Laila Mach Auditions for ‘American Idol’ with ‘Deranged Version of ‘I Hope’ by Gabby Barrett

Just as Carrie Underwood inspired Gabby Barrett to pursue her dreams on American Idol, Barrett’s budding career inspired 15-year-old Laila…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

March 7, 2021

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Gabby Barrett, Laila Mach

Just as Carrie Underwood inspired Gabby Barrett to pursue her dreams on American Idol, Barrett’s budding career inspired 15-year-old Laila Mach to try her shot at the show.

The singer/songwriter, who hails from Upstate New York, appeared on the singing competition on Sunday evening (March 7) to perform an original song that was inspired by Barrett‘s massive hit “I Hope.” Prior to her audition, Mach was surprised by Barrett, who appeared via video, to offer her words of encouragement. 

“Hi, Laila! I just wanted to wish you good luck on your audition today,” Barrett shared. “I know you are going to do great. Do what you know how to do best and I hope to meet you sometime very soon.”  

Mach described her original tune as an “angrier version” of “I Hope” and earned praise from all three judges. 

YouTube video

Lionel Richie complimented her songwriting skills and was quick to say “yes” to send her to Hollywood. 

Katy Perry described the song as a “deranged version of “I Hope” by Gabby Barrett”  and told her, “you’re exactly what it takes to be in this competition and go far.” 

Luke Bryan agreed and praised her ability to perform under stress.

“It took me years to master that and I still don’t have it all the way down,” he said. 

Ultimately, Mach earned a “yes” from all three judges and secured a golden ticket to Hollywood. 

Click above to re-live her American Idol audition. 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.