'American Idol' Judges Blown Away By Vibrant Contestant
Kristin Danley 4/24/2019
Nineteen-year-old Gabby Barrett debuted on American Idol last year, absolutely blowing away judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. The audience couldn't believe how amazing this Pennsylvania native sounded.
She emerged as one of the three final contestants, and for her Mother's Day top five performance before a live audience, she selected Whitney Houston's powerful ballad "I Have Nothing." It was an absolutely exceptional performance.
One of seven siblings, Gabby found solace in singing. The year before she auditioned on American Idol, she embarked upon a self-created tour called Dreams Really Do Come True where she spread a positive message to students at Pittsburgh area high schools, and performed for them.
She grew up singing R&B music, but she loves singing country. She's even been compared to Carrie Underwood.
Barrett began singing when she was nine and performing before audiences at the tender age of 11. She's admitted that she doesn't ever get nervous, which is clearly evident in the act below.
Wrapped in a gold-toned sparkling strapless evening gown, Barrett stood before a packed crowd and put her own spin on Whitney's classic song. This particular song enabled Barrett to show off her broad vocal range.
She added some raspy and gravely vocal inflections to her performance, bouncing back and forth between soft and sweet and strong and mighty. She poured her heart and soul into this song and her passion paid off.
The entire audience stood and applauded her when she was done. Lionel and Luke stood before she was ever done, clapping with respect for her, particularly Lionel who was a friend of Whitney's.
"I knew Whitney and I'm going to tell you something. To gabby-rize a Whitney Houston song is impossible to do, but you did it. I'm so proud of you."