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Ashland Native to Appear on American Idol

American Idol premieres tonight and you might see someone you know auditioning, hoping to get that golden ticket to Hollywood.

Posted: Mar 11, 2018 12:31 PM
Updated: Mar 13, 2018 5:57 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- American Idol premieres tonight and you might see someone you know auditioning, hoping to get that golden ticket to Hollywood.

Suriel Hess from Ashland, otherwise known as American Idol contestant 50029, will be singing his heart out in front of the American Idol judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

"That part was really amazing for me because I've always watched the show with their stickers on and that's like the indication that they're in line waiting, getting ready to do that. So what I finally got my number that was really cool," Heiss said.

Although his American Idol journey premiers tonight, he's been uploading videos to YouTube over the past four years of him singing both original songs and covers. One of his videos has over 700,000 views.

"[My subscribers are] watching that growth in terms of numbers on social media but now they're going to see on a whole new platform on a whole new level on what the idea of success is. It's really cool. Everyone's really excited and it's getting me pumped up too," Heiss added. 

His American Idol journey started months ago at an open call audition in Portland. You won't see that audition on your TV but you'll see the one in front of the judges in New Orleans. He said the whole process was crazy but a dream come true.

"It was way more than I expected and it's one of those things that you kind of really don't know what you're going to go through when you're signing up. But I've always wanted to do something like this so what I auditioned it was really seeing what it would be like with no expectations just really going for it and jumping into it."

He can't tell us any spoilers so we'll all have to watch his journey as it airs..

You can watch the start of his American Idol journey on NewsWatch 12 at 8PM tonight.

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