When are you going to start watching “American Idol” and voting for Gabby Barrett?
The Munhall teenager squares off against the other four “Idol” finalists in today’s 8 p.m. episode on ABC, where two contestants will be eliminated.
Not to get too competitive, but the City of Dallas already announced plans to host a parade and concert featuring its hometown “American Idol” finalist, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, if he makes the final three.
The five finalists — also including Cade Foehner of Shelbyville, Texas; Maddie Poppe of Iowa; and Michael Woodard of Los Angeles — each got mentoring this week from the most successful “American Idol” champ, Carrie Underwood. Barrett, an 18-year-old student in the Midland-based Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, excitedly summarized that experience with a tweeted photo of her with Underwood and the words, “Holy. Monkeys. What. The.”
“Idol” drew an estimated 2.3 million viewers last week, the fifth most of any TV show in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 age bracket, trailing “Roseanne,” “The Big Bang Theory,” a Cleveland Cavaliers playoff game and “Young Sheldon.”
That’s a far cry from 10 years ago, when 31 million people tuned it to watch the Battle of the Davids — Cook vs. Archuleta — in the Season Seven finale on Fox.
ABC’s “Idol” reboot with judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan hopes its two-part finale, May 20 and 21, will restoke the general public’s fancy.
Barrett has done her part, with her singing prowess and on-stage charm piling up accolades from the judges and developing a fan base coast to coast centered in her hometown Pittsburgh region, which has been known to rally around its own. Perhaps you’ve noticed the Pittsburgh Supports Gabby Barrett billboard on Route 65 in Glen Osborne, south of Sewickley.
Jeremy “Danger” Mulder, the afternoon drive time deejay at Pittsburgh’s Froggy-FM, has been strumming up local voting support for Barrett.
“The first time Gabby was a guest on my show in 2014, she was very young, but I immediately noticed she had an amazing voice. I remember how matter-of-fact she was about her upbringing singing in a church choir and how she wanted to bring her version of soul to country music. I was so struck by her talent that I sent her videos to some of my contacts in Nashville. It appears that Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie saw exactly what I saw. America sees it, too! Now Gabby is on her way, and I think she is going to win ‘American Idol.'”
The show’s remaining five contestants, along with two others eliminated last week, will sing in Barrett’s hometown on Sept. 13, in the “American Idols Live” concert at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, also starring Season Eight winner Kris Allen.