Miami performer makes Cuban ‘abuela’ proud on American Idol; he is going to Hollywood

MIAMI – Miami Lakes’ Yurisbel Garcia has an American Idol golden ticket to go to Hollywood. He said he owes it all to his Cuban “abuela” who still lives on the island.

Garcia, who was born in Cuba and moved to Miami-Dade County when he was a teenager, was determined to be the show’s 305 party ambassador.

And while other competitors made the judges cry, “El Yuri” had them all on their feet dancing. Garcia, 25, didn’t win Katy Perry’s heart, but he had the vote of Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

“That was so much fun. I just want you to understand, we needed that by the way. Just to be able to just let go is everything,” Lionel Richie said. “Come out and have fun.”

Yurisbel is competing against some angelic and powerful voices, but there is no one else like him. He performed Pittbull’s “Fireball” and taught Luke Bryan some reggaetón moves.

There was another performer from Florida: Casey Bishop, a 15-year-old singer from Estero. The high school student wowed all of the judges with her love of Ella Fitzgerald.

There was also another rambunctious Hispanic: Anthony Guzman, 27, from Santa Rosa, California, who surprised the judges with his rendition of Michael Bublé's version of “Cry Me a River.”

The audition shows will continue at 8 p.m. on Sunday through March 14 and Hollywood Week begins March 21st. Ryan Seacrest is hosting the show and Bobby Bones is coaching.

Check out some of Yuri’s competition

About the Authors:

Jenise Fernandez joined the Local 10 News team in November 2014. She is thrilled to be back home reporting for the station she grew up watching. Jenise, who is from Miami and graduated from Florida International University, also interned at Local 10 while she was in college.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.