Julia Gargano (age 21), a college student and songwriter from Staten Island, New York, sang a stunning original song called “Growing Pains” during the Auditions round of American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
Asked why she chose American Idol to kickoff a career, Julia said that for the past seasons, between Catie Turner (Season 17 top 7) and Alejandro Aranda (Season 18 runner-up), she really saw a spot for herself in the singing competition. “I consider myself a songwriter, as my identity,” she said.
With Julia’s husky voice and haunting original song, the judges listened in rapt attention. Katy Perry was unusualy quiet and then she suddenly stood up to give Julia a big long hug after her performance.
Julia Gargano got a Golden ticket to Hollywood as American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan unanimously gave her their Yes votes.
In an interview with American Idol’s in-house mentor Bobby Bones, Julia Gargano said that when one goes on American Idol, “you really have to put yourself out there as an artist.” She said she has so many stories and so many songs that she feels like she has a lot to offer.
After her performance, Luke Bryan said, “I’ll tell you what, you know, that was big time. That’s big time music, big time presentation done by a 21-year-old, and it sounded really, really classic and done well.”
Lionel Richie commented, “A lot of folks just don’t come in the door here and showcase, ‘and here’s my new song’. And you gave us the whole authentic self right here in front of us. And that’s why this lady ran around and gave you that hug.”
Julia Gargano said Katy giving her a hug was “the best moment of my life to date.”
Katy Perry said, “Next season on American Idol, people are going to say, ‘I came here to audition because I was inspired by Julia Gargano’. That’s what they’re gonna be saying. You are as good as Catie Turner, as Alejandro. Now, those are all the complimente. I don’t have any critiques. But when I find one, I’m gonna give it to you because I want you to win this thing, I think you’re Top 5.”
The judges whispered their usual line, “you are going to Hollywood” so Julia can surprise her huge entourage of 15 family members waiting outside the audition room.
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