A local teenager is causing a bit of buzz around South Jersey by showing up on the new "American Idol" season that starts today.

Sarah Ross Restuccio, a student and choir member at Cedar Creek High School in Egg Harbor City, also appears in a promotional spot for the show, scheduled to air at 8 p.m. on WTXF-TV 29.

Restuccio played several recent Friday nights at the Pic-A-Lilli Inn in Shamong, north of Hammonton on Route 206, where staff member Jill Foy says the singer has been a hit.

The new "Idol" contestant also sang on New Year's Eve at the Watering Hole Cafe in Mays Landing, and she impressed the crowd and owner Byron Rovins.

"She did a lot of country-type songs," Rovins said Tuesday. "Everyone loved her. ... She had a very good voice - she just blurted out those songs."

Rovins said Restuccio came recommended by a friend of her family. He remembers she didn't say much about the TV show, but knew she would be on.

"She didn't really tell us anything," he said. "But she seemed really happy, and can really sing. So my feeling is, she's going to do pretty well."

Restuccio and her family couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon, but she has confirmed - at least on Twitter - that she's in the running to be the next "Idol."

"Who's gonna be watching the @AmericanIdol season 12 premiere Wednesday night at 8 on Fox?!" she tweeted, on @SarahRossSings. "Yes I did audition for American Idol & I was on the promo commercials that's all I can say because of the rules Sorry!"

The singer's biography on the REVERBNATION website starts by saying, "She may not be from down south or out west, but you wouldn't know it after hearing her sing. She hails from the Blueberry Capital of Southern New Jersey ... 18 years young, her voice is strong and soulful but yet sweet and comforting."

But even if she leans toward a country sound, the teenager also likes to mix it up.

"She tells us, 'Our new generation has an ear for a variety of music - so why make them choose?'" that online bio continues.

Contact Martin DeAngelis:

609-272-7237