Sunday night during the Carrie Underwood-themed Top 5 performance episode of “American Idol,” 17-year-old Gabby Barrett sang “Last Name” for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. This Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania resident (and Underwood superfan) also took on Whitney Houston‘s “I Have Nothing” as her Mother’s Day song during Sunday’s two-hour episode. America was so impressed with Gabby’s two performances that they sent her through to the Season 16 finale after voting live coast-to-coast. Do YOU agree with America’s decision? Watch the “Last Name” video above and then read the “American Idol” judges’ comments below.
Katy Perry: “Woo doggie! First and foremost, people are talking about you. I don’t know if you’ve been on the internet, but you’re all over it, honey. And even everywhere I go it’s like, ‘Please just keep Gabby in.’ It’s like, okay, everybody is watching this girl, so I think you are making an impression and carving out your own. I think what’s really important, what Carrie says, is when all this dies down, who are you Gabby? You have to separate yourself in the industry that you will have a great shot in.”
Luke Bryan: “I mean, I was telling Katy, I’m like, ‘Oh my God it is like Carrie Underwood reincarnated right here in front of us.’ It is so exciting. But the fact that you’re gonna take this base and grow with it far beyond this competition is what’s even more exciting.”
Lionel Richie: “You know, we made the conscious decision backstage [to] be harder this time around. We’re gonna tell them the truth and we’re gonna make sure they understand we’re not just playing around. How do you say it was dis-fabulous?”
In his “American Idol” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson summarized, “When Gabby emerges to the stage I can’t help but think she sounds EXACTLY like Underwood. She’s so comfortable on stage though; it’s almost as though she’s already won. She’s not the most original artist of the season, but the girl has chops. She also seems to really want it more than anyone else and I applaud her tenacity.”
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