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Ashland native advances on 'American Idol'

Jan. 24, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

ATLANTA -- Jesse Cline is going to Hollywood.

The Ashland native and 2012 Boyd County High School graduate impressed the "American Idol" judges within seconds of opening his mouth on Thursday night's episode.

In his brief appearance on the Atlanta audition show, Cline, 19, played guitar and sang "Washed by the Water" by Christian rock band NeedToBreathe.

"You are a believable singer and it happens within milliseconds," judge Harry Connick Jr. said to Cline after his audition.

"I loved it," judge Jennifer Lopez added.

"It's an indescribable thing sometimes," judge Keith Urban said. "You start singing it and the way you look when you sing, the way you move your mouth and all that stuff -- immediately just goes a born singer and you're so going to Hollywood."

Cline, with a smile stretched across his face, rushed to grab his ticket to Hollywood -- and a hug from Lopez.

"I'm so relieved," he said after the audition. "I just got this big weight up off my chest and I'm so happy about it."

After his audition aired, Cline took to Twitter under the handle @JCline_00 to share his excitement.

"Oh my God, the support is surreal!!!" he tweeted. "Thank you everyone so much for sharing, with me, the most amazing moment of my life. #unbelievable."

Cline, who works as a gas station attendant, told The Independent in Ashland earlier this week that he got a "front of the line pass" for this year's "American Idol" auditions after participating in daily "The American Idol Experience" competitions at Disney World while he was living in Florida last year.

"American Idol," which is currently in its 13th season, airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday on WVAH-FOX, Channel 11.

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