He’s only 23, but Jay Copeland has already faced the forks in the road of life.

The Salisbury, Maryland native and American Idol hopeful had to make a tough decision. His grad school program gave two options: either choose music (Idol) or choose acting (grad school).

“I was told I couldn’t have it all,” he explains at the top of his audition Monday (March 21). He chose Idol, and, as a result, lost funding through his fellowship.

It was a big call, and, thankfully, he had a big audition on Idol.

Copeland hit a Stevie Wonder classic, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours),” inserting his own style and personality into the performance. 

“You controlled it, you did it, you owned it, and on top of that you were having so much fun,” judge Lionel Richie enthuses. “You might have lost the gift they were going to give you, for your masters, but the gift that you are going to give American Idol is going to be greater than anything you’ve ever imagined in your life. I’m telling you, your talent is off the chain.”

“We’ve been waiting on a kid like you,” Luke Bryan adds. “You’re perfect, in my opinion.”

Katy Perry shared the same thoughts, and she had the honor of handing Copeland the “Platinum Ticket,” which thrusts him into Hollywood Week, and allows him to leap a round.

Watch below.

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Categories: Music News