Janelle Arthur's path to American Idol started in Pigeon Forge

11:25 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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Oliver Springs native Janelle Arthur survived another elimination night on Fox's American Idol Thursday.

She will advance to the top eight and sing again in next week's show.

We've seen Janelle's East Tennessee fans cheering her on all season here at home.  That includes her former co-workers at the Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge where she spent eight years performing.

"I always thought she was a super star in the making and now it looks like America and the rest of the judges are agreeing with me," said Country Tonite's writer and director, Kevin Wilson.

Janelle began her career at Country Tonite when she was 10 years old as youth performer. She came back as a featured adult performer when she was just 15 years old.

Her personality made an impression on her co-workers as much as her singing voice.

"She's always full of life, she's got an unbelievable heart, and she's a good Christian young lady and it shows," Wilson said.

She also serves as a role model and vocal coach for a current youth performer at the theatre, Willow Osborne, 12.

"I've followed in Janelle's footsteps basically," Osborne said. "She's amazing, sweet, talented-- the whole package."

She hopes she too makes it to Idol one day.

But for now, the Country Tonite gang says they'll keep rooting for Janelle.

Janelle's first professional gig was playing the role of "Little Dolly" at Dollywood when she was a child.

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