'American Idol' Platinum Ticket No. 2 Goes to the 'Best Thing We've Ever Heard'

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Abi Carter

Tonight, on American Idol, judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan awarded 13 Gold Tickets to Hollywood, which is special enough in itself, but they also have three Platinum Tickets. Last week, they awarded the first of those to 28-year-old soul singer Odell Bunton Jr. from Arlington, Texas and tonight, they upgraded another of the 13 Gold Tickets to Platinum.

The recipient was 21-year-old Abi Carter from Indio, California, whose performance of Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For” made Luke say, “That may be the winner of American Idol right there.”

Abi comes from a religious family. She’s the second oldest of seven children and was raised by a single mother.

“I have been a fan of American Idol my entire life,” Abi tells the judges. “I have been telling myself since I was a kid that when I got old enough, I would do it. This is me doing it.”

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When Abi told the judges what she planned to sing, Katy said, “I love that song and she does it so amazing. Please do it so amazing.”

To which Abi replied, “I hope I can do it justice for you.”

She sat down at the piano and did just that while her family was outside with their ears pressed to the door listening.

When Abi was done, all three judges gave her a standing ovation.

Lionel said, “We don’t have to vote.”

Katy said: “Thank you for being an example of singing from your heart. What were you made for? You were made for this.” And Katy hugged her.

Luke said, “That may be the winner of American Idol."

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Katy, who hadn’t heard, turned to Luke and Lionel and asked, “Luke, she’s Top 10, right?”

Luke replied, “I just said that may be the winner of American Idol right there. I’ve never heard the crew clap.”

Lionel said, “It was brilliant. Superstar.”

Katy said, “Just don’t change. Sing from your heart. Your life is going to change if you want it to change.”

Abi answered, “I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say right now.”

Then her family rushed in and hugged her so hard that Luke shouted, “Don’t hurt her.”

Katy said to them, “I don’t know why you guys are so surprised. She’s the best thing we’ve ever heard.”

Lionel agreed, “That’s the best we’ve ever heard on the show.”

Related: See the American Idol Contestant Who Makes Katy Perry Cry

After it began to sink in, Abi said, “I never thought in my wildest dreams that anybody would say that to me. Let alone three such accomplished people tell me that I’m worth it. That I’m here for a reason. That means so much to me. I’m so excited to prove them right.”

Abi Carter
Abi Carter

Then a week later, Abi was in Palm Springs performing at a street faire when Ron deHarte, Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem, told her, “We are so proud of you. We believe in you, and we stand behind you. Congratulations.”

Then he had one more surprise and took her to a TV monitor.

Katy came on and said, “Hi, Abi. We want to do something special with you. We have three Platinum Tickets that we give to special individuals that we think are the best of the best. We want to upgrade your ticket from Gold to Platinum.”

Overwhelmed Abi said, “It doesn’t feel like my life. It doesn’t feel real. This can’t be happening right now. I’m going to Hollywood.”

American Idol airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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