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‘American Idol’ Hopeful Brielle Von Hugel Brings Her Bluesy Side With ‘(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay’

Brielle Von Hugel

Staten Island’s Brielle Von Hugel just might be one of the youngest contestants on ‘American Idol‘ this season (she’s only 17), but girl proved tonight that she’s got the pipes it takes to become a frontronner in the competition.

Von Hugel, whose overly involved mother has become just as much a part of the season as she is, got low tonight with Otis Redding’s bluesy ‘(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay’ and pulled some of the best compliments from the judges we’ve seen all night.

Just before Von Hugel’s moment in the spotlight, Jackson commented that the girls were coming out “scorching” tonight, so the stakes were dream-crushingly high. Starting out her song literally sitting in front of a picture of a dock but among a bunch of boys on the stage, the confident, sassy young talent shot out of the cannon with a sultry self-assured performance.

Even when the notes were a bit too low for her feminine voice to nail, this girl knows how to command the stage. She spent about half her time at the edge of the stage reaching out to touch the fingers of her adoring audience like the most seasoned celeb. Sometimes that ease resulted in some awkward faces from the ‘Idol’ hopeful, but hey, she’s learning.

After her performance, Steven Tyler was the first to chime in with “Brielle, you did it! You got a great sense of the blues … That was beautiful.” Next, Jennifer Lopez suggested that Von Hugel might be one of the most underrated performers in the competition when it comes to a powerful voice.

“What I love about you is that you are a true performer,” Lopez gushed. “You come out there and you eat it up.”

Randy Jackson wasn’t quite as over-the-top in his praise at first, saying he and Lopez were questioning the song choice at the beginning because of how low it was. But then Jackson offered up one of the most enthusiastic things we’ve heard him say all night:

“Man, I was like yo. That’s Brielle!” he said. “That’s why she’s here — because we love her.” Jackson went on to compare Von Hugel to Janice Joplin, and the young hopeful seemed more than content with the resounding approval. If America agrees, this girl will be a strong, and bold, contender for the Top 10.

Watch Brielle Von Hugel Watch ‘(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay’ on ‘American Idol’

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