Nineteen-year-old Aubrey Cleland is beautiful and charming, but it's her voice that has captured hearts, especially those of the "American Idol" judges.
"You so obviously have multiplatinum potential," Mariah Carey said.
Those who know her best echo those sentiments.
"I've always thought that this was destiny for Aubrey," friend Amy Sim said.
"How she is on stage is how she is in real life. She's darling. She's just a sweet girl," another friend Karen Petroff said.
Petroff and Sim are best friends with Cleland's mom, Renee.
They say talent runs in the family. Renee is a singer herself and was the first black Miss Oregon.
Cleland's dad played football for the University of Washington.
For friends, seeing Aubrey succeed on "Idol" now is no surprise.
"I just knew if she could get to the point where America is voting for her, which is tonight, they're going to love her," Sim said.
They say traveling to Vegas to watch Aubrey perform last week was exhilarating.
"I felt like we were more nervous than she seemed," Sim said.
"At the very beginning, Amy and I held hands for about five seconds then I'm like, ‘She's fine,' and then we let go and went ‘Wow,' and looked at each other and said, ‘There she is, she did great,'" Petroff said.
And she continues to do well.Judges on Monday night called her "infectious" and want to see her soar.
But Cleland isn't just battling to win the judges' approval, she needs America's approval, too.
"I think they can be swayed by what the judges say so you hope for both. You hope that America likes you and you hope that the judges give you good feedback to help guide them," she said.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting. All rights reserved.
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