Pittsburgh’s Gabby Barrett reaches top 7 on ‘American Idol’

To reach the top seven on “American Idol” Sunday night, Pittsburgh’s Gabby Barrett did not have to be animated, just great at singing a Disney animated classic.

Dressed in what has become her signature combination of white and/or lace, Ms. Barrett performed “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas.” She dedicated her performance to her sister and best friend, Gypsy.

The Munhall native has shown she can do country, ballads and rock. This time, she was more mainstream pop.

“I really appreciated the difference tonight because I think you’ve got that twang, that ‘girl-next-door -country’ thing down really well. But you really brought that pop stardom … that ‘you-can-sing-anything’ pop stardom tonight,” said judge Katy Perry.

“Gabby, Gabby, Gabby, you have all the tools to win this thing, in my opinion,” said judge Luke Bryan. Lionel Richie was equally effusive in his praise: “You’re the [total] package, my dear.”

Guest mentor Idina Menzel (Broadway’s “Wicked,” Disney’s animated “Frozen”), after working with Ms. Barrett at rehearsal, called her rendition “stunning.”

The six others in Los Angeles  joining her on next week’s show are Cade Foehner, Michael J. Woodard, Maddie Poppe, Catie Turner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Jurnee Siani . Ms. Barrett and Mr. Foehner were 1-2 in the most recent power rankings on GoldDerby.com. They might be close in other ways; after he sang “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid,” host Ryan Seacrest joked that perhaps Mr. Foehner was thinking of a certain girl.

A certain girl backstage? The cameras swung to Ms. Barrett, who laughed and threw her hands over her face. In an interview last week, Ms. Barrett said she had gotten especially close to one of her fellow “Idols,” and left it at that.

Sunday’s was a show Disney-fied within an inch of its life. The Mouse Empire, of course, owns ABC, and its vast catalogue of songs has long been a staple on “Dancing With the Stars.”

With judge Katy Perry dressed as Snow White and taped clips of the 10 finalists on a visit to Disneyland, it was impossible to miss the synergy.


Official Team Gabby Barrett Shirt: Here

While there were no “Avengers,” there was a lineup of songs spanning the old and new, including “Once Upon a Dream” (from Sleeping Beauty”) and “How Far I’ll Go” (“Moana”).

In an “American Idol” first, the show was broadcast live across the country. Viewers on both coasts were able to cast their votes starting at 8 p.m. EST, up until the final commercial break almost two hours later.

The real-time votes via app, online and text had reached around eight million by the end of the first hour.

There will be no “American Idol” Monday night, due to the premiere of “Dancing With the Stars: Athletes.”

Viewers reacted:

Brittany Altermott Gabby your amazing!! Keep up the good work!!

Jasmine Breeze Wickham-Green And I introduce you to the next American Idol! She’s perfect! I’ve said it since her first audition. She’s going to win it all 

Sarah Bartholme I love her voice but tonight she was off her mark. Voice was too whiny. Sounded like she was singing through duck lips. 
You’re so much better than tonight. I really hope we see you next week… you are definitely top 3.

Nando N Morgan Dejesus Mara is better! She deserved this more. I dont care how much she cried! Shes 16 and her voice was amazing!!!!!

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