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Nicole Rivelli, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Utah contestant Ashley Hess competed on ABC's "American Idol" recently and has advanced to the top 20 this season.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah resident Ashley Hess has advanced to the top 20 on “American Idol.”

Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan determined Sunday night that she should advance to the next round after performing “Gone Away” by recent Grammy winner H.E.R.

  • “I want to show the judges that I can step away from the piano and still put on a good performance,” Hess said before the performance, according to The Mercury News.

Watch the video below.

Hess, who moved from behind the piano during her performance, “showcased impressive technical skills and stage presence,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Bryan said Hess should stick with piano in her future, too.

  • “We see the comfort go to a new level when you’re at the piano. Not saying that you can’t morph into working a whole room and working a stage, but you really, really are amazing when you’re in that element,” Bryan told Hess. “I think early on, we all agreed that we really, truly thought you were Top 10, and unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that you’ll be Top 10, but we can guarantee you’re Top 20.”
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Flashback: Hess didn’t appear during last week’s run of episodes, which I reported for the Deseret News. She said on Twitter that she would be moving on to the top 40 round, though.

  • “They didn’t air my solo performance on ‘American Idol’ tonight but I made it to the top 40 and am going to Hawaii,” she tweeted.
  • Hess made headlines during auditions after judge Perry said “she could win the whole thing.”
  • “I'm just mad that you don't believe in yourself. You could win this whole competition! Wake up!" Perry said on “American Idol,” which I wrote about for the Deseret News.