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Starkville native Jennifer Jeffries advances to ‘American Idol’ Top 24

Starkville high schooler Jennifer Jeffries during her showstopper performance, which aired Monday night (Photo courtesy of ABC)

Jennifer Jeffries is the latest Mississippian to crack the Top 24 of American Idol.

After delivering a powerful original during Hollywood Week, the 17-year-old from Starkville performed “Northern Attitude” by Noah Kahan during Monday night’s showstoppers round and the judges were instantly impressed.

“I have chill bumps,” Luke Bryan said during Jeffries performance with Katy Perry adding, “That is a star in the making.”

Even with the solid showing from Jeffries, the judges still had a decision to make as this year’s competition is uber-talented. When asked during the final judgement how she thought her showstopper performance went, Jeffries admitted that she “blacked out” during most of it with Bryan and Perry along with Lionel Richie sharing a laugh.

The celebrity trio then agreed that Jeffries may still be a “diamond in the rough,” but she and her Indie rock voice are worth moving forward in the competition.

“You’ve got a sound in your voice that’s incredible. But it can’t be all texture and tone; it’s got to be notes,” Perry warned before delivering the news. “By the time we’re finished with you, you ain’t gonna be rough. You’re just gonna be the diamond.”

At the end of the segment, host Ryan Seacrest asked Jeffries what it means to advance to the Top 24. Her response: “It’s amazing. I never thought I could be here, but I am.”

Jeffries joins a long list of Mississippians to advance this far in the competition in recent years. Other names include Colin Stough, Zachariah Smith, Deshawn Goncalves, and Hannah Everhart. American Idol returns to ABC on Sunday, April 7 at 8/7c.

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