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American Idol 2.0, Roane Style

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By Cindy Simpson

Another “American Idol” contestant has a Roane County connection.

Country crooner Ben Briley, 24, is married to Oliver Springs High School alumna Courtney Sanders Briley.

Courtney Briley went to high school with Janelle Arthur, the Oliver Springs country music artist who made it to the top five on the same televised music competition last season.

“I am very proud,” said Courtney Briley’s grandmother, Barbara Matney of Harriman.

“Everyone wants to know why my granddaughter is not competing,” she added, saying the couple are both known for their vocal talents.

Last week, Briley moved on to the top 13 finalists.

Matney said her granddaughter and her mother, Cheryl Sanders, are in Hollywood supporting Briley.

“He looks country,” mused Matney.

“He wore an Oliver Springs hat at one of the auditions,” she added.