North Carolina woman going to Hollywood, gets standing ovation during 'American Idol' audition

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Elijah McCormick of Raeford 'Going to Hollywood' on 'American Idol'
"The 'Golden child' deserves the golden ticket"

'American Idol' Season 21 is off to a screaming start for contestants from North Carolina.

Hopefuls have impressed the judges tremendously so far this season.

Durham native Ashley Tankard auditioned for the 15th time and, she finally got a yes. Kate Perry, Lionel Ritchie decided she was good enough to get a golden ticket to Hollywood. Tankard said she's been auditioning since 2015.

After getting her ticket to Hollywood, Ashley's message to fans is to 'never give up.'

"This is proof to anybody who wants to give up, do not give up," she said. "If it takes you two times if it takes you fifteen if it takes you one hundred. It will happen. It happened for me."

Ashley Tankard of Durham is "going to Hollywood" after receiving gold ticket in season 21 auditions.

Elijah McCormick,of Raeford, NC brought Lionel Ritchie to tears on Sunday, March 9. McCormick nearly lost his life in a head-on collision on June 8, 2019, only 3 hours after his high school graduation. The car he was in caught on fire after the crash.

He spent 79 days in the hospital enduring multiple surgeries, dialysis, a feeding tube, and relearning how to walk and talk. When he finally did speak, his mom said one of the first things he asked was--"mom can I still sing."

"The 'Golden child' deserves the golden ticket"

On Sunday, March 19-- Nailyah Serenity of Charlotte, NC brought the judges to their feet with her rendition of Barbara Streisand's song 'My Man.' Serenity was pitch-perfect in her delivery.

Perry, Ritchie and Bryan were blown away.


Nailyah Serenity

Watch the newest episode of 'American Idol' on ABC11 Sunday nights starting at 8:00 p.m. and it streams the next day on Hulu.

*Video attached to the story is of Elijah McCormick.

WATCH | Ashley Tankard's full interview with ABC11's Lauren Johnson

Watch Ashley Tankard of Durham as she auditions in season 21 on Sunday, February 26.

American Idol 2023: Watch Performances that brought the judges to tears

WATCH | American Idol 2023: What to expect on Season 21