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17-year-old Fil-Canadian earns first platinum ticket from ‘American Idol’ Season 21

By Melanie Uson Published Feb 21, 2023 12:08 pm Updated Feb 22, 2023 12:13 am

Pinoy pride!

A 17-year-old Filipino-Canadian just earned the first-ever platinum ticket in the current season of American Idol. 

Tyson Venegas left the show's judges—Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan—in awe with his soulful performance of Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind. Aside from his vocal chops, he also impressed the renowned singers for having been able to play the piano flawlessly while he was singing.

Just 30 seconds into his performance, Katy called the attention of her fellow judge Lionel to show she was already getting goosebumps. 

Lionel, meanwhile, ended up verifying the teen's age with his mother as a joke. “He’s claiming to be 17 years old, but he’s performing like a 45-year-old,” he said.

Taking pride in his son, Tyson's mom shared that Lionel served as an inspiration to her child when he was just starting out as a singer. “He was inspired by you, and that’s when he learned to sing from his heart, and like tell stories.” 

“We’ve flipped the switch now. I inspired him back then—he just inspired us today. Let me tell you, that performance was spot-on professional,” the American Idol judge said. 

“You sang notes and runs that I haven’t felt in my body in a long time, and I felt so connected. I felt alive,” Katy added. 

Also agreeing with the judges, American country singer Luke said: “You are exactly what we look for, what we pray for.” 

The judges excitedly gave Tyson the first-ever platinum ticket from the show's current season, which would allow him to advance to the second round of Hollywood Week.

The Fil-Canadian teen was part of The Voice Teens Philippines in 2020. He also performed New York State of Mind while playing the piano with a blindfold on. When asked by judge Lea Salonga why he liked to play some music that way, he said: “I really like Stevie Wonder, and I love how he plays the piano, it’s like very natural.” He became part of's team but exited the competition before the knockouts were held.