1 of 2
Nicole Rivelli, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Ashley Hess performs on "American Idol" on The ABC Television Network, Sunday, March 17, 2019.

SALT LAKE CITY — Could a dental hygienist clean up the competition on “American Idol” this season? Katy Perry thinks so.

Ashley Hess, a 27-year-old dental hygienist from California who moved to Utah, auditioned on “American Idol” Sunday night after getting a late start to her music career, according to USA Today. She said she started her dental career because it was a safe choice. But Hess moved onto “American Idol” to achieve her dream.

"Cleaning people's teeth is not as fun, for some reason, as my 18-year-old self thought it'd be," Hess said.

She performed “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones and it wowed the judges.

Katy Perry is apparently a fan.

"She could win the whole thing," Perry said.

She added, "I'm just mad that you don't believe in yourself. You could win this whole competition! Wake up!"

1 comment on this story

Fellow judge Lionel Richie followed Perry’s lead and tried to convince Hess that she has the singing chops to win the entire competition.

"Can I snap you out of your delusional state of mind?" Richie said. "You could knock this out of the ballpark."

“American Idol” auditions continue Monday night. The first week in Hollywood will be March 24.

Reminder: Last week, Perry and fellow judges called a 16-year-old singer “the next Kelly Clarkson.” It’s clear “American Idol” judges will hype up all performers who win their auditions. The final results of the show may play out a much different way.