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.
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.