Filipino Canadian student Tyson Venegas, 17, earned the first platinum ticket of “American Idol” Season 21 with a beautiful cover of “New York State of Mind.”
In the video, judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan are immediately surprised when Venegas begins his Billy Joel cover. Pointing to the goosebumps on their arms, the judges showed their amazement at the young singer’s talent.
After Venegas completes his performance, the judges request that he bring his mother into the room.
“One of his very first concerts was Lionel Richie,” Venegas’s mom reveals. “He was inspired by you and then that’s where he learned how to sing from his heart and tell stories.”
With a look of awe, Richie states that Venegas has “flipped the switch” and inspired the judges.
“You sang notes and runs that I haven’t felt in my body in a long time and I felt so connected,” Perry added. “I felt alive.”
“You are exactly what we look for and what we pray for,” Bryan said.
As the first individual to receive the platinum ticket, which allows the show’s contestant to skip through the first round of Hollywood Week, Venegas has been dubbed by the judges as American Idol’s “most gifted yet.”
The audition video, uploaded by American Idol on Monday, has reached over 680,000 views and 14,000 likes as of this writing.
In response to his audition, Venegas took to his Instagram to express his thanks to the show and judges.
The judges also continued to shower the platinum ticket winner with praise online
This isn’t the first time Venegas has appeared on a singing competition show.
In 2013, Venegas performed on Canadian PNE Star Showdown at 7 years old, becoming the talent competition’s youngest winner.
The talented singer would go on to participate in The Voice Teens Philippines in 2020, where he sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” and “New York State of Mind” while blindfolded.
Currently a high school student in Vancouver, Venegas has been singing since the age of 3. He has released two original songs of his own, “What If” and “Never Give Up.”