Kimmy Gabriela (age 17) from Lakeland, Florida sang a cover of “Let’s Hurt Tonight” by OneRepublic during the Auditions round of American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
“Let’s Hurt Tonight” was released as the third single from OneRepublic’s fourth studio album, Oh My My on January 9, 2016. The song was included in the 2016 film Collateral Beauty and has since reached number 21 on Billboard’s US Adult Top 40.
American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan got nothing but praises for Kimmy, and described her performance as great, beautiful and fabulous. Kimmy was asked to sing a Spanish song, and again the judges were bowled over.
Katy casually predicted Kimmy Gabriela could be in the Top 10, an assessment to which Lionel and Luke agreed. “This is some Top 10 material,” said Lionel.
With her almost effortless amazing performance, Kimmy got a Golden Ticket to Hollywood, which she dreamt of since she was a kid.
Kimmy said her father is her biggest inspiration in music. She said her dad was a musician when he was young and he toured and made some music videos. She said music connects her to her Dominican and Venezuelan culture, considering she has never been to her origin country.
Luke Bryan said, “She doesn’t really miss notes.” Katy and Lionel readily agreed.
Katy Perry said, “You decided to come for American Idol real hard, didn’t you?
Luke continued, “At her first note, I was like YEP. You’ve had a really good day.”
Katy Perry threw the Golden Ticket across the room to Kimmy. She yelled, “Just take it!”
Lionel said, “She was not joking around. This is some Top 10 material.” He showed Kimmy his writing paper and said, “I just wrote down star. OK. Please remember that.”
In a post-audition interview. Kimmy said, “This is something I’ve dreamt of since I was like five… Top 10 material and those words are just gonna ring in my head for literally the rest of my life.
American Idol Season 18 premiered at 8PM, February 16, 2020 on ABC television and will air Sundays at 8/7c. Ryan Seacrest continues his role as the show’s host and Bobby Bones returns as the in-house mentor. Despite budget cuts, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie come back as judges for their third season of the series.
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