this season after receiving America's platinum ticket.

After receiving the America platinum ticket award from American Idol, Elijah shared a photo on social media right away to celebrate his success. "Thank you so much America for your platinum ticket!!" he wrote. "I won’t let you guys down."

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The America platinum ticket award is a fan vote prize that goes to one lucky contestant from each audition location. Elijah was voted as the winner for Nashville, which is where the N.C. native auditioned. News outlets such as Readers Fusion confirmed that recipients of this award will be able to skip the first round and immediately be sent to Hollywood Week.

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The singer posted a preview of his own on TikTok, which shows him watching himself singing the Rascal Flatts song for the judges. He also mentioned what the song means to him saying that it "holds such a special place" in his heart. He continued to mention how grateful he was for that moment, and how excited he is to share it with the world.

Elijah McCormick almost died in a car accident prior to his 'American Idol' audition and receiving the platinum ticket.

On the night of his high school graduation, Elijah was in a head-on collision with another car. The Sandhills Sentinel confirmed that other drivers pulled Elijah out of the car immediately after the accident. During his audition, he said in his tape "the last thing I remember is dropping my friend off at her house, and I was only a mile away from home." It then shows a clip of the scene, in which his car was completely on fire.

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Elijah was still breathing when paramedics got there. However, he flatlined nine times, and his injuries were so severe that he needed to learn how to walk and talk all over again. He also received several surgeries during his hospitalization, including open heart surgery.

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His mother Teshauna stuck by Elijah throughout the entire ordeal, and happily accompanied him to his audition. The judges eventually requested to meet his mom, and Lionel Richie told her that Elijah's voice was "divine," and that "God brought him back for a reason." Lionel then referred to Elijah as a "golden child," which coincidentally was his nickname given by hospital officials.

Elijah's audition will be televised on March 5, 2023, and his audition has already gone viral on social media.

Watch American Idol on Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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