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Community reflects on Indio native Abi Carter’s journey to American Idol finale

Abi Carter is heading to the finale of American Idol!

Abi is called "The Pride of Indio" on the show for a reason, our community is rallying around her ahead of the show’s finale. 

And some folks are reflecting on the path she paved to get here. 

The stunning performance throughout the show are a result of hard work.

“I saw a trajectory that was a lot different than a lot of other students. Her determination, he wanting to play the best that she could,” said Marta Basham, Abi's piano teacher.

Along with a supportive community.

Check Out: Abi Carter performs at her first-ever concert in Indio before heading to American Idol

An always-gifted Abi Carter, that’s how people describe her. 

“She was exceptional even from a very young age in that she played even the littlest you know songs with such feeling and such emotion and expression,” Basham said.

Abi spent her early years at the McCallum Theater. She was a part of open call, a grand beginning to her years as a performer. 

“I can remember going back to when she was 11 years old here during the open call talent project and I was very aware that this girl had something very special uniquely different. She had a star above her where she went and that star was guiding her to great success and I think that’s what were seeing here now," said Paul Cracchiolo of the McCallum Theater.

Basham holds a special place in Abi’s heart.

“This is my Abi, that’s the last recital I had in the desert before I left, and she made me so proud,” Basham said.

She taught Abi how to play her favorite instrument, the piano.  

“She uses her music to reach out to other people, it's through her music that she makes others' lives better, she feels her music is a gift to her and she wants that gift to be shared and bring comfort to others,” Basham said.

And as Abi helped her mother support their own family, she spent many days with Amy Villeda’s six kids as a babysitter. Amy said Abi is deserving of this moment.

“She’s even just texted me out of the blue asking if she could just come help clean come help watch the kids for just for free and didn’t want me to pay her just because she knew I was dealing with a lot and needed help and she just has a really kind heart,” Villeda said.

Stacy Mills judged Abi before Katy, Lionel and Luke. Every Year, Abi would compete in the Date Festival’s vocal competition. Mills said she shined bright year after year but is most recently wowed by Abi’s stage presence.

“Her showmanship is just blowing me away. Just seeing the progression of her showmanship is just off the charts and her confidence,” Mills said.

All these people agree, Abi has star power. 

On Tuesday, May 14, the city of Indio will host her hometown visit which will include a gathering at one of her old schools followed by a parade and a concert. 

The parade is scheduled for 6:00 PM and will start at Miles Avenue Park and travel along miles to Smurr Street. 

Her concert will be held at 7:00 PM at Indio's new outdoor entertainment venue.

And we'll have a special presentation, "Abi Carter's Road to Stardom" - Tuesday at 6:00 PM only on News Channel 3.

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Allie Anthony

KESQ News Team


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