College of Saint Rose student Julia Gargano broke all the rules by auditioning with an original tune on Idol, but it paid off big time!

Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryant were speechless after Julie Gargano's original song "Growing Pains." Lionel Richie quietly said, "very good," Katy Perry gave Julia a BIG hug and later said, 'I have no critiques,' Luke Bryant said 'That Was Big Time."

I think it's safe to say Julia has not only made it on American Idol's 18th Season, but she's also one of the top contestants to watch this Season. She traveled to Washington D.C. to audition for Idol and is currently in her last semester at The College of Saint Rose in Albany.

Julia says she identifies as a songwriter, and you must admit, it was a bold move performing a song none of the judges knew. You could see a bit of attitude from  Katy Perry who said

Why did you choose American Idol of all places to try and kick off a career?

Little did they know, Julia is presently signed with the Rose Record Label Group and has been writing and recording from a very young age.

As she reached her teenage years she began professionally singing jazz in venues all over NYC. Julia has also been a regular performer at the Bitter End in NYC since she was 13. Julia attended Laguardia performing arts high school where she studied and practiced her craft every day. She continues to write strong singles with her soulful vocals and passionate lyrics. [Rose Record Label Group]

The Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Performing Arts is famously known as the "Fame" school in Manhattan with celebrity graduates like Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Ansel Elgort, Timothée Chalamet, and more.

We have some great talents in our area, including Madison VanDenberg, 16-year-old Capitol District native Moriah Formica was on The Voice, Ryan Quinn from New Hartford, Sawyer Fredricks of Fultonville won The Voice in 2015 and many more.