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6:29 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Gaby Perez shines at Prescott Idol (VIDEO)

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Becky Karcie hands Gaby Perez her trophy.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Becky Karcie hands Gaby Perez her trophy.

The air was filled with music at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Sept. 10 as Prescott Idol closed out its 2015 season. The night saw performances from 24 contestants, plus songs by previous Prescott Idol winners, Erin Sobo and Ally Owens and last year's Prescott Idol Jr. winner Jacob Neal.

Prior to curtain, tensions were practically nonexistent with the contestants as all were amiable and encouraging one another. And none of them ever thought they'd be at the finale. Julie Malinowski, a finalist from week three, said she had never really thought about getting that far and that she was a mixture of nervous and excited. However, she said her goal was to have an awesome time.

"I'm here to have fun," she said. "It's exciting for me when people get into it."

In a similar vein, Brett Worth, a finalist from week five, said he had no intentions of doing well enough to make it to the finale when he first started out.

As Tiffani Fortney was performing, two of her clients from her work started dancing on stage. Fortney said it threw her off as she had told them to dance in front of the stage. Yet, she said it was awesome.

"I know when I get to work tomorrow, it's going to mean the world to them," she said. "Even if I didn't win, that's more important than anything."

But what the night all came down to was the winner. This year, it was week three finalist Gaby Perez, who could barely contain her happiness. Perez said she never expected to get first place and that she may continue singing and creating music in the future.

"We'll see what the future holds," she said. "I always thought about it, it's one of my passions. It might happen."

Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.