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Northeast Ohio native featured on Monday's episode of American Idol

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Posted at 10:31 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 23:20:57-04

PARMA, Ohio — Kimberley Caraffa, 25, may seem like a small town girl but her dreams and her voice are big.

“I am from Parma Ohio. I’m a waitress,” she said. “Singing is my passion. I started singing because of American Idol. I would sing Kelly Clarkson in my room."

Her mom, Teresa Caraffa, said her family knew from a young age that she was something special.

“It’s just been amazing to watch her grow into her voice,” she said.

In October, that voice took her all the way to Austin, Texas to the American Idol audition. Prior to that, her friend sent in an application to the show’s producers.

“I did virtual auditions and, sure enough, they loved me and told me to come and audition for the judges,” she said. “Everything was a rush. It felt very unreal because I’ve always dreamt of being where Carrie Underwood once was and Kelly Clarkson.”

It was a chance to show off not only her singing skills, but her bubbly personality eliciting laughs and admiration from celebrity judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

“I’ve got a beautiful baby girl at home and I want to show her that no dream is too big. Her name is Lilly and she’s the light of my life,” she told the judges on Monday’s episode.

On Monday, News 5 was at her parents’ Garfield Heights home to watch the episode with family and friends.

“I just felt like I really created relationships and bonds with the judges,” she said. “I lost my voice a little bit. I did miss one of the most important notes, which I am able to hit, I just want Americans to know.”

She, ultimately, didn’t get a ticket to Hollywood, but said she’s proud of herself. Her mom is proud too.

“You don’t have to come in first to be a winner. She was a winner the day she left on that plane by herself,” said Teresa Caraffa.

Kimberely Caraffa said she’ll be back.

“I have big things and big dreams that I am not letting go of, I’m not. I’m going to audition and if they don’t want me, I’m going to keep auditioning.”

To hear more from her just follow @kimmiecaraffa on Instagram and @caraffakimmie on Twitter.