Why Was ‘American Idol’ Platinum Ticket Winner Jay in Danger of Elimination?

Jill O'Rourke
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Jay American IdolABC/Eric McCandless

One of the most shocking results from Monday night’s new episode of American Idol came when we learned that Platinum Ticket winner Jay was in danger of elimination after the audience vote. He ended up being saved by the judges for a spot in the Top 14.


Who Is ‘American Idol’ Platinum Ticket Winner Jay?

Jay, whose full name is Jeremiah Copeland, is 23 years old and from Salisbury, Maryland. He comes from a musical family, including his grandfather George Copeland, who had a singing group called Reverend Copeland and the Singing Disciples. His mom and uncles were also in a group called The Singing Copelands.

He shared in his audition that he graduated college with a degree in music and was attending graduate school for acting. Jay said he was “given an ultimatum” to choose between music and acting. The singer chose to drop out and pursue his dreams on American Idol, calling it “the best decision for myself.”

He went on to sing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder, showing off a strong voice and powerful stage presence. The performance gave judge Katy Perry goosebumps. Jay earned one of three coveted Platinum Tickets to skip the first round of Hollywood Week.


Jay has continued to bring it from week to week, singing Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” in the Duets round, as well as “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 during the Top 24 show in Hawaii. On Sunday night, he made it into the Top 20, singing “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse.

Why Didn’t America Vote Him into the Top 10?

On Monday night, half of the Top 20 were voted into the Top 10 thanks to America’s vote, while the other half had to perform for a chance to be saved by the judges and earn a spot in the Top 14. The audience booed when host Ryan Seacrest announced that Jay was in danger.

Jay performed “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, and the judges chose him as one of four singers to join the Top 14. Following last week’s news that fellow Platinum Ticket winner Kenedi Anderson had left the competition, learning that Jay was up for elimination came as yet another shock. Social media comments show that plenty of fans were confused by this result. So why didn’t America vote him into the Top 10?


One YouTube commenter suggests that Jay is “too theatrical.” It’s true that Idol voters have a reputation for supporting country artists and singer-songwriters in recent years. And around half of the Top 10 contestants fit that description.

But America also voted through powerhouse singers like Lady K, Nicolina, and Christian Guardino. Is it possible that some voters assumed Jay would go through thanks to his Platinum Ticket status, so they focused their voting elsewhere? Sunday night’s episode was full of impressive performances that wowed the judges, so some great performers were bound to be in danger.

What did you think about Jay’s performance on Sunday night? Did he deserve a spot in the Top 10? Let us know in the comments, and tune in next Sunday on ABC to see Jay compete in the Top 14.

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