New Yorker Julia Gargano makes the top 7 on 'American Idol'

NEW YORK -- Julia Gargano received a big bear hug from Katy Perry when this journey started with a prediction of a top 5 finish on 'American Idol' and she's almost there!

After earning a spot in the top 7 on Sunday, she performed 'Beauty and the Beast' as part of Disney night.



With her second song of the night, Gargano celebrated her mom.



You can cast your vote for Julia Gargano until 9:00 a.m. on Monday:
Go to americanidol.com/vote
In the American Idol App
Text "17" to "21523"

RELATED: NEW YORK CITY'S JUST SAM ALSO VYING FOR A SPOT IN THE TOP 7



Gargano is a 22-year-old Staten Island native studying composition at The College of Saint Rose in Albany.

She heard nothing but raves from the panel after last week's performance of "New York State of Mind."

She performed as a tribute and made the old Billy Joel song her own "because the theme was 'home,'" she explained to Sandy Kenyon, "and especially with everything going on I needed to do something that would you know, make New York excited."

"New York State of Mind" is an extremely familiar song so I wanted to know how tough it is to make that song her own. "Well, it's terrifying," responded Julia. Changing it too much invites criticism or even scorn, so she kept the familiar arrangement and didn't change the piano chords, "kinda just adapted it to fit this time right now. I wanted to sing it with a little more of a cry."



Gargano has welcomed millions of viewers across the country to the Westerly neighborhood of Staten Island, where her home set gets more elaborate with every passing week!

She showed us the props she's collected.

"We added this 'I Love New York' sticker, and then we have all these nice pictures of New York. We're like 'let's just make it as New York as we possibly can,'" she said.

Gargano has been writing songs and recording since a very young age, becoming a regular performer at the Bitter End in New York City since she was 13.

She sang an original song at her 'Idol' audition.

We'll find out if she will earn a spot on the grand finale of 'American Idol' next Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on ABC 7!



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