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Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 6:18pm

Pineville native gets golden ticket on “AMERICAN IDOL”

Photo courtesy FOX Publicity

Boone: "It's still a little bit surreal at the moment, but I'm ready for it."

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 8:02pm

"I always thought about auditioning, but I guess, just the fact that I'm getting a little bit older... I figured I need to do it while I am still young."

Growing up in Pineville, Ben Boone was involved in sports most of his life, knowing he could sing but never pursuing it. That was until his dad bought a karaoke machine.

"He started doing karaoke parties," Boone says. "I guess doing that, (it) just made me a lot more comfortable getting up there and singing."

When he got to college, studying at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Ben started performing around Lafayette for extra money. He then recently made the brave decision to step in front of the judges of American Idol.

"When I stepped in the room, you know, it's a rush," Boone says.  "It's almost surreal because when I went out, everybody was asking me how it was, what did the judges say, and all of this.  I told them that I really can't remember, just becasue it happed so fast. It's almost like it didn't even happen."

That changed when Boone saw himself on TV Wednesday night. He's already feeling the love from the community.

"I'm a member of a fraternity at ULL, SAE (Sigma Alpha Epsilon)," Boone says. "So, I have a lot of friends on the campus and around the community. So, the support has been overwhelming."

"I really appreciate everybody who has been behind me and has my back on this. Because, you know, if it wouldn't have been for them, I would never had the courage to actually go out and do it," Boone says.

Inspired by oldies like Bill Withers, Ben is ready for what comes next, and the spotlight it might bring with it.

"It's still a little bit surreal at the moment, but I'm ready for it," Boone says. "It's something I like to do. I like to be out there, and singing, and performing. I guess it just something that comes along with it."

"It's really cool. Not many people get to experience this. I feel like I am blessed to just to be able to get to do this," Boone says.

What's next for Ben? It's off to Hollywood. He's counting on the community to stay tuned and watch it unfold.

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