American Idol: Car crash survivor from North Carolina delivers emotional performance

Watch American Idol on Sunday at 8/7c on ABC and streams the next day on Hulu.

ByBob Monek OTRC logo
Saturday, March 4, 2023
American Idol preview
Watch American Idol Sundays at 8/7c on ABC and stream on Hulu

NEW YORK -- There's never a shortage of amazing talent and inspiring stories on 'American Idol'.

Elijah McCormick is one of those contestants that brings tears to your eyes and hope to your heart.

A standout soloist from North Carolina, McCormick nearly lost his life in a head-on collision on June 8, 2019, only 3 hours after his high school graduation.

He spent 79 days in the hospital enduring multiple surgeries, dialysis, a feeding tube, and relearning how to walk and talk. As soon as he could speak again, the first question he asked was "Mama, can I sing?"

The medical team at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill nicknamed Elijah "Golden Child" because the tips of his hair were dyed blond.

Also auditioning this week is the youngest person to win Apollo's Amateur Night adult category, We' Ani.

We' Ani was born in Harlem and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. She began singing at the age of 4 and attended Harlem School of the Arts.

"My father told me if I wanted to get into music that I had to do the work," she explained to Eyewitness News entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon. "Just like an athlete, you gotta be in the gym. You gotta practice, and that's exactly what I tried to do."

She stands out during the auditions partly because her speaking voice and singing voice are remarkably different.

Sandy Kenyon sits down with 'American Idol' contestant We Ani

Also appearing this week: Olivia Soli says at age 5 she knew she wanted to perform. By age 11, she was writing songs. Now a college student, she performs in Los Angeles these days, including singing the national anthem at a Los Angeles Clippers game.

Another Southern California contestant is Adin Boyer, who racked up millions of TikTok views with his musical comedy videos in 2020.

The auditions continue on the next episode of 'American Idol' on Sunday night at 8/7c and stream the next day on Hulu.

See more of American Idol 2023:

Like American Idol on Facebook:

Follow American Idol on Twitter:

Follow American Idol on Instagram: