UPDATE: Ben Briley is in the Top 13 on American Idol.
It’s a big week for Ben Briley as Hollywood Week wraps up and the top 30 are announced tonight on “American Idol.”
Born and raised in Gallatin, the 24-year-old said his roots are here. And he’s excited to represent Gallatin on the national stage and plans to return after the show.
“Hometown support has just been insane. It just keeps growing,” Briley said.
Last night, the remaining 77 contestants performed in front of the judges as soloists. Tonight the judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. will announce the semifinalists.
The Gallatin High School and Middle Tennessee State University graduate continues his pursuit to be America’s next “American Idol” to advance his music career.
“So far it’s been really fun,” Briley said. “The most stressful parts are on their way.”
If Briley advances in the competition, viewers will get the chance to vote for Briley starting next week when the show goes live.
Briley said he has also been a fan show of the popular TV show and has watched every season—even tying out twice before.
“It’s such a good show,” he said.
He remembered when another Gallatin High School graduate, Kimberley Locke, was on the show in 2003. Briley was in middle school. Locke finished third.
While the two have not talked, Locke said she wishes Briley luck.
“Take as many pictures as you can,” Locke said. “The experience will go by so quickly.”
Locke credits the show for her career. She currently is pursuing a music career along with helping people with weight loss journeys.
The show has changed and evolved over the decade, including new judges.
“The show is very different from when I was on it,” Locke said.
Briley said he has really enjoyed interacting with the judges this season. He doesn’t get to interact much with the judges, but when he does they are great.
“I think they really do feel bad when they have to cut people,” he said.
He is very thankful to be on season 13, and said Connick acts like a big brother to him sometimes, he said.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Briley said.
His mom is his biggest publicist right now, he said.
“She’s obviously really excited, I think she always knew this is what I wanted to do,” Briley said.
And his new wife is his who inspired him to tryout again.
The Gallatin boy grew up listening to country and bluegrass, he said. Willy Nelson and Johnny Cash are two of his favorite artist.
Past “American Idol” favorites for Briley include Taylor Hicks, David Cook and Chris Daughtry, he said.
“It’s going to be a really fun week. Keep us on the edge of your seats,” he said.
American Idol airs on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. on Fox 17.