Check out American Idol star Cam Amen’s superb cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. American Idol is already an exciting and nerve-racking show, but the chance to win gold and platinum tickets up the stress levels even more. Gold tickets allow contestants to advance to Hollywood, skipping the interim rounds following an excellent audition.
Platinum tickets, on the other hand, are awarded to the most exceptional performances. Each judge gets one ticket per season, and from season 21, the audience gets to award one too. It not only takes them straight to Hollywood but allows them to skip the first round there too. It’s a big deal.
Once you start watching this clip, though, you’ll understand immediately why Cam was the lucky recipient. For starters, he had a tremendously difficult childhood. He was taken out of class at school and put in foster care, along with his brother and sister. His tears flow as he explains their mother never came back for them.
He was in foster care until he was eighteen, and no one would have blamed him for going off the rails, but he didn’t. Instead, he took in his brother and sister, believing it was his duty to raise them right. He put them both through high school until they were ready to make it alone. That makes him an amazing young man and his siblings are very lucky to have him.
It was obviously incredibly difficult for him to tell the story, but realising this was his big chance, he pulled it together and started to sing. Hallelujah is such a poignant song, and the tears still on Cam’s face add even more impact. His voice is so unique, and his singing style is flawless. The whole rendition is sublime.
When Cam reached the end of the song, he got something that few other contestants have ever received, if any. He got a big hug from all three judges, led by Lionel Ritchie. They all told Cam how amazing he was, and marvel that he could sing so brilliantly while so upset and emotional. When they retake their seats they invite Cam’s girlfriend Erica in for the big news.
Luke Bryan explains that they have two types of tickets to use for special contestants, gold and platinum. When Cam realises he has been awarded the platinum ticket the tears begin to flow again. It’s almost impossible to listen to Cam’s story, watch his performance and not start to cry along with him. He lost the chance to be a child at a young age and then had to take on the responsibilities of a parent while barely an adult. If you couple that with the hurt and abandonment that he must have felt at the loss of his mother, he’s a brave young man.
It’s heartbreaking that he was eliminated before the semi-finals but with talent like this, let’s hope that a record deal is on its way.
Once you’ve finished watching this video, probably a few times, check out the audition of Kaylin, another platinum ticket winner. If you would like to see more from Cam Amen, you can subscribe to his TikTok channel and watch his latest video content.