'Idol' contestant Sam Woolf preparing for Hollywood - FOX 13 News

'Idol' contestant Sam Woolf preparing for Hollywood

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BRADENTON (FOX 13) -

It's a voice that's captivated the country: Bradenton's own Sam Woolf is a smash hit with American Idol judges and fans.

"I started out with about 600 followers on Twitter before Idol premiered, and then the day after I had about 8,000," Sam said Monday.

You don't have to go far to find the heart of Sam Woolf's following. They're back in his hometown of Bradenton.

"Many neighbors and people on the street come up to me," said Sam's grandmother, Jackie Woolf. "It was really funny, last Friday night, I was in the ladies' room of a restaurant and someone said, 'Are you the grandma of that Idol kid?' "

Sam is staying true to his roots. The Idol favorite is training for the show back home, taking to the stage on Monday at the Manatee County Fair.

"I think I need to practice as much as I can, and to learn a bunch of songs and just get used to performing," he said.

Sam says his American Idol run still seems surreal.

"It's definitely a dream come true. I've always wanted music as my career. And to start it off like this, is just incredible," he said.

Sam is getting plenty of practice at home in Bradenton. He's packing lots of performances during his time at home before he heads to Hollywood for the next round of the show.

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