Ashley Hess said on “American Idol” Sunday that she got “kind of a late start” in singing.
Now the 27-year-old is quickly making up for it.
She blew away the judges with a rich rendition of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why,” punching her ticket to Hollywood.
Shortly into her performance, panelist Luke Bryan pumped his fist in approval and then stopped her. He invited fellow judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie to join him at the piano to watch Hess finish up.
Hess, a Californian now living in Nashville, worked as a dental hygienist out of high school but discovered it wasn’t for her. “No more tartar removal for you,” Bryan joked.
Perry chided her for not fully believing in herself: “You could win this whole thing.”
Watch the audition above.