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VIDEO: Bank Robber Steals Show; Wows Judges At Idol Auditions

Jan. 21 2010, Published 10:01 a.m. ET

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Former jail bird Matt Lawrence turned-up at the American Idol auditions looking for redemption and he found it.

The 25-year-old Florida native robbed a bank with a BB gun ten years ago as a teenager and ended up spending four years behind bars.

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On American Idol Wednesday night,  he turned-up at the Orlando auditions and sang Ray LaMontagne’s classic Trouble and wowed the judges before scooping a golden ticket for Hollywood.

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Simon Cowell dubbed his performance as “brilliant” and fellow judges Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi were both in agreement.

Before the audition, Simon said: “He's looking for a way to make his family proud.”

And Lawrence - who currently manages his father’s trucking company – could be set to launch a whole new career following his stellar audition.

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“He looks country but he's got a nice bluesy tone. Really nice - I was very impressed.” added normally hard-to-please Cowell.

Bulky Lawrence seemed overwhelmed by all the praise from the judges as Cara DioGuardi backed him to make the final cut after the Hollywood auditions.

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