Elijah Mccormick during the Top 26 round of American Idol.

Another season of American Idol has brought us another talented local on the show, as Raeford resident Elijah Mccormick is in the Top 26!

The talent has been clear in this one from the audition round, on, as the 21-year-old Mccormick has wowed judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. But it was his inspirational story that was even more powerful.

“High school is when I really fell in love with music,” Mccormick, who is an ophthalmologist technician, told the American Idol judges during his audition. I just kind of got lost in it, you know.”

But Mccormick was involved in a car accident on graduation day in 2019, with the car catching on fire. Mccormick – a Pinecrest graduate – had to essentially start over.

I had to learn to walk again, learn to talk again, you know,” Mccormick told the judges. “The last thing I remember was dropping my friend off at her house. And I was only a mile away from home.”

Elijah’s mom, Teshauana, told the story about how scared she was after getting the phone call.  Watch his audition video below, where she tells the story, and you’ll cry right along with us for sure.

After extensive surgeries and lots of recovery, the family wasn’t sure if Mccormick would be able to sing again. But sing again he did.

He admitted that his mother had signed him up for the show before the accident ever happened, which Katy Perry was shocked by. “So you’re just here fulfilling your destiny,” Perry said. “This was always meant to be.”

Here’s a look at the journey for Elijah Mccormick on American Idol so far this year:

  • The Audition - Bless the Broken Road

    Elijah started with this incredible story and performance of the Rascal Flatts country song “Bless the Broken Road.”

    His smooth, soulful performance of the song got Lionel Richie off his feat, before Luke Bryan came over to celebrate and hug him. Lionel and Katy Perry joined him with big hugs.

    “God brought you back nine times for you to do something amazing,” Richie said during his critique of the performance. “I’m so glad you’re here with us, and that was just one of those moments in my life I will never forget.”

    And if that didn’t bring you enough tears, just wait til his mom comes out.

    We’re not exactly spoiling anything by telling you all three judges unanimously, enthusiastically gave Elijah his golden ticket, “You’re going to Hollywood!”

  • Hollywood Week - Platinum Ticket

    Elijah was so inspiring that he got voted for a Platinum Ticket to start the Hollywood Week round. He joined three other performers, who were given Platinum Tickets from the judges, in being able to skip the first rounds of elimination in Hollywood Week.

    elijan mccormick american idol raeford nc north carolina

    Elijah Mccormick with Matt Wilson and Haven Madison during Hollywood Week on American Idol

  • Duets Round - My Girl with Lucy Love

    Elijah teamed up with Lucy Love in the next round, as Duets Day kicked off with the pair performing the legendary hit song “My Girl” by The Temptations.

    Elijah slayed, kicking off the lyrics with an almost John Legend-style sound. The duo had dynamic chemistry on stage, which the judges loved. Both members of the duo advanced to the next round.

  • Showstopper Round - Believe For It

    While they didn’t show the full performance of the CeCe Winans hit “Believe For It,” Idol showed some of the performance of his powerful vocal.

    His command of the stage was noted by Luke Bryan. “We’re happy you’re here,” Bryan said, “and we as a judging team are happy to tell you that you’re in our Top 24.”

  • Top 26 - Good Vibes

    That brings us up to this week, where Elijah performed Monday night in the Top 26 round from Hawaii.

    Mccormick covered Chris Janson’s country hit “Good Vibes” with the full backing band, including some fun little riffs away from the country style.

    The reviews were mixed from the judges, but overall positive. We’ll find out next week on the live shows whether he’s advancing or not.

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