George Jenkins High School senior Kimmy Gabriela has exciting news to share with Lakeland on the week she turns 18: She made the cut for the ‘American Idol’ Top 20. Continue reading to see a video of her performance from Sunday’s show.

It’s unclear when the show will resume because ABC is waiting until the coronavirus declines before resuming taping. The show broadcast Sunday night was taped weeks ago in Hawaii before the pandemic shut down production.

Though she made the cut after singing Demi Lovato’s “You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore,” celebrity judge Katy Perry advised her to choose more memorable songs.

After Sunday’s performance, Entertainment Weekly’s Maggie Fremont wrote Gabriela’s vocal control is mature and her range is big, but “as the judges point out and as is evidenced by this performance, her stage presence and her song choices have been hit-or-miss. Although this big Demi Lovato ballad shows off her range, it gets repetitive fast and it’s hard to really connect. They want her to work on figuring out what the ‘whole package’ is here.”

Gabriela recently told Billboard that her musical influences are Ariana Grande, Jessie J, Adele, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and her father, Gabino Amparo, who performed in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1970s and ’80s.

 “Hopefully 10 years from now I can accomplish some of the things my dad got to accomplish: a couple of tours, my own music out there for people to enjoy, a fan base, people I can connect with,” she told the magazine. “I want my first album to be something raw, with a lot of harmony – more on the pop side but with some R&B/jazzy elements. I’ve never liked the idea of confining myself to one genre. I definitely want to be a bilingual artist because of my Hispanic culture.”

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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