Whitefish Man Gets Ticket To Hollywood On American Idol - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Whitefish Man Gets Ticket To Hollywood On American Idol

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MISSOULA -

A former University of Montana student from Whitefish got his ticket to Hollywood. He now is among the aspiring singers performing for the judges in the next round of FOX's hit show, American Idol.

23-year-old Ethan Thompson has always had a passion for music, but just months ago he had no idea his talent would get him a ticket to Hollywood on American Idol.

"It's been a really surreal experience," Thompson said.

He was performing in a local show in Boston, where he attended the Berklee College of Music, the week before American Idol auditions came to town, when a group of fans told him he should audition.

"I thought why not go try my hand? I had seen the ads for the auditions over the years and thought, hey I can do that, and then I auditioned and got on," Thompson said.

His love for singing and songwriting goes back to when he learned to play the piano at 5 years-old. He started voice lessons after his family made the move from Alaska to Montana. He's since performed in choirs in Flathead County, and studied music two years at the University of Montana before moving to Boston.

"The thing I've always hoped to do is just be an singer and songwriter. That's what I've always done and always pushed to do," Thompson said.

While he's a natural-born musician, this Montanan said the American Idol process has been intimidating at times.

"There's stress. You're also very much impressed with who your around, because they're major artists you've seen on TV, and they put you in such stressful situations," Thompson said.

He was planning to move to Hollywood before auditioning for American Idol, and says even if he doesn't make the cut, this is just one of the many opportunity's he hopes to get in Hollywood.

"I feel like I've never been more prepared to tackle something in my life, whether it's Idol, or whether its moving on to the next stage," Thompson said.

Either way, we're sure he'll make his home-state proud.

"I'm just going to do the best I can, and do Montana proud," Thompson said.

You can see how Thompson does during Hollywood week on American Idol Wednesday and Thursday only on FOX.

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