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Munhall's Gabby Barrett advances again in 'American Idol'

| Monday, April 9, 2018, 10:24 p.m.
As the pool has been narrowed to the top 24 contestants, 12 of the top 24 finalists perform duets with celebrity partners at Academy LA in Hollywood during this week in the competition, as the search for America’s next superstar continues on its new home on America’s network, The ABC Television Network.
As the pool has been narrowed to the top 24 contestants, 12 of the top 24 finalists perform duets with celebrity partners at Academy LA in Hollywood during this week in the competition, as the search for America’s next superstar continues on its new home on America’s network, The ABC Television Network.
A billboard to support Gabby Barrett was purchased near the Waterfront in Homestead.
Submitted
A billboard to support Gabby Barrett was purchased near the Waterfront in Homestead.

Pittsburgh nation, get ready to vote for one of your own.

Munhall's Gabby Barrett,18, landed a coveted spot in the top 14 contestant line-up Monday night during American Idol's all-star celebrity duet themed performances.

Only seven of the twelve singers received good news — five were sent home at the end of the two-hour show— after hearing judges Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan deliver their decisions.

Barrett didn't squeak through, she sailed through — delivering a soulful performance and closing out the show alongside her country duo match-up, Sugarland.

Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles complimented Barrett's abilities.

"I'm excited to duet this song with Gabby," Nettles said. "She's darling and so talented. She is a fantastic singer."

Gabby's dad Blase Barrett, currently in California with his daughter, says she was "really excited" to perform with Sugarland.

"Jennifer (of Sugarland) has a powerful voice for country music and that has always been a dream of Gabby's — to bring power like Whitney Houston over to country music."

Blase says many have tried to push Gabby away from country.

"Gabby writes country music and she loves the country story. Her voice is so strong. She wants to bring a new sound to country," Blase Barrett says. "All three judges were completely blown away tonight after her performance."

"I don't know if we have seen someone today nail it from top to bottom," judge Luke Bryan said.

"Way to show up Gabby," Katy Perry said. "Way to show up. You've come so far and you have so far to go. And we all do. I can tell you are not getting comfortable and that is the key to success."

Kristen Brodak,40, of Pittsburgh has followed Gabby's career the last four years. She is pretty much in freak out mode these days, in a good way.

"I am the biggest fan that there is," Brodak says. "I have cried at every ("American Idol") show and I watch each episode so anxiously, and excitedly, because I am so happy for her. She is so confident."

Brodak attended all three "watch parties" hosted in Pittsburgh she says — even shopping with Barrett at South Hills Village for a dress that she will wear on an upcoming episode. "She is her own stylist so far — doing her own hair and make-up."

The live shows are expected to begin in a few weeks.

Mark your calendars: Gabby's next "American Idol" appearance is on April 22.

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