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‘It’s so Mississippi’: Jennifer Jeffries rocks ‘American Idol’ stage from Hawaii

Starkville native Jennifer Jeffries performing from Ko Olina, Hawaii, on Monday night's episode of "American Idol." Photo from Jennifer Jeffries/Facebook. 

American Idol is down to its top 24, and with a powerful performance from Hawaii, Mississippi teenager Jennifer Jeffries only helped her chances of advancing in the competition.

Jeffries, a 17-year-old from Starkville, took the stage Monday night at Disney’s Aulani Resort with her rendition of Lewis Capaldi’s “Bruises.” By the time she hit the first chorus, judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie were all smiling with guest mentor Jelly Roll screaming and cheering for the Idol hopeful.

“When you open your mouth, I hear a lifetime of pain and conviction and it moves me in a way that I’m seldom moved,” Jelly Roll told Jeffries after the performance. “I expect the state of Mississippi to be losing its mind.”

Perry agreed that Jeffries’ home state should be losing its mind and flooding the fan vote to ensure the young singer-songwriter makes it to the top 20. The popular judge, in her last season on the hit TV show, said Jeffries is quickly growing as a performer.

“I think you are in that process of changing into the diamond that we know you are,” Perry said. “You truly are one of the more unique voices in this competition. It’s so authentic. It’s so Mississippi. It’s so Jennifer Jeffries.”

Both Richie and Bryan agreed with the sentiments of Jelly Roll and Perry with Bryan encouraging Jeffries to keep cycling in hit songs to garner more votes: “Keep that interesting stuff going where you throw surprises at us but also play to the masses too with those big hits.”

After the sincere feedback, Jeffries was brought to tears when host Ryan Seacrest asked her how she was feeling.

“I mean, just getting to be here and perform for all these wonderful people, I don’t think words can express how thankful I am,” she said.

Jeffries will find out her fate when the top 20 is revealed on Sunday, April 14, at 7 p.m. CT on ABC. In what will be a special three-house episode, guest performers Teddy Swims, Lauren Spencer Smith, and Paul Russell will all take the stage alongside the remaining contestants.

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