The competition was heating up on last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent: The Champions, as an unlikely act walked away with a Golden Buzzer to the finals.
Angelica Hale, the 11-year-old singer who came in second place behind Darci Lynne Farmer in 2017, redeemed herself with an emotional performance that moved the audience and judges.
Hale sang "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten, and her impressive voice won over three out of four judges. Mel B, the only doubter, told Hale she needed to "put your own Angelica twist on it."
Mel’s fellow judge Howie Mandel strongly disagreed.
"You showed up and ripped the ceiling off this theater," he told Hale. "You know what, that was your fight song, and if I can do anything I’m going to help you win this fight."
That's when Mandel slammed the Golden Buzzer, and Hale collapsed on stage as she realized she was heading to the finals.
"I can’t believe this is actually happening to me," she said with tears in her eyes. "I never expected this to happen."
In a video about Hale’s path to Champions, the pint-sized singer revealed why the Golden Buzzer meant so much to her. At just four years old, she underwent a kidney transplant. Ever since, she’s been fighting for her life, not just to perform on America’s Got Talent.
But her years of practice have paid off, because last night Hale became the first contestant ever to earn two Golden Buzzers from the judges.
Magician Joe Dorenbos gave one of the night’s other impressive performances, with a mind-bending routine that charmed the judges with mentalism, including a very tricky tic-tac-toe game.
But the other act that earned a pass to the finals last night was Paul Potts, the opera singer who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, after he earned more votes from those show’s American "superfans."
Mandel told Potts he deserves to win following his talented performance.
But both the talented singers will face stiff competition in the finals, including from Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle and Spain’s Got Talent winner Cristina Ramos (whose take on "Bohemian Rhapsody" stunned the judges last week).