Season 18 of American Idol is just a few episodes in and we already have some local rooting interest.   A senior at a local college impressed the judges so much during her audition last night on American Idol, she earned raves from judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie while receiving an emotional hug from Katy Perry.

Julia Gargano, a senior studying music composition at the College of St. Rose took to the piano to perform an original song called "Growing Pains" during her audition on American Idol Sunday night. The 21-year-old singer, songwriter from Staten Island wowed the judges following her audition, even getting a warm hug from Katy Perry.

Perry told a stunned Gargano that she thinks she can "Win this" adding that she's a legitimate threat to be a top 5 finalist on the show.

Luke Bryan offered Gargano heaping praise to the stunned contestant saying, "That's BIG time music, big time presentation...done by a 21-year-old that was classic and done well."

****CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILER ALERTS***

According to various American Idol spoiler sites Gargano advances pretty far in the competition quite possibly making all the way to the Top 20.  We'll be watching!

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