ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gabi Carrubba out to prove American Idol judges made a mistake

HAMDEN — At 17 years old, North Haven’s Gabi Carrubba doesn’t consider herself a star.

“I don’t look at myself as a celebrity,” she said. “I’m still a 17-year-old girl from North Haven, Connecticut.”
But Carrubba became an overnight sensation during her prolonged stay on the Fox television hit “American Idol.” The North Haven High School senior was one of the last competitors eliminated as the judges selected the final 25 performers.

Carrubba, who sang the national anthem at Saturday’s Quinnipiac women’s basketball game, never expected to become such a prominent part of the show. She competed several times with the cameras rolling, but was surprised to see how much she actually appeared in the telecast.
Her tearful and unexpected elimination sent shock waves on Twitter and the blogosphere. It also left her a bit confused.
“I was surprised how much I was on, but I was also shocked to be eliminated, because they gave us such good feedback,” Carrubba said. “When they eliminated me, it was just like, ‘Gabi, you’re going home.’ No criticism. Nothing.”
And that was it.
Carrubba’s journey was over in a flash. But she doesn’t have any regrets.
“Everything happens for a reason,” she said. “It was sad, but maybe I wasn’t ready. Maybe they saw that. I’m a senior in high school, and maybe I’d miss my prom or graduation if I went on. That’s something you can’t replace.”
Carrubba said she remains good friends with several of her former competitors, including Jeremy Rosado, who reached the final 13 on Thursday and was part of Carrubba’s team in the group competition.
“I watch the show because I’m still such good friends with many of the people left,” she said. “My close friend, Jeremy Rosado, is going to be the next American Idol.”
Carrubba, who drew crowds of young fans on Saturday, sang a Maroon 5 song and a classic “Sunday Morning” on the show to display her versatility.
She said that she may audition again next year in hopes of going even further in the competition.
“‘American Idol’ definitely opened up doors, but it also helped me realize who I am as a performer,” she said. “It helped me realize that I love to write my own music.
“I love to be on stage no matter what I’m doing. I just love to be singing. I’m definitely a theater geek. I’d love to go back on American Idol and hopefully I can wow the judges and make them realize it was a mistake to eliminate me. I have a drive that I can’t get rid of.”
Carrubba said that after high school she wants to attend college in New York and study theater.
“Performing is my future,” she said. “It may not be ‘American Idol,’ but who knows, I might be on Broadway one day.”
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